Hemorrhoids And Fissure: How To Distinguish The Difference In Symptoms

Have you been recently experiencing any type of rectal discomfort or even pain, and are wondering what it is and if it is anything you should be concerned about? Well, experiencing any symptoms like itchiness, pain, discomfort, pulsating or even bleeding can be attributed to many things. They do not always translate to having hemorrhoids or a fissure.


When it comes to everyday living, these type of symptoms can occur when for example:

  • you use rough toilet paper to wipe yourself or when you are not being gentle
  • your diet is very low or too high in fiber which results in experiencing regular constipation or diarrhea
  • you sit too long on an uncomfortable or hard seat
  • you regularly spend too much time sat down on the toilet
  • you experience an allergic reaction to the fabric of your underwear, or to a chemical in the washing detergent you recently used

All these things can cause any of the previously listed symptoms like pain, discomfort, severe irritation, itchiness, swelling or even bleeding. Also, everything on the list above can lead to developing a hemorrhoid or a fissure if you habitually perform any of these on a daily basis. If you do, make sure to work on changing these habits and see if that will help you get rid of your discomfort.

If you are experiencing severe symptoms that are hard to bear, it is quite possible that you might have developed a hemorrhoid or a fissure. But how can you tell the difference and how do you even distinguish one from another? Let’s first cover what is a fissure, why does it occur and what can you do to avoid developing one. Then we can proceed and explain what is a hemorrhoid and what are some common things you can do to avoid it.

Disclaimer: If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, and you believe that you might have a fissure or a hemorrhoid, it is very important that you seek a medical advice from your general practitioner as soon as you can.

Having any serious symptoms checked by your doctor is always the responsible move. Any treatment examples listed in this article are just a common practices that might or might not work in your case.

What is a fissure?

hemorrhoids vs fissure Anal fissure is simply a tear or a cut around your rectal region. They often hurt a lot and also tend to bleed quite a bit. They usually occur on part of our skin that was neglected and turned into an Andoderm. Andoderm is a part of the skin that contains a lot of sensory nerves but lacks the oil or sweat glands like the rest of your healthy skin. This is the reason why anal fissures tend to hurt way more than the hemorrhoids, causing a lot of trauma around the anal canal. You can usually notice a drop of bright red blood that will appear on the toilet paper, separate from the stool.


  • Intense pain, especially during the bowel movement
  • Irritation around the rectum
  • Slight bleeding can notice bright red blood on the toilet paper
  • Very sensitive to touch


The most common treatments depending on the severity of your anal fissure might include:

  • Having to apply an ointment on the affected area which will relax your anal muscles to allow the fissure to heal itself easier.
  • Needing to receive a special injection to make the healing process easier.
  • An Actual Surgery to seal the fissure.

What is hemorrhoid?

hemorrhoid illustrationHemorrhoids are swollen veins that got developed because of the tissue weakening in the lower rectum area. That allowed the
blood to accumulate and develop little blown up balloons on the outer part of our skin. Hemorrhoids symptoms are often of the same nature like the ones of the fissure, but they are each a different kind of injury.

You can develop either an internal or external hemorrhoid. When it comes to pain and discomfort, they are usually associated with external hemorrhoid or a fissure. That is because the sensitive tissue is more exposed to irritation or rupture.


  • Consistent rectal discomfort throughout the day
  • Possible pain in the rectum, often after sitting down too long in one position or on a hard surface.
  • Irregular and odd bleeding
  • Itching and irritation


  • Over the counter or prescription creams
  • Home remedies
  • Banding
  • Surgery

In reality, it is very difficult for most people to figure out on their own whether they have a fissure or hemorrhoid. This is why you always should contact a medical specialist who can diagnose and treat your condition.

Can hemorrhoid and a fissure happen at the same time?

The answer is yes. In some rare cases, fissures can occur in combination with hemorrhoids, especially the external ones. This is often when patients experience severe pain and discomfort with walking, sitting and sleeping. It is very hard to distinguish hemorrhoids vs fissure on your own, so it is always advised that you see an experienced specialist who can have a look and help you understand the nature of your condition.


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