How To Alleviate The Presence And Pain Of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are, unfortunately, very common among both women and men, and they tend to become more common with age. In fact, the National Institutes of Health says if youre over age 50, youve got about a 50% chance of developing these painful, enlarged veins.
With offices in White Plains, New York, and Manhattans Upper East Side, Michael H. Tarlowe, MD, helps patients relieve the painful symptoms of hemorrhoids with treatment plans customized for their needs. If you have painful hemorrhoids, heres how he can help you find relief.
Why Do External Hemorrhoids Itch
External hemorrhoids are more likely to become irritated simply because they start outside the anus.
Since they are outside the anus, the are more likely to rub on clothes and rough surfaces.
The swelling associated with external hemorrhoids damages skin, increasing the risk for infection, which elevates both inflammation and itching.
External thrombosed hemorrhoids occur when a clot of blood forms. They can be excruciatingly painful and possibly require surgery.
You likely won’t realize you have internal hemorrhoids until spots of turn up, either on toilet paper or in the toilet bowel itself.
- Improvements in self-care and health
Hemorrhoid Home Remedies: Warm Sitz Bath
A sitz bath refers to sitting in a few inches of warm water three times a day for 15 to 20 minutes. A sitz bath may help decrease the inflammation of hemorrhoids. Drying off the anal area completely after each sitz bath is important for minimizing moisture that irritates the skin surrounding your rectal area.
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Best Overall: Doctor Butler’s Hemorrhoid & Fissure Ointment
Courtesy of Amazon
Includes herbs and amino acids
May not be effective for fissures
We recommend Doctor Butler’s Hemorrhoid & Fissure Ointment and it’s our top overall choice because it treats a variety of symptoms. It contains lidocaine to numb the pain, phenylephrine to shrink the enlarged veins, and a handful of soothing ingredients like aloe vera and horse chestnut to calm itching and inflammation.
We also like that Doctor Butler’s is formulated as an ointment to help moisturize and protect the painful fissures that often occur with hemorrhoids. Plus, the package includes “finger cots” for easy and mess-free applications.
Active Ingredients: Lidocaine USP , Phenylephrine HCl | Dose: Apply to affected area up to three times daily | Uses: Treats hemorrhoids and fissures while offering pain and itching relief
From Salt Soaks To Topical Creams We’ve Rounded Up The Most Effective Over
Susan Brickell is a senior e-commerce editor at Meredith, covering products in the form of reviews, roundups, and gift guides. She’s been a market editor and writer for nearly a decade with her finger on the pulse of the latest activewear, outdoor gear, skincare, home decor, and more. When she’s not putting a pair of leggings or new eye cream to the test, you can find her hiking U.S. national parks, planning her next surf trip, or curled up with her dog, Ollie.
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When it comes to our butts, down-there problems can be embarrassing or sensitive topics. Even hemorrhoids, as common as they are, can be difficult to understand and talk about. If you’ve gotten a hemorrhoid diagnosis from your doctor, don’t fret: Hemorrhoids affect about one in 20 Americans , and half of adults above age 50 have them, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
“We all have blood vessels in that area, but when they become enlarged, that is a hemorrhoid,” explains Health contributing medical editor Roshini Rajapaksa, MD. Constipation, straining to push out a bowel movement, pregnancy, and even prolonged sitting or cycling can put pressure on veins and cause hemorrhoids to develop, she tells us.
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Internal Hemorrhoid Itch Relief
Internal hemorrhoids are not often symptomatic. They are in an area of the anus that lacks sensing nerves. Internal hemorrhoids fall into one of four grades based on their severity.
In some cases, internal hemorrhoids become prolapsed.
This means they protrude out of the anus. Because it may be difficult to properly clean yourself after a bowel movement, prolapsed hemorrhoids can become irritated and lead to symptoms such as itching.
The most effective form of treatment for internal hemorrhoid itch relief is over-the-counter suppositories.
A suppository is a capsule-shaped medication that is inserted into the anus. These are primarily used to treat internal hemorrhoids because they are inserting into the anus.
They provide a barrier between the hemorrhoid and stool. Once inserted into the anus, the suppository begins to melt and disperse the medicated ingredients. The rectal muscles hold the suppository in place, pushing the medication further into the anal cavity.
When internal hemorrhoids become prolapsed, they can also be treated by the many of the same treatments for external hemorrhoids:
How To Safely Use Witch Hazel
Most people can use witch hazel safely with minimal risk of adverse side effects .
Ointments and extracts can be applied directly to your skin several times per day and safely administered for the treatment of hemorrhoids after each bowel movement.
