Reviewed by Christine Kijek, Registered Colorectal Nurse, on September 10, 2022
Hemorrhoids or piles are swollen veins around the anus or at the lower rectum. The condition is similar to varicose veins and typically develops due to factors like straining during bowel movements or increased pressure on the veins in the rectal area. Hemorrhoids during pregnancy or due to sexual intercourse are quite common. There are two primary categories of hemorrhoids based on their location: internal hemorrhoids (inside the anus or rectum) and external hemorrhoids (outside the anus) based on their location inside the rectum. External hemorrhoids are the most common type. Symptoms of piles can be pain, itching, bleeding, and difficulty in sitting.
Hemorrhoids are the most prevalent ailments that can significantly impact the quality of life. Around 10 million people report incidences of hemorrhoids in the USA each year. Both men and women experience hemorrhoids at the same rate. About half of the adult population experiences the symptoms of hemorrhoids by the time they reach the age of 50. Although this might cause pain and discomfort, but is usually not a life-threatening condition. With proper care and lifestyle changes, it is easy to treat hemorrhoids. You can also learn how to treat hemorrhoids at home by using basic home remedies.
The signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids depend upon their location. Common symptoms of hemorrhoids are:
Internal hemorrhoids lie inside the rectum and cannot be seen or felt. However, if the surface of the hemorrhoid is damaged due to straining, it might cause bleeding. Occasionally, internal hemorrhoids are pushed out through the anal opening due to excessive straining. This creates a protruding or prolapsed hemorrhoid, which can be painful. Sometimes, blood pools inside the external hemorrhoid, forming a blood clot (thrombus) and resulting in severe pain, swelling, and inflammation. This hard lump around the anus can be extremely painful and may need to be surgically removed.
Hemorrhoids or piles can develop due to increased pressure in the anus or lower rectum. Hemorrhoids develop when the tissue supporting the anus and lower rectum veins become weak and stretch. They are known to become more prevalent with age. Though the exact cause of hemorrhoids is unknown, they can occur due to:
Hemorrhoids rarely cause complications. The complications due to hemorrhoids are:
Below remedies can help prevent hemorrhoids and reduce the risk of reoccurrence:
There are a variety of home remedies for hemorrhoids that can relieve pain, swelling, itching, and inflammation at home. Often, these home treatments for hemorrhoids prove sufficient, and hemorrhoids go away within a few days. Always consult your doctor in case you have severe pain and bleeding. Follow these natural ways to get rid of hemorrhoids at home:
Hemorrhoids can be painful, and topical treatments containing analgesic agents can help numb the affected area and provide pain relief, making it more comfortable to sit, walk, and go about daily activities. Apply hemorrhoid creams or ointments that can stop the itching.
Sombra pain relieving gel can relieve external hemorrhoid pain through pain gate theory and cold therapy. It contains soothing ingredients like menthol, which can help alleviate itching and reduce discomfort in the anal area. It has a quick absorption formula; you need not worry about staining your clothes. Many people find the smell of topicals unbearable and, thus, refrain from using them. Sombra provides the patient with an ointment that has a cool, refreshing lemon scent. If you are alcohol intolerant, this gel is the best option for you to go with as it contains no alcohol at all.
Calmoseptine contains ingredients that protect the skin from irritants and moisture, which can be particularly useful for hemorrhoids as they can become inflamed and sensitive. It also provides a cooling sensation and can help alleviate itching and discomfort associated with hemorrhoids.
Although topical ointments are a relatively safe way of treating hemorrhoids, certain things need to be kept in mind.
Sitz Bath is considered to be the best cure for hemorrhoids. Soak your anal region in plain warm water for 10 to 15 minutes to minimize the pain, especially after bowel movements. Repeat the process two to three times a day for quick hemorrhoid relief. A sitz bath set fits over any standard toilet. Sitz bath sets are lightweight, durable, and easy to clean.
