Piles Vs. Fissures: Know the Difference Between Piles and Fissures


If you're suffering from anal discomfort, it might be due to one of the two common causes: piles or fissures. While these two share the most signs and symptoms, they are different problems with different causes and treatments. Piles are swollen veins in the anus or lower rectum, whereas a fissure is a tear or cut in the skin surrounding the anus. Even though they are different problems, they are frequently mistaken for one another, resulting in delayed treatment and diagnosis.

Understanding the difference between fissures and piles is critical since they require different treatments. Pile treatment, for example, might include dietary adjustments, medications, and, in rare situations, surgery. On the other hand, fissures usually require conservative treatment or, in severe cases, surgery. Let’s explore the differences between piles and fissures, their underlying causes, signs, symptoms, and treatment options. We'll also offer you some pointers on preventive measures and self-care.

Difference Between Piles and Fissures

Both piles and fissures impact the anal region. While they share certain symptoms, such as bleeding and pain, the causes and treatment may differ. Understanding the structure and causes can help in distinguishing between the two.

Hemorrhoids, often called "piles," which is an enlarged blood vessel that forms inside or outside the anus or bottom rectum. They can be a result of bowel straining, sitting for extended periods, ongoing constipation, or pregnancy. Depending on their position, piles can be internal or external. Internal piles are found within the rectum and are not always apparent, whereas external piles are found outside the anus and can be noticed or sensed as a lump.

In contrast, a fissure is a minor rip or cut in the skin surrounding the anus. Trauma to the anal region, chronic diarrhea, constipation, or childbirth can all result in fissures. Fissures, unlike piles, are generally localized and are more uncomfortable during bowel movements.

Consult your doctor for the correct medical diagnosis and treatment. Check out their symptoms and diagnosis to help you identify piles and fissures.

Symptoms and Diagnosis: How to Tell the Difference Between Piles and Fissures?

Rectal bleeds, which may occur during or after bowel movements, are the most common sign of piles. Piles may additionally trigger anal itching, pain, and irritation. External piles patients may also detect a bulge or inflammation around the anus. Fissures are commonly associated with painful sensations during and after bowel movements, itchiness, profuse bleeding, and discomfort.

A doctor may go for an in-person assessment of the anal area, including a visual assessment or a simulated rectal exam to confirm whether you have piles or fissures. An apparatus called a proctoscope is used to check the inside of the anus, which goes inside the anal region.

It is advised to get treated as soon as possible for someone getting diagnosed with piles or a fissure.

Treatment Options: Effectively Dealing with Piles and Fissures

Medication for piles and fissures varies according to the severity of the problem. Conservative treatment methods may be recommended for mild cases. However, surgical treatment is necessary for severe cases like prolapsed piles.

Conservative treatment methods for piles include eating habits and lifestyle adjustments such as increasing fiber consumption, consuming enough fluids, and minimizing extended sitting. Over-the-counter lotions and oils may be recommended to reduce anal itching and pain. In some cases, minimally invasive treatments, such as rubber band ligation or sclerotherapy, may be used for treating piles.

Fissures can also be treated cautiously with nutritional and lifestyle adjustments such as boosting fiber intake, using stool softeners, and preventing bowel straining. The doctor may recommend topical lotions and ointments to reduce anal itching and pain. Surgical treatment, such as lateral internal sphincterotomy or fistulectomy, may be necessary for severe cases.

It is important to highlight that self-diagnosis and self-treatment of piles or fissures can be risky and may worsen the problem. Seeking consultation with a proctologist is essential for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Preventive measures and medical treatment can be used to limit the probability of piles and fissures. These precautions include good hygiene, avoiding strain during bowel movements, and following a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Tips to Avoid Piles and Fissures

Here are some tips to avoid piles and fissures:

Maintaining top-notch hygiene: Clean the anal area thoroughly with water and light soap after each bowel movement. Rough toilet paper shouldn’t be used since it can cause irritation and itchiness around that part of the skin.

High-fiber diet: Eating a high-fiber diet can avoid constipation and gastrointestinal strains. Eat extra fresh produce, whole grain meals, and legumes to increase your fiber consumption.

Drink enough water: Water may help soften stools and avoid constipation. Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water every day.

Regular exercise can assist in controlling bowel movements and preventing congestion. Try to fit at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity into your daily schedule.


Piles and fissures are problems that impact the anal region but differ in their causes and treatments. Piles are swelling arteries in the anus or lower rectum, while fissures are a tear or cut in the skin surrounding the anus. Identifying piles and fissures differences requires understanding the structure and origin of the two problems. A doctor's consultation is a must for correct medical diagnosis and treatment. Treatment options differ according to the level of seriousness of the issue. Accurate diagnosis and management of piles or fissures require medical treatment from a doctor specializing in this area. Prevention and self-care are key to avoiding piles and fissures.