Hemorrhoids

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Question

What are some treatments for hemorrhoids that don't require a prescription?

Answer

There are over-the-counter treatments for hemorrhoids including ibuprofen (Motrin®), acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or aspirin to relieve hemorrhoid pain. Another option is applying a cream containing with hazel or another numbing ointment. Hydrocortisone creams can also be used to relieve itching or pain. But remember to not use hemorrhoid medicine without talking to a doctor or health professional. Always remember to clean your anus after every bowel movement by gently patting with baby wipes or moistened toilet paper. You can also use ice packs or take warm baths or sitz baths to help with swelling.

In order to prevent hemorrhoids, eat more fiber-rich foods like fresh fruits, leafy vegetables and whole-grain breads and cereals. Drinking lots of fluids (8 glasses of water is best) except alcohol can also help prevent hemorrhoids. Regular exercise can also play a role in hemorrhoid prevention. You should also avoid laxatives except for bulk-forming ones like Benefiber®, Metamucil®, etc. Other non-bulk-forming types of fiber can result in diarrhea, which can further aggravate hemorrhoids. If you feel you need to use the restroom, do not wait too long between bowel movements.

Learn more about hemorrhoids in our Health Encyclopedia.

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