How to treat hemorrhoids at home?
Almost everyone will experience hemorrhoids at least once in their lives and this risk increases the older we get. Thankfully, hemorrhoids (also known as piles) can usually be treated at home with the help of a pharmacy and are rarely serious enough for you to need to see a doctor.
Types of Hemorrhoids
- Internal Hemorrhoids: These hemorrhoids are those that are inside the rectum and they usually can’t be seen or felt. They rarely cause any symptoms or pain, but sometimes straining or irritation during bowel movements can cause painless bleeding from your rectum. Repeated irritation may lead to some discomfort as well.
- Prolapsed Hemorrhoid: An internal hemorrhoid inside the rectum that pushes and protrudes out of the anal opening. These are usually painful and cause irritation or bleeding.
- External Hemorrhoids: These hemorrhoids are located outside your anus or under the skin around your anal opening. They can be seen and felt and cause more symptoms and discomfort than internal hemorrhoids. Symptoms can include itching, pain, swelling, and bleeding.
Other symptoms of hemorrhoids can include:
- Bright red blood in the toilet or on your toilet tissue
- Feeling like you still need to empty your bowels after going to the toilet
- Mucus discharge
What Are Bleeding Hemorrhoids?
Sometimes hemorrhoids can develop blood clots inside of them, creating what’s called a thrombosed hemorrhoid or a bleeding hemorrhoid. They can be quite itchy and painful but aren’t as serious as they may sound. Even though these types of piles are called “bleeding hemorrhoids” it’s important to remember all types of hemorrhoids can bleed.
It’s unclear why some people develop thrombosed hemorrhoids, but it is thought excessive strain and pressure might be the cause. They tend to clear up fine on their own but if the bleeding hasn’t stopped within a week or you start bleeding heavily, seek medical attention right away.
While hemorrhoids can’t always be prevented, there are many things you can do to keep things working the way they should be down there.
- Avoid sitting for long periods of time
- Try not to strain when using the toilet
- Drink plenty of water
- Walk as much as possible
- Go whenever you feel the urge
- Wear loose clothing and natural fibre underwear
- Eat a diet with plenty of fibre
- Keep the area dry and clean
- Take a sitz bath (where you soak the affected area in a few inches of water and Epsom salts)
- Use an ice pack to reduce swelling and pain
- Use a specialised pillow when you need to sit down
- Try painkillers for any discomfort
- Use hemorrhoids medications
One of the most common treatments for piles is topical hemorrhoid medications. These creams are applied directly to the affected area to provide relief and to help along the healing process of the hemorrhoids.
- Proctosedyl Ointment: Proctosedyl has cinchocaine (a local anaesthetic for pain relief) and hydrocortisone (a corticosteroid that reduces inflammation and itching).
- Scheriproct Ointment: Scheriproct contains two active ingredients, a local anaesthetic called cinchocaine which relieves pain and irritation and a steroid called prednisolone which reduces inflammation, swelling, and itching.