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"I noticed a leathery rectal tissue. What could it be?"
During a self examination of the rectum tonight I felt a large patch of leathery and rough tissue on the front side (towards the belly button) of the rectal lining. My thoughts are hemorrhoids but the size of it has me concerned it may be something else. As this is a little embarrassing for me (stupid I know) I'm hoping you can give me a little information so I don't have to go to my family doctor totally in the dark. Any information is greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your question regarding the rectal tissue you have noticed. First of all, you should never feel embarrassed about any health problem you are facing! It is our job as doctors to know more about medical conditions and as such, I encourage you to visit your doctor right away. It is impossible to know exactly what is going on without a doctor performing a thorough physical examination and being able to see the mass in person. That being said, hemorrhoids could certainly be the cause of this tissue you are feeling. Keep in mind that hemorrhoids are actually normal veins that exist in the rectum. They only become a problem when they become swollen, itchy, and painful. They can cause rectal bleeding ranging from a small amount of blood on the toilet paper to blood that coats the stool. There are both internal and external hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids can be visible and usually cause pain. Internal hemorrhoids usually do not cause pain and typically aren't visible, but could possibly be felt if you are self examining. There are other potential causes for the mass. If you are sexually active and engaging in anal sex, genital warts are a possibility. Genital warts are caused by the human papilloma virus and can look like flesh colored bumps or appear cauliflower-like. Please visit your doctor who can help you identify the source of this tissue.
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