Hemorrhoids may or may not cause symptoms. They may include:
Pain and discomfort around the anus.
Moist, pink pads of skin protruding from the anus; sometimes the skin may appear purple or blue.
Bleeding from the anus.
Blot the anus gently with white toilet paper
moistened with water or a cleansing agent (such as Balneol) after bowel
movements. Baby wipes or other premoistened towels (such as Tucks) are also
useful for this purpose.
Avoid rubbing the anal area. You can rinse
off in the shower or on a bidet instead of wiping yourself with toilet paper.
After cleansing, gently pat the anal area dry with a soft, absorbent towel or
Use soaps that contain no perfumes or dyes.
Relieve pain and itching
Take nonprescription pain relievers. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help with pain. Aspirin and other nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) can help with pain and
Apply ice several times a day for 10 minutes
at a time. Follow this by placing a warm compress on the anal area for another
10 to 20 minutes.
Take a sitz bath. Fill your bathtub with just
enough warm water to cover the anal area. Do this several times a day,
especially after you have had a bowel movement. Soak for about 15 minutes at a
time. Be careful! If the water is too warm, it can burn you.
Use nonprescription medicines as recommended by your
doctor or pharmacist. See Medications for information on nonprescription ointments, creams, and suppositories.
Other comfort measures
You may need a day or more of bed rest to
take pressure off inflamed, irritated veins. If you are pregnant,
you may find it helpful to lie on your side. If you are not pregnant, sleeping
on your stomach with a pillow under your hips will help reduce swelling of
Try not to sit or stand for a long time when
hemorrhoids are irritated. If you must sit for a long time, sit on a pillow.
Avoid lifting heavy objects.
Wear cotton underwear to prevent
moisture buildup, which can irritate hemorrhoids. Wear loose clothing to allow
freedom of movement and to reduce pressure on the anal area.