Some people may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions after applying witch hazel topically.
Doing an initial skin patch test on a small portion of your skin can help prevent unwanted side effects and skin reactions.
Additionally, while taking 34 teaspoons of witch hazel per day is generally considered safe, ingesting large amounts may cause stomach irritation and vomiting .
Therefore, its best to only use small amounts orally and to discuss any side effects or concerns with your doctor.
Witch hazel can be safely applied to your skin several times per day, and small amounts can be ingested orally with minimal risk of side effects.
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Stool Softeners And Fiber
Since hemorrhoids usually develop as a result of constipation and straining to have bowel movements, Dr. Bravo says stool softeners actually play an important role in treatment.
“One of the most important steps in treating hemorrhoids is avoiding constipationhard or infrequent stoolsand stool softeners are a good option if you have chronic constipation,” he says. Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet by eating more fruits and vegetables is another good way to soften your stools, he says, adding that the recommended amount of dietary fiber is around 20 to 35 grams per day.
You can try an OTC stool softener like Colace , which doesn’t force you to have a bowel movement but simply makes it easier to pass stool. You can also try a natural stool softener with ingredients like psyllium, which is helpful if you can’t get enough fiber in your diet through the foods you eat.
Maintaining A Healthy Weight
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Cream Options For Hemorrhoid Relief
Many topical hemorrhoid treatments exist, from creams you can buy at a store to DIY solutions you can make at home. Before you select one of those options, its recommended you speak to your doctor and receive a diagnosis, especially if youre experiencing bleeding, severe pain or persistent hemorrhoids. Your doctor can rule out other potentially more serious health issues, recommend a more long-term solution to hemorrhoids, and explain your treatment options.
With that said, the following treatments may provide the immediate relief you need to go about your day.
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Best For Hemorrhoid Shrinking: Dr Coles Herbal Balm Hemorrhoid Treatment
Chock-full of expert-recommended essential oils and ingredients like witch hazel, beeswax, olive oil, yarrow, and vitamin E, this organic balm numbs and shrinks hemorrhoids gently and effectively. When you open the tin, be sure to stir the contents with a fork, as the beeswax tends to settle on top and needs to be blended into the mixture. Apply a dime-sized amount to the irritated area three to four times a day.
This product has literally saved my life, one reviewer writes. I cant use over the counter or prescription treatments. This is the only product that I dont have a severe allergic reaction to. It soothes and comforts and helps shrink the hemorrhoids.
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Equate Maximum Strength Hemorrhoid Relief
Equate is one of the most trusted company when it comes to providing products with promising results. This is a specially formulated cream which is extremely effective in targeting the pain, soreness and burning associated with hemorrhoids.
This cream works by shrinking the swollen hemorrhoid tissue and forming a protective layer over the irritated tissue.
The active ingredients used in this cream are glycerine, petroleum, phenylephrine HCl and pramoxine.
- Glycerin is helpful in easing bowel movements and treating constipation.
- It is known to reduce irritation and itching caused by external hemorrhoids.
- White petroleum soothes the burning sensation associated with anal fissures and other anarectal issues.
It also contains aloe vera which ensures to protect the skin from bacterial and fungal infections. This therapeutic cream will shrink the swollen hemorrhoids and supports healing.
This particular cream can be used for both internal and external hemorrhoids. You can apply this cream 5 times in a day for complete relief.
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Best Sitz Bath: Carex Sitz Bath
Per Dr. Nazarian’s recommendation, this small bowl fits over your toilet seat and offers a convenient way to soak and soothe the affected area. In addition to a sitz bath, this top-selling Amazon basin, which has a contoured design for optimal comfort and vents to prevent overflowing, comes with a solution bag for you to fill with your chosen hemorrhoid relief ingredients.
“This was for my boyfriend since he has hemorrhoid problems often,” one reviewer writes. “Since he refuses to go to spas and saunas, I made him do these baths on the toilet for 20 minutes and they helped a lot. It helps with cuts and swelling and the heat helps shrink hemorrhoids.”
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How Do I Stop Hemorrhoids From Itching
Now that you understand why hemorrhoids itch, the next question is likely how to stop it from happening.
While some itching is inevitable – and should be welcomed, because it means that your hemorrhoids are healing – for the most part, itching is the worst symptom associated with hemorrhoids.
There are rarely occasions when it is acceptable to attempt to scratch the itch, so stopping it is a big priority.
Cleansing gently after each trip to the restroom can help relieve itching, at least temporarily. OTC hemorrhoid medicines like hemorrhoid wipes can make a big difference in the severity of symptoms you feel.
