You can often relieve the mild pain, swelling and inflammation of hemorrhoids with home treatments. Often these are the only treatments needed.
- Use topical treatments. Apply an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream or suppository containing hydrocortisone, or use pads containing witch hazel or a numbing agent.
- Soak regularly in a warm bath or sitz bath. Soak your anal area in plain warm water 10 to 15 minutes two to three times a day. A sitz bath fits over the toilet. You can get one at most drugstores.
- Keep the anal area clean. Bathe (preferably) or shower daily to cleanse the skin around your anus gently with warm water. Soap isn't necessary and may aggravate the problem. Avoid alcohol based or perfumed wipes. Gently dry the area with a hair dryer after bathing.
- Don't use dry toilet paper. To help keep the anal area clean after a bowel movement, use moist towelettes or wet toilet paper that doesn't contain perfume or alcohol.
- Apply cold. Apply ice packs or cold compresses on your anus to relieve swelling.
- Take oral pain relievers. You can use acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) temporarily to help relieve your discomfort.
With these treatments, hemorrhoid symptoms often go away within a week. See your doctor if you don't get relief in a week, or sooner if you have severe pain or bleeding.
June 19, 2013
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