Hemorrhoids, another name for piles, are swollen veins around the anus that affect the anal area with symptoms including pain, itching, and even bleeding. Many people develop hemorrhoids after the age of 30. However, those over 50 are prone to this condition because of the aging process. Although hemorrhoids can be cleared up without medical intervention and only cause complications in very rare cases, this condition still causes discomfort and will recur if left untreated.
Here are some simple home remedies that will ease the symptoms and help them disappear so you won’t have to pay the high cost of prescription medicine. However, if home treatments do not work after two weeks, you should consult your doctor for other options.
1. Be careful how you use the toilet
Sitting on the toilet can be a nightmare for those who suffer from hemorrhoids; so, you need to keep a few things in mind before going to the bathroom. When you strain and push to force a bowel movement it will worsen your hemorrhoids.
If nothing comes out after 2 minutes, it’s better to get up and try again later. Listen to your body when you feel the urge to push out a bowel movement and do it without using force. Avoid delaying using the toilet because that compresses the stool, allowing the bowel to absorb water from it. This causes you to strain when you push and is stressful. Make sure to gently clean the area so it won’t become more irritated and make your hemorrhoids worse.
2. Use soothing wipes
Toilet paper can be scratchy and will cause more irritation. Try using moist towelettes that do not contain alcohol and are fragrance-free. Unscented baby wipes are usually gentle and work well. You may also find wipes that are specific to hemorrhoids that you can buy in a pharmacy or online.
3. Take a warm bath
A warm bath is soothing and can relieve hemorrhoid irritation. Sit in the tub for 20 minutes after each bowel movement to reduce swelling. If you don’t want to bother with a full bath, try a sitz bath which is a small plastic bowl that sits on the toilet seat.
You can also combine the following ingredients and apply it to the hemorrhoid area to ease your irritation.
- Mix 2 tablespoons each of Epsom salts and glycerin
- Spread the mixture over a gauze pad and apply it to your external hemorrhoids.
- Leave the application for 15-20 minutes
4. Try witch hazel
Witch hazel can be directly applied to your external hemorrhoids and is an effective remedy to relieve swelling. It can relieve both the itching and pain that occurs because it contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. You can find it at most drugstores in the form of a distilled liquid, soaps, ointments, anti-itch wipes or in medicated pads. Natural witch hazel is an astringent; which will shrink and contract the blood vessels causing the irritation. Try the home remedy below using witch hazel:
- Chill a bottle of witch hazel in the fridge or in an ice bucket before using
- Soak a cotton ball into a small amount of pure witch hazel
- Dab the cotton ball onto the hemorrhoidal area until it’s no longer cold.
- Repeat the process 2-3 times.
Note: Make sure the witch hazel you use is not mixed with alcohol because it will sting and aggravate your hemorrhoids.
5. Soothing aloe vera
People have been using aloe vera for thousands of years thanks to its therapeutic properties and it has been proven to heal all sorts of irritations, including hemorrhoids. Its anti-inflammatory properties will provide relief from the swelling, burning, and itching associated with hemorrhoids. You can apply pure aloe vera gel to your anus directly. if you have an aloe plant growing in your garden you can harvest the gel directly from the plant’s leaves. Be careful because some individuals are allergic to aloe vera. If you are allergic to garlic or onions you may also be allergic to aloe vera. It’s always best to test for an allergic reaction by applying a small amount to your forearm to see if you have a reaction to it.
6. Eat a fiber-rich diet
Make sure to drink plenty of water and consume enough fiber to avoid getting hemorrhoids in the first place and to make digestion easier. When you add enough fiber into your diet it helps your body absorb water that will loosen your stools and make them less prone to constipation.
High-fiber foods include beans, broccoli, fruits, and oatmeal. Along with eating fiber-rich foods, you can also try taking a fiber supplement as a substitute, or both if necessary. Metamucil, FiberCon or Citrucel, are effective “stool softeners” that come in capsules, powder, or liquids and are easy to take orally.
Bear in mind that you can’t rush a bowel movement. If you are constipated, increase your daily fiber amount slowly (25-30 grams per day) or take supplements no more than 1-3 times a day. Drink plenty of fluids along with a fiber-rich and get adequate exercise.
7. If your hemorrhoids are severely irritated use an ice pack
Once your hemorrhoids become so severe that they are painful and affecting your daily routine, try applying an ice pack or cold compress. it is one of the most effective home remedies for hemorrhoids.
- Wrap the ice inside a small towel or cloth to avoid direct exposure to the skin
- Apply to the anus for 15 minutes at a time and repeat the process hourly.
8. Wear loose, cotton clothing
Avoid wearing tight clothes made of polyester and instead wear loose-fitting clothes made with breathable cotton, especially when it comes to your underwear and pants. This will help you keep the anal area dry and free from excess sweat, which will help reduce hemorrhoid symptoms.
9. Over-the-counter products
If you feel that these simple home remedies for hemorrhoids are not working to ease your pain from severe and chronic hemorrhoids, you may want to try some of the over-the-counter ointments and creams that are available in most drugstores. However, be aware that most of these products will only ease the pain but not the cause of your symptoms.
You can try taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen or apply creams that contain hydrocortisone like Preparation H, which will reduce swelling temporarily. However, it’s better not to use them more than a week at a time. Always consult your doctor if your symptoms are severe and before purchasing any over-the-counter products.
These really work!