Types of Hemorrhoids
There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids. The two types get their names from the set of hemorrhoidal veins they affect. Therefore, a person with internal hemorrhoids would experience increased pressure on the internal hemorrhoidal veins; when a person has external hemorrhoids, the external hemorrhoidal veins around the anus are affected.
There are several groups of veins that surround the rectum and anus -- one group is known as internal hemorrhoidal veins, and the others are known as external hemorrhoidal veins.
The cause of hemorrhoids is too much pressure on either the internal or external hemorrhoidal veins. The two types of hemorrhoids -- internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids -- are named for the set of hemorrhoidal veins they affect.
Internal hemorrhoids occur when there is too much pressure on the internal hemorrhoidal veins. Frequently, the only sign that internal hemorrhoids exist is bright-red blood that appears on the surface of the stool, in the toilet bowl, or on the toilet paper. But, if the pressure and swelling continue, the hemorrhoidal veins may stretch out of shape, sometimes so much that they bulge through the anus to the outside of the body.
Pain is not usually common with internal hemorrhoids, unless a blood clot forms or an infection occurs.
The external hemorrhoidal veins around the anus can also become swollen, causing external hemorrhoids. These swollen veins bleed easily, either from straining or rubbing, and irritation from draining mucus may cause itching in the anal area. If blood clots form in these hemorrhoids, the pain can be severe.