how to treat external hemorrhoids over the counter

how to treat external hemorrhoids over the counter

How to Treat External Hemorrhoids Over the Counter


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Are you dealing with the discomfort and irritation of external hemorrhoids? Finding relief doesn't have to mean a trip to the doctor or expensive prescription medications. In fact, you can treat external hemorrhoids over the counter right from the comfort of your own home.

In this article, we will guide you through the various options available to effectively treat external hemorrhoids without a prescription. From medicated creams to suppositories, we will explore the best over-the-counter treatments to relieve itching, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.

We understand that dealing with external hemorrhoids can be a sensitive and personal issue. That's why we've researched and compiled the most effective over-the-counter solutions to help you find relief discreetly and with ease. Whether you're looking for a quick fix or a long-term solution, we've got you covered.

Say goodbye to the pain and discomfort caused by external hemorrhoids and discover the top over-the-counter treatments that can bring you relief and peace of mind. Read on to find the solution that works best for you.


Understanding External Hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels located around the anus. They can cause pain, itching, and discomfort, making everyday activities challenging. It's essential to understand the causes and symptoms of external hemorrhoids to effectively treat them.

Causes of External Hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids can occur due to various factors, including:

  1. Straining during bowel movements
  2. Chronic constipation or diarrhea
  3. Pregnancy and childbirth
  4. Obesity
  5. Sedentary lifestyle
  6. Aging

Symptoms of External Hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids may present with the following symptoms:

  1. Pain and discomfort in the anal area
  2. Itching and irritation
  3. Swelling and inflammation
  4. Bleeding during bowel movements
  5. A lump or swelling near the anus

Now that you understand the causes and symptoms of external hemorrhoids, let's explore the over-the-counter treatments available to provide relief.


Over-the-Counter Treatments for External Hemorrhoids

When it comes to treating external hemorrhoids, there is a wide range of over-the-counter options available. These treatments can help alleviate symptoms, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Let's take a closer look at the most effective over-the-counter treatments for external hemorrhoids.

Topical Creams and Ointments for External Hemorrhoids

One of the most common over-the-counter treatments for external hemorrhoids is topical creams and ointments. These products contain active ingredients that provide relief from itching, reduce inflammation, and soothe the affected area.

When choosing a topical cream or ointment, look for ingredients such as:

  1. Hydrocortisone: This anti-inflammatory agent helps reduce swelling and itching.
  2. Witch hazel: Known for its astringent properties, witch hazel can help shrink hemorrhoids and relieve discomfort.
  3. Lidocaine: This numbing agent provides temporary relief from pain and itching.

To apply the cream or ointment, clean the affected area gently and follow the instructions on the packaging. Apply a thin layer and avoid using excessive amounts as it may cause further irritation.

Oral Medications for External Hemorrhoids

In some cases, over-the-counter oral medications can help provide relief from external hemorrhoids. These medications are available in the form of tablets, capsules, or powders and are designed to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and promote healing.

Some common oral medications for external hemorrhoids include:

  1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These medications help reduce pain and inflammation.
  2. Fiber supplements: By increasing your fiber intake, these supplements can help soften stools and prevent constipation, reducing the strain on hemorrhoids.

It's important to read the instructions carefully and consult a healthcare professional if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

Sitz Baths and Cold Compresses for External Hemorrhoids

Sitz baths and cold compresses are simple yet effective ways to find relief from the discomfort of external hemorrhoids. A sitz bath involves sitting in warm water for about 15-20 minutes, which can help reduce swelling and improve blood flow to the affected area.

To take a sitz bath, follow these steps:

  1. Fill a bathtub or a sitz bath basin with warm water.
  2. Sit in the water, ensuring that the affected area is submerged.
  3. Relax and soak for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Gently pat the area dry with a clean towel.

Cold compresses can also provide temporary relief from itching and inflammation. Simply wrap a few ice cubes in a clean cloth and apply it to the affected area for a few minutes. Repeat this several times a day as needed.

Lifestyle Changes to Manage External Hemorrhoids

In addition to over-the-counter treatments, certain lifestyle changes can help manage external hemorrhoids and prevent their recurrence. Consider incorporating the following habits into your daily routine:

  1. Increase fiber intake: Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help soften stools and prevent constipation.
  2. Stay hydrated: Drinking an adequate amount of water can help keep stools soft and prevent straining during bowel movements.
  3. Exercise regularly: Engaging in physical activity can promote regular bowel movements and improve overall circulation.
  4. Avoid sitting for prolonged periods: If your job requires sitting for long hours, make sure to take frequent breaks and stretch your legs.

