Hemorrhoid Treatment Options
What Treatments Exist For Hemorrhoids?
You don’t need to see a doctor for quick ways to ease your itching and pain, or for ongoing fixes to keep the discomfort from getting worse. The best treatments for hemorrhoids are often things you can do at home.
Many of these tips will help you avoid constipation and make it easier to go. That can stop hemorrhoids before they form, too.
Take warm baths. Soak in a bathtub filled with a few inches of warm water for about 15 minutes at a time. Do it two or three times a day and after every bowel movement. If you want to wash the area, too, use unscented soap and don’t scrub.
Pat gently afterward to dry. You can even use a blow dryer on a cool setting if that feels better.
There are also special “sitz baths” you can put directly on your toilet seat to make soaking easier.
Rub on relief. Over-the-counter wipes or creams with witch hazel can soothe pain and itch with no side effects. Don’t use one with hydrocortisone for more than a week unless your doctor says it’s OK.
Ice it. Put a small cold pack on the trouble spot several times a day. It can dull pain and bring down the swelling for a little while.
Consider painkillers. An over-the-counter medicine, like acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen, could help with soreness.
Don’t scratch. You could damage the skin and make the irritation — and the itching — worse.
Choose cotton. Wear loose, soft underwear. It keeps the area aired out and stops moisture from building up, which can bother your hemorrhoids.
Good Bathroom Habits
Limit your time on the throne. If you don’t go after a few minutes, don’t wait or force something to happen. Try to get into a routine where you go at the same time every day.
Be gentle. If toilet paper is irritating, try dampening it first. Or use pre-moistened wipes, cotton balls, or alcohol-free baby wipes.
Don’t hold it in. When you feel like you have to go, do it. Don’t wait for a better time or place. Stool can back up. And that can lead to straining and more pressure. Go as soon as you can when you feel the urge.
Try a squat position. Put a short bench or a stack of phone books under your feet when you go to the bathroom. Raising your knees as you sit on the toilet changes the position of your inner workings and could make bowel movements easier.
Bump up the fiber. It softens your stools and makes them move through your body more easily. You’ll find it in beans, whole-grain breads and cereals, and fresh fruits and veggies. You may also want to try a supplement if you can’t get enough from foods. Add fiber slowly to help avoid gas and bloating.
Drink lots of fluids. Stay well hydrated to keep stools soft so they’re easier to pass. Water is the best choice. Drink plenty throughout the day. Prune juice is a natural laxative and can help you go.
Exercise regularly. Even brisk walking 20-30 minutes every day can help keep you from getting stopped up.
Dab witch hazel on irritated hemorrhoids, or use over-the-counter creams or ointments made for hemorrhoid symptoms, Medicated pads, Suppositories
Injection. Your doctor can inject an internal hemorrhoid with a solution to create a scar and close off the hemorrhoid. The shot hurts only a little.
Rubber band ligation. This procedure is often done on prolapsed hemorrhoids, internal hemorrhoids that can be seen or felt outside. Using a special tool, the doctor puts a tiny rubber band around the hemorrhoid, which shuts off its blood supply almost instantly. Within a week, the hemorrhoid will dry up, shrink, and fall off.
Coagulation or cauterization. With an electric probe, a laser beam, or an infrared light, your doctor will make a tiny burn to remove tissue and painlessly seal the end of the hemorrhoid, causing it to close off and shrink. This works best for prolapsed hemorrhoids.
Surgery. For large internal hemorrhoids or extremely uncomfortable external hemorrhoids, your doctor may want to do a traditional hemorrhoidectomy to remove them, or a newer technique using staples.
Medical treatments are effective, but unless you change your diet and lifestyle, hemorrhoids may come back.
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