Wondering why bulging veins have suddenly taken up residency on your skin? It could be an indicator of many different venous conditions. Two of the most prevalent being hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
Both of these conditions are caused by malfunctioning venous valves. But they impact different body parts and require different treatments.
Though annoying to deal with, both hemorrhoids and varicose are common and treatable. Hopefully by the end of this article, you’ll be able to give these nuisances the boot and live your best bulging vein-free life.
Bulging Veins: A Symptom of an Underlying Problem?
When you have bulging veins, the blood pressure within your veins has increased. The veins have become dilated and stretched out, making them more apparent to the naked eye. And making it so you don’t want to wear anything that reveals the venous protrusions on your legs.
Let’s get into the differences between hemorrhoids and varicose veins and why they provide such a breeding ground for bulging veins.
What You Need to Know About Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower rectum. They cause pain, itching, bleeding, and are just generally awkward to talk about. Probably why you’re reading this article rather than describing your swollen anal veins to a doctor. Hemorrhoids can be internal, inside the rectum, or external, under the skin around the anus.
Hemorrhoids can be accompanied by a variety of unpleasant side effects. External hemorrhoids, in particular, can provoke bleeding due to the strain and irritation they incite during bowel movements. They can also cause the rather embarrassing condition of a protruding or prolapsed anus. Unfortunately, this also means that sitting down can be a royal pain in the behind.
Common causes of hemorrhoids include:
- Straining during a bowel movement
- Chronic diarrhea
- Eating a low-fiber diet
Are Hemorrhoids and Varicose Veins the Same?
There are several distinct differences between hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Mainly in the way they look and where they reside. Varicose veins pop up like blue and purple party favors on your legs and feet, complete with a twisted, tangled venous pattern. Hemorrhoids, on the other hand, prefer to keep it low-key in the down-low region. So, while they may cause similar itchy, painful sensations, the main difference is that one is out there for everyone to see, and the other is a closeted condition.
Hemorrhoids and varicose veins have the same root cause but require different treatments. Varicose veins can be treated with procedures like sclerotherapy or radio frequency ablation. However, there are many methods for treating this condition, all dependent on the type of venous disease you’re dealing with.
Your relief from hemorrhoids could be just a wipe away. In fact, there are numerous low-maintenance treatment options for the condition:
- Over-the-counter creams
- Pads containing witch hazel or numbing agents
- Regular soaking in a warm bath
- Taking oral pain relievers to control inflammation
When to Seek Medical Treatment
Both hemorrhoids and varicose veins are fairly liveable conditions. But you should still be wary of worsening symptoms. After all, you don’t want your legs, feet, or anal cavity to look and feel any more unpleasant than they already do.
Notify a doctor if you notice the following hemorrhoid issues:
- You are experiencing blood in your stool or rectal bleeding
- Your hemorrhoids are painful and not healing
See a doctor for varicose veins when:
- You have a sudden increase in pain
- You experience calf swelling
- You develop leg sores, throbbing, fever, or red/discolored skin
- Your leg feels warm to the touch
Hemorrhoids and Varicose Veins: A Tale of Two Vein Problems
While equally annoying to deal with and look at, hemorrhoids and varicose veins are separate conditions both linked to bulging veins. What they have in common is that they are both treatable. Whether you decide to visit your trusted vein specialist or just hit up your neighborhood pharmacy, relief from those unsightly bulges and all the other irritating symptoms that come with hemorrhoids and varicose veins is within reach.