Your first line of defense is to try an over-the-counter cream, ointment, or suppository that contains the steroid hydrocortisone. This drug helps reduce inflammation, pain, and itching.
“If your symptoms don’t clear up within about a week, make an appointment with your primary care doctor,” says Gina Sam, M.D., director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Center at the Mount Sinai Hospital.Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the rectum or anus that become itchy and painful. While anyone can get hemorrhoids, they’re especially common among women before and after childbirth.
1. Determine if you have anal itching or pain. This is the most common – and irritating – symptom people experience with hemorrhoids. The swollen veins often seep mucous, which irritates the skin around the anus and causes severe itching. In addition, you might feel pain in the area while walking or sitting.
2. Notice whether it hurts to have a bowel movement. Hemorrhoids are often particularly painful during a bowel movement, when stress is placed upon the anal and rectal area.
3. Look for blood. Bright red blood in the toilet or on toilet tissue can be an indication that you have internal or external hemorrhoids. Bleeding can happen even when pain and itching is not present.
4. Notice lumps. Blood pooling under the skin results in thrombosed hemorrhoids, which are clotted hemorrhoids. These lumps are often hard and quite painful. They can occur either inside or outside the rectum.
5. Check for swelling. External hemorrhoids cause the anal area to swell and become tender. This may happen in addition to the formation of thromboses. If your anal area feels puffy or swollen, this is a good indication that hemorrhoids are at fault.
Assess your bathroom habits. The biggest cause of hemorrhoids is straining during a bowel movement. It puts pressure on the veins in the rectum and anus, causing them to swell and become painful and irritated.
Determine if you have constipation. Constipation leads to the feeling of being “backed up,” which causes people to strain during bowel movements.
See if you sit for long periods of time. Sitting all day long puts pressure on the anal area, which can eventually lead to hemorrhoids.
See if pregnancy may be related to your symptoms. Excessive straining means that pregnant women will find they are more likely to get them, especially with the impact that a baby will have on that sector of the body.
Try witch hazel. It has astringent properties that can help to ease the swelling and irritation.
Try an over-the-counter pain cream. There are a few over-the-counter creams that are quite effective in treating hemorrhoids – so much so that in many cases,
Use a stool softener. Since having bowel movements can be very painful when hemorrhoids are present, many find that using a stool softener is helpful.
Avoid perfumed toilet tissue and other irritants. Perfumes, dyes, rough toilet paper, and other irritants can make hemorrhoids feel a lot worse.
Wear loose cotton underwear. Soft cotton underwear allows air to flow in and out of the area, which can keep the hemorrhoids from getting more irritated and painful.
Try a sitz bath. This bathing method can ease pain and discomfort while you have hemorrhoids. Fill the tub with warm water (not hot) and sit in it for about 15 minutes.
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