Drive Sitz Bath is lightweight, durable, and easy to clean. It is a useful tool to relieve pain and swelling caused by hemorrhoids, surgery, trauma, or infection of the perineum area. Also, it comes with a bag and tubing for irrigation and cleaning. You can use warm and cool water for alternating therapy Bags. The bag capacity is 2.1 US quarts, the non-kink tubing length is 60" 152.4cm), and the Basin capacity is 2 US Quarts (1.9L).
McKesson Sitz Bath is ideal for hemorrhoid treatment and other complications related to the anal and genital area. It is the best option to soothe the perineal region after an episiotomy. The complete product contains a graduated water bag and tubing, with a basin capacity of 2 quarts (2000 mL or cc).
Carex Sitz Bath is a simple portable bath device that offers comfort with warm, soothing water to the perineal area following childbirth, post-operatively, or certain female operations. The vented bowl helps prevent accidental overflow. It can be used for the treatment of hemorrhoids and other conditions in the anal and genital areas and especially after an episiotomy. The set consists of a - 2000cc Graduated bag, 60" Kink resistant tubing, a Shut-off clamp, and an instruction booklet. Carex Sitz Bath Set has wide contoured edges for comfort. Subsequently, it comes with on/off flow control and fits standard toilets.
Excessive use of coarse toilet paper can lead to skin-related problems. In fact, the skin in the perineal region is immensely delicate and thus needs extra care and protection. Also, it is important to keep the anal area clean and hygienic after bowel movements. Therefore, one should always use moist towels, wipes, or wet toilet paper, which is perfume and alcohol-free. Avoid rubbing soap or dry toilet paper over hemorrhoids. Using wipes containing aloe vera or witch hazel for hemorrhoids is recommended.
Medline NatureSoft Flushable Wipes can be useful for individuals with hemorrhoids as part of their overall care and hygiene routine. It breaks down in 15 turns. Its plumbing-safe design does not contribute to clogging, entanglement, and obstruction of pipes. If you are inclined toward environmentally friendly products, these wipes are for you. Medline NatureSoft Wipes are gentle to the touch but tough enough for all cleaning needs.
Abena Cleansing Wipes are apt for adults having hemorrhoids. It contains aloe vera and vitamin E in ample amounts that help in soothing and providing moisture to your irritated skin. The textured washcloth has a pleasant fragrance; it is hypoallergenic and is dermatologically proven too. Additionally, it does not contain alcohol and has a shelf life of 24 months.
Medline FitRight Wipes is another option to try. It is an alcohol and latex-free product that makes your skin soft and moisturized while keeping skin infections at bay. Subsequently, to ensure good hygiene, these wipes are manufactured for single-patient use to avoid the risk of cross-contamination. The absorbent material used is Spun lace, and the area of application is perineal.
Cold therapy or cryotherapy is a time-tested treatment to relieve pain and inflammation. Apply ice packs or cold compresses to help relieve hemorrhoids, swelling, and pain. Cooling comfort from cold therapy also provides soothing relief from itching caused by hemorrhoids.
Stool softeners or laxatives can help alleviate constipation, reduce stool mass, and make bowel movements quick and painless. They help in reducing the need for straining during bowel movements. Straining can worsen hemorrhoidal symptoms. You can also try a laxative enema to stimulate bowel movements.
Foam ring cushions are beneficial for those suffering from hemorrhoids and new mothers. The ring cushion adjusts to natural body contours, relieves the pressures from the perineum area, and distributes it to the buttocks and thighs.
Squatting is the best sitting position for hemorrhoids as it prevents excessive straining and damage to the anal region while on the toilet. Due to the nature of the recto-anal angle, squatting can help to have natural bowel movements.
If you have excessive pain, dizziness, and rectal bleeding during bowel movements, a physical examination may be required by the doctor. Medical tests can help rule out other serious conditions or diseases, such as colorectal cancer and anal cancer.
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Hunaid Germanwala is digital marketer and content creator at Health Products For You since 2014. He has an MS from Ulm University in ...
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