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Hemorrhoids

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Home Treatment

Home treatment, which mainly involves establishing healthy bowel habits, may keep your hemorrhoids from getting worse.

You can use the following suggestions to keep hemorrhoids from getting worse or to relieve your symptoms.

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Avoid making hemorrhoids worse

  • 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 cloth.
  • 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 swelling.
  • 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 hemorrhoids.
  • 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.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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