Difference Between Pinworms and Hemorrhoids

Main Difference – Pinworms and Hemorrhoids

Pinworms and hemorrhoids are two conditions that cause anal itching. The underlying cause for anal itching is determined by a physician by considering the other accompanying symptoms of the disease. Anal fissures and some skin complications may also cause anal itching. The main difference between pinworms and hemorrhoids is that pinworms are small nematodes that are internal parasites in vertebrates while hemorrhoids are the swollen veins in the region of the anus.

Key Areas Covered

1. What are Pinworms
     – Definition, Facts, Reason for Anal Itching
2. What are Hemorrhoids
    – Definition, Facts, Reason for Anal Itching
3. What are the Similarities Between Pinworms and Hemorrhoids
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Pinworms and Hemorrhoids
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: Anal Itching, Eggs, External Hemorrhoids, Internal Hemorrhoids, Nematodes, Pinworms, Rectum

Difference Between Pinworms and Hemorrhoids - Comparison Summary

What are Pinworms

Pinworms refer to small nematodes that are internal parasites of vertebrates. The ingestion or breathing of pinworm eggs causes the disease. The anal itching and the restless sleep are the main symptoms of the disease. The pinworm infection is contagious. It is also called seatworm infection and threadworm infection. The eggs of pinworms can be found in bed linens, towels, clothing, toilets as well as food. The life cycle of pinworms is shown in figure 1.

Difference Between Pinworms and Hemorrhoids

Figure 1: Life Cycle of Pinworms

The eggs hatch in the small intestine. The larva of pinworms moves into the large intestine. The adult pinworms live inside the large intestine with their heads attached to the wall of the bowel. About 1 to 2 months of infection, female pinworms move to the rectum where they lay their eggs. This trigger the itching around the anus. As the worms move to the rectum at night, the itching is worse at night. The pinworm infection can spread to the vagina in females, causing vaginal discharge.

What are Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids refer to the swollen veins in the region of the anus. The swollen hemorrhoids are also called piles. It is caused by the buildup pressure in the lower rectum that affects the blood flow. This may occur during pregnancy, obese, and from extra weight. The external and internal hemorrhoids are shown in figure 2.

Main Difference - Pinworms vs Hemorrhoids

Figure 2: External and Internal Hemorrhoids

The two types of hemorrhoids are the internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids generate less pain as fewer nerve endings are associated with the internal rectum. The only sign of internal hemorrhoids is bleeding. External hemorrhoids occur under the skin around the anus. As there are many nerve endings in the area, external hemorrhoids generate considerable pain. The bigger or prolapsed hemorrhoids may budge outside the anal sphincter. These hemorrhoids can be identified as moist bumps in a pinker area. The blood clots formed in the external hemorrhoids may cause anal itching, bleeding, and irritated skin. The color of external hemorrhoids can be purple or blue.

Similarities Between Pinworms and Hemorrhoids

  • Pinworms and hemorrhoids are associated with the rectum.
  • Both pinworms and hemorrhoids can cause anal itching.

Difference Between Pinworms and Hemorrhoids

Definition

Pinworms: Pinworms refer to small nematodes that are internal parasites in vertebrates.

Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids refer to the swollen veins in the region of the anus.

Significance

Pinworms: Pinworms are parasitic nematodes.

Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids are vascular structures in the anal canal.

Anal Itching

Pinworms: The eggs of pinworms cause anal itching.

Hemorrhoids: The inflamed hemorrhoids cause anal itching.

Other Symptoms

Pinworms: The restless sleep and bleeding are the other symptom associated with the anal itching in pinworms.

Hemorrhoids: Bleeding, pain, redness, grape-like budges are the other symptoms of the hemorrhoids.

Complications

Pinworms: Anal itching may cause the spread of pinworms when the eggs are lodged under fingernails.

Hemorrhoids: Anal itching may cause bacterial infections.

Conclusion

Pinworms and hemorrhoids are two causes of anal itching. Pinworms are internal parasites of vertebrates that live in the intestine. They lay eggs in the anal area, causing itching. Hemorrhoids are inflamed veins in the rectum. The excess pressure on blood vessels may cause inflammation. These blood vessels may also cause anal itching. The main difference between pinworms and hemorrhoids is the way they cause anal itching.

Reference:

1. “Pinworm.” Edited by Joanne Murren-Boezem, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, July 2017, Available here.
2. “What Are Hemorrhoids?” WebMD, WebMD, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Enterobius vermicularis LifeCycle” By Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) –  (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Internal and external hemorrhoids” By WikipedianProlific and Mikael Häggström – File:Hemorrhoid.png by WikipedianProlific (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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