How to Treat Hemorrhoids at Home

Medically Reviewed by Zilpah Sheikh, MD on May 25, 2024
4 min read

If you're struggling with hemorrhoids, you may not need to see a doctor for quick ways to ease your itching and pain or for ongoing help 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.

There are also special "sitz baths" you can put directly on your toilet seat to make soaking easier.

Pat gently afterward to dry. You can even use a blow dryer on a cool setting if that feels better.





Rub on relief. Over-the-counter wipes or creams with lidocaine or 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.

Apply the cream up to four times a day. Contact your doctor if your symptoms don't improve within a week. 

Ice it. Put a small cold pack on the trouble spot several times a day for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. It can dull pain and bring down the swelling for a little while. You can use a hemorrhoid ice pack designed especially for icing hemorrhoids or just an ice pack wrapped in a towel.

Consider painkillers. An over-the-counter medicine, like acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen, could help with soreness.

Add more fiber to your diet. Take a fiber supplement like psyllium husk powder (Konsyl or Metamucil) or methylcellulose (Citrucel) to help soften your stool. Try to get 20-35 grams of fiber a day.

Take a stool softener. Medicines like stool softeners can ease constipation and make it less painful to poop.

Try hemorrhoidal suppositories. A suppository is a solid form of medication that you insert into your rectum that can help relieve discomfort and swelling.

Limit your time on the toilet. 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 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.

Choose cotton. Wear loose, soft underwear. It keeps the area aired out and stops moisture from building up, which can bother your hemorrhoids.

Add too much fiber too fast. Fiber softens your stools and helps 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. But be sure to add fiber slowly to help avoid gas and bloating.

Become dehydrated. Stay well hydrated to keep stools soft so they're easier to pass. Water is the best choice, so drink plenty throughout the day. Prune juice is a natural laxative and can help you go.

Skip exercise. Even brisk walking 20-30 minutes every day can help keep you from getting stopped up.

Forget to breathe. Keep the air moving in and out when you're working hard. It's common to hold your breath as you're pushing, pulling, or making an effort (you probably don't realize you're doing it) -- and that can lead to hemorrhoid pain and bleeding.

Sit on hard surfaces. Sit on a cushion instead of a hard surface. It will ease swelling for any hemorrhoids you have. It may also help prevent new ones from forming.

Sit still. If you must sit for a long time, get up every hour and move around for at least 5 minutes.

Scratch. You could damage the skin and make the irritation -- and the itching -- worse.

Most of the time, hemorrhoids go away on their own, but there are at home treatments you can try to ease your symptoms. Applying ice or topical hemorrhoid cream can soothe pain, but making lifestyle changes like getting more fiber in your diet, drinking plenty of water, and exercising can keep you regular and avoid hemorrhoid pain in the long-term. If your symptoms are painful and last longer than a week, contact your doctor.

Do hemorrhoids go away on their own?

Often, hemorrhoids will go away on their own within a week, but you can ease your symptoms with at home treatments by applying hemorrhoid cream and ice packs in the meantime.