Our best hemorrhoid wipes post will help you choose the best wipe possible.
A layer of moisture that will protect the skin and won’t immediately penetrate the surface such as petroleum jelly can also stop itching.
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What Can You Do For Relief
If you have hemorrhoids, lifestyle changes may help them heal faster. One cause of hemorrhoids is straining during bowel movements. Adding more high-fiber foods to your diet, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, can help soften your stool and make it easier to pass.
You should also drink plenty of water to help relieve constipation and reduce straining during bowel movements.
Here are some additional things that may help relieve symptoms:
- Minimize the time you sit on the toilet.
- When you feel the urge to move your bowels, go as soon as possible.
- Put your feet on a small stool during bowel movements to change the position of your rectum.
- If youre pregnant, sleep on your side. This will help relieve some of the pressure around your anus.
- Ask your doctor about taking a stool softener or a fiber supplement, such as psyllium or methylcellulose . A tablespoon of mineral oil added to food can also help soften stools.
- Keep the anal area clean. Take regular showers, and use moist wipes to clean the area around your anus after you pass a bowel movement.
- Use a sitz bath or sit in a warm tub for a few minutes to bathe the anal area.
You may also try using over-the-counter topical medications to ease discomfort, such as phenylephrine hemorrhoidal gel . These products are used if the hemorrhoids are bulging and inflamed.
Hemorrhoid Remedies You Can Try On Your Own At Home
There are several steps you can take at home to ease the discomfort caused by hemorrhoids:
- Take a sitz bath two to three times daily for 15 to 20 minutes. Sit in warm water, covering just your hips and buttocks. This can help reduce itching and irritation. You can take a sitz bath in a few inches of water in a regular tub, but small tubs that fit over toilet seats are also available for this purpose at pharmacies. Following a sitz bath, gently pat the area dry to avoid further irritation.
- Use ice packs on the area to relieve swelling and pain.
- Don’t push too hard or strain while passing a bowel movement.
- Clean your anus after each bowel movement by gently patting with moistened pads, such as baby wipes. Using hard, dry toilet paper, which may contain fragrance, can cause further irritation.
- Keep the area clean by bathing or showering daily with warm water. After bathing, gently pat the area dry. You can even use a hair dryer to dry the area.
- Sit on cushions rather than hard surfaces to help lessen the swelling of hemorrhoids and keep new ones from forming.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin as needed.
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What Are Todays Most Popular Hemorrhoid Medicine Models
There are many hemorrhoid medicine items accessible today for men and women seeking quality and reliability. Every hemorrhoid medicine model follows the same essential premise. But they appeal to various users.Its no secret that certain products appeal to specific populations. What if you could see which products were the most popular across all consumers? You can, and weve got the list. Check out our collection of products that appear to appeal to all ages, genders, and locations.
Does Walgreens Sell Treatment For Hemorrhoids
Yes, Walgreens offers many options online and in stores for treating hemorrhoids. Options include over-the-counter products such as hemorrhoid creams, ointments, gels, sprays, suppositories, and wipes that can help ease hemorrhoid symptoms. Walgreens also offers pain relivers like aspirin and ibuprofen.
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What Creams Can Be Used
Anti-inflammatory creams and pastes containing ingredients like zinc and panthenol, or herbal substances like witch hazel and aloe vera, are often recommended for the treatment of hemorrhoids. These aim to relieve skin irritations and itching.
Some doctors also prescribe ointments to numb the skin locally, for example with the drug lidocaine. Steroid creams are sometimes used to reduce the inflammation too. These should only be used for a limited amount of time.
Permanent Solutions For Hemorrhoid Burning
Home remedies are a great short-term solution to hemorrhoid burning. Home remedies work best as complementary solutions to medical treatments for hemorrhoids. Even though burning sensations are not a direct result of hemorrhoid tissue, the most effective treatments for hemorrhoid burning still focus on reducing the hemorrhoid.
Hemorrhoid treatment options vary according to hemorrhoid size and severity, which are measured in four grades:
- Grade I hemorrhoids bleed but are confined within the rectum.
- Grade II hemorrhoids prolapse, or push through the anal opening, but spontaneously retract on their own.
- Grade III hemorrhoids remain prolapsed until they are manually pushed back in place.
- Grade IV hemorrhoids are prolapsed hemorrhoids that will not retract when they are manually pushed back in place. This type oftenrequires hemorrhoid surgery.
Here are some effective solutions for hemorrhoid burning.
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