By adopting these lifestyle changes, you can reduce the frequency and severity of external hemorrhoid flare-ups.


When to See a Doctor for External Hemorrhoids

While over-the-counter treatments can effectively manage mild to moderate cases of external hemorrhoids, it's important to know when to seek medical attention. If your symptoms persist despite using over-the-counter treatments, or if you experience severe pain, excessive bleeding, or signs of infection, it's time to consult a healthcare professional.

A doctor can provide a proper diagnosis, rule out any underlying conditions, and recommend further treatment options if necessary.


Natural Remedies for External Hemorrhoids

If you prefer a more natural approach to treating external hemorrhoids, several home remedies can provide relief. These remedies can be used alongside over-the-counter treatments or as standalone options. Here are a few natural remedies to consider:

  1. Aloe vera: Apply a small amount of pure aloe vera gel to the affected area for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. Witch hazel compress: Soak a clean cloth in witch hazel and apply it to the affected area for 15-20 minutes several times a day.
  3. Epsom salt bath: Add a cup of Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for 15-20 minutes to reduce inflammation and alleviate discomfort.

Natural remedies may not work for everyone, so it's important to listen to your body and adjust your treatment plan accordingly.



Dealing with external hemorrhoids can be uncomfortable, but finding relief doesn't have to be a hassle. By utilizing over-the-counter treatments, making lifestyle changes, and exploring natural remedies, you can effectively manage external hemorrhoids from the comfort of your own home.

Remember, everyone's experience with external hemorrhoids is unique, so it's essential to find the treatment approach that works best for you. Whether you opt for topical creams, oral medications, sitz baths, or a combination of treatments, the goal is to reduce symptoms, promote healing, and improve your overall quality of life.

Say goodbye to the discomfort and irritation caused by external hemorrhoids and embrace the relief and peace of mind that over-the-counter treatments can provide. Take control of your health and start your journey towards a hemorrhoid-free life today.

What are external hemorrhoids?

External hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels located under the skin around the anus. They can cause discomfort, itching, and pain, making it difficult to carry out daily activities. While there are various treatment options available, many people prefer to start with over-the-counter remedies before seeking medical intervention.

What over-the-counter treatments are available?

There are several over-the-counter treatments that can help alleviate the symptoms of external hemorrhoids:

1. Topical creams and ointments

Topical creams and ointments containing ingredients such as hydrocortisone, witch hazel, or lidocaine can provide temporary relief from itching and pain. These products work by reducing inflammation and numbing the area. It's important to follow the instructions on the packaging and avoid using them for extended periods without consulting a healthcare professional.

2. Medicated wipes

Medicated wipes, often infused with witch hazel or aloe vera, can be used to gently cleanse the affected area after bowel movements. They can help reduce irritation and provide a soothing effect. It's advisable to choose wipes that are fragrance-free and alcohol-free to avoid further irritation.

3. Oral pain relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help manage the discomfort associated with external hemorrhoids. These medications can reduce pain and inflammation, but it's important to follow the recommended dosage and consult a healthcare professional if the pain persists or worsens.

4. Stool softeners

Stool softeners, available in the form of oral medications or suppositories, can help prevent straining during bowel movements. Straining can exacerbate the symptoms of external hemorrhoids. Stool softeners work by adding moisture to the stool, making it easier to pass. It's crucial to drink plenty of water while using stool softeners to avoid dehydration.

5. Sitz baths

A sitz bath involves soaking the affected area in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day. This can help reduce inflammation, relieve itching, and promote healing. Adding Epsom salts or baking soda to the water may provide additional relief. After the bath, gently pat the area dry with a soft towel.

When should you consult a healthcare professional?

While over-the-counter treatments can provide temporary relief, it's important to consult a healthcare professional if:

  • The symptoms persist or worsen despite using over-the-counter remedies
  • You experience excessive bleeding
  • You have severe pain or discomfort
  • You notice a lump or swelling around the anus

A healthcare professional can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options based on the severity of your condition.

In conclusion

Over-the-counter treatments can be effective in managing the symptoms of external hemorrhoids. However, it's essential to follow the instructions, use them as directed, and consult a healthcare professional if the symptoms persist or worsen. Maintaining good hygiene, avoiding straining during bowel movements, and incorporating fiber-rich foods into your diet can also help prevent the recurrence of external hemorrhoids.

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