Home Remedies for Mild Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids, sometimes called piles, are a common condition that can affect about half of all people by the time they’re 50, according to the Hemorrhoid and Rectal Disease Information and Treatment Centers. Hemorrhoids are described by the Mayo Clinic as inflamed and swollen veins in the lower rectum and anus. Hemorrhoids can cause painful itching, burning, bleeding and discomfort. Hemorrhoids typically occur as a result of difficult bowel movements (chronic constipation), aging or pregnancy. Home remedies and self-care can relieve the discomfort of mild hemorrhoid flare-ups and keep the pain, swelling and inflammation from becoming more severe.
Home Remedies and Treatment
Mild cases of hemorrhoids can easily be treated with home and herbal remedies. Soak in a warm bath several times per day for at least 15 minutes. Warm water soothes and cleanses the anus and rectum. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should avoid using bath soap when you soak, because soap may further aggravate your hemorrhoids. Use a mild body wash or antibacterial soap to clean the anus and rectum when you bathe. Avoid using soaps with strong fragrances. Castile soap may also be used when bathing. Use a castile soap that contains herbal, organic and essential oils such as olive, peppermint, jojoba, tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus or almond. Before putting on undergarments, allow your skin to air-dry completely. Alternatively, the Mayo Clinic suggests using a hair dryer to dry the skin around your anus.
Use witch hazel to treat hemorrhoids that cause inflammation or bleeding. Because witch hazel has anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, it can contract blood vessels as well as shrink inflamed, swollen tissue. Soak cotton balls in witch hazel and apply it to your hemorrhoids several times daily. Witch hazel is also a main ingredient in many over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments.
Apply the anti-inflammatory herb Aloe Vera to your anal area to relieve burning and mild pain caused by hemorrhoids. Aloe Vera gel should be applied topically several times daily. Butcher’s Broom is another herb that may be applied topically to help hemorrhoid discomfort. Butcher’s Broom is also available in pill form. You may also want to try the herbal oil St. John’s Wort. The antimicrobial and astringent properties in this herb reduces hemorrhoid swelling and inflammation, according to Herbal Remedies Info.
Use the soluble fiber supplement psyllium to soften your stool. Since chronic constipation causes hemorrhoids, softening your stool promotes easier bowel movements and relieves the pressure on the lining of the bowels. You can take psyllium pills or powdered psyllium which is prepared with water or juice.
Use chamomile to relieve hemorrhoid symptoms. Apply chamomile ointment topically to hemorrhoids several times daily. Also try using chamomile tea. Prepare a cup of chamomile tea and allow it to cool. Soak cotton balls inside the tea and apply it to your hemorrhoids. Chamomile soothes irritation and reduces itching and inflammation.
According to Herbal Remedies Info, other herbal remedies that provide relief from hemorrhoids include dandelion, horsetail, horse chestnut and the anti-inflammatory flowering herb Calendula.
Medical Treatment and Prevention
If you have a severe case of hemorrhoids or home remedies don’t provide you with the relief that you desire, your doctor may also recommend that you use over-the-counter hemorrhoid medications. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should use hemorrhoid creams, suppositories or pads that contain hydrocortisone, witch hazel or some other type of numbing agent. These products should be applied to the rectum to treat your hemorrhoids. You can also take oral pain killers to relieve pain and discomfort. Use products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen. All over-the-counter medications should be taken as directed. The Mayo Clinic also warns against using hemorrhoid medications for longer than a week unless prescribed by your physician.
Sometimes home remedies and over-the-counter medications may not be enough to treat your hemorrhoids. Your doctor may elect to try a minimally invasive or surgical procedure if your hemorrhoids become severe or last for an extended period of time. Contact your doctor if you’ve had hemorrhoids for longer than a week.
There are several things that you can do to prevent hemorrhoids. To avoid increasing pressure on the veins in your anus, try not to sit on hard surfaces for long periods of time. Maintain a healthy diet that is high in fiber. Fiber keeps your stool soft and gives you the ability to have regular bowel movements. Finally, drinking at least six cups of water daily can also soften your stool, according to the Mayo Clinic.