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Hemorrhoid Creams

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, it’s recommended you speak to your doctor and receive a diagnosis, especially if you’re 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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Over-The-Counter Hemorrhoid Creams

Nonprescription, over-the-counter (OTC) hemorrhoid creams usually include hydrocortisone, phenylephrine, lidocaine or a combination of similar ingredients. 

Phenylephrine is a vasoconstrictor that shrinks blood vessels. Hydrocortisone is a steroid that calms your immune response to decrease inflammation. Both of these ingredients can relieve hemorrhoid symptoms like itching, pain and burning. 

Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that temporarily numbs the area. 

Here are OTC creams to consider for hemorrhoid symptom relief:

  • Preparation H: Preparation H hemorrhoid cream is easy to find and can temporarily reduce pain. Several types of Preparation H products are available, including an anti-itch cream and an ointment for external or intrarectal use. Preparation H ointment contains phenylephrine and can be used to temporarily shrink hemorrhoidal tissue and relieve related symptoms. Preparation H anti-itch cream contains hydrocortisone. It’s designed for external use to relieve itching.
  • TucksTucks Medicated Cooling Pads contain a witch hazel solution to soothe burning, itching and irritation. You can use these pads to wipe the external affected area several times a day or after bowel movements. You may also try the Tucks Multi-Care Relief Kit, which includes cooling pads and a lidocaine cream to numb painful hemorrhoids.
  • Dr. Butler’sDr. Butler’s Hemorrhoid and Fissure Ointment contains lidocaine and phenylephrine to relieve pain and temporarily reduce swelling. This ointment is designed for both external and intrarectal use. 

It is important to keep in mind that these treatments are not meant to be used long-term. Talk to your doctor about which OTC Hemorrhoid Cream may be right for you.

DIY Hemorrhoid Creams

If you prefer to try homemade hemorrhoid ointments or creams or use natural remedies, there are  a few options. Here are a some DIY treatments you might try for fast relief:

  • Petroleum jelly: If hemorrhoids are causing discomfort during bowel movements, consider using petroleum jelly. You can apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to your anal area which may make bowel movements easier.
  • Aloe vera: Aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory properties which can soothe symptoms. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, aloe vera is generally well-tolerated and has been shown to promote burn healing and decrease pain from burns. If you choose to use aloe vera as a DIY hemorrhoid treatment cream, make sure you choose pure aloe vera to avoid irritation from other ingredients. You can apply the pure gel to the affected area frequently.
  • Epsom salt and glycerin: A DIY hemorrhoid relief cream made with Epsom salt and glycerin is a simple, effective treatment. You can mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt with 2 tablespoons of glycerin and add the mixture to a gauze pad. Place the pad on the affected area for about 15 minutes to relieve hemorrhoid pain.
  • Witch hazel: Witch hazel is a plant with soothing, anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a natural astringent, meaning it shrinks tissues. You can buy witch hazel in anti-itch wipes or purchase it in liquid form. If you choose liquid witch hazel, add a small amount to a cotton ball or toilet paper and apply it directly to the painful area. Make sure the witch hazel is alcohol-free to prevent irritation.
  • Coconut oil: Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, so it can potentially reduce hemorrhoid discomfort. To use coconut oil, you can melt it and mix it with witch hazel. Apply the mixture to your hemorrhoids using a cotton ball multiple times a day. You can also add about half a cup of coconut oil to your bath water to soothe hemorrhoids.

person putting aloe on their hand

How Do You Use Hemorrhoid Cream?

How you apply hemorrhoid cream depends on the type of product you choose. Some hemorrhoid creams can be applied inside the anal area, while others are made only for external use. For example, Preparation H anti-itch cream is for external use only. You can apply this cream to the affected area three to four times a day. If symptoms do not subside after seven days or clear up then reappear, it’s recommended to stop using the cream and meet with a doctor.

Regardless of the cream you choose, make sure to carefully read its directions to prevent harmful side effects and get the most relief from the product. And remember to speak with your doctor before choosing a cream option to select one that’s right for you.

Are Hemorrhoid Creams Safe During Pregnancy?

According to the Mayo Clinic, you can use pads soaked with witch hazel, like Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads, to relieve hemorrhoid symptoms during pregnancy. It may also be safe to use an OTC hydrocortisone cream. It’s best to talk to your doctor and ask what they recommend before using any hemorrhoid remedy, but there are safe options to use during pregnancy.

Are Hemorrhoid Creams Effective?

OTC hemorrhoid creams and ointments can be effective for temporarily relieving symptoms, but creams do not make hemorrhoids go away permanently. The effectiveness of hemorrhoid cream can vary with the product used and the individual. Most home remedies and OTC hemorrhoid creams have not been studied for safety or effectiveness for prolonged use, but if used too often or for more than a week, hemorrhoid creams could cause side effects. 

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