How Are Hemorrhoids Treated?

Patients can treat mild hemorrhoids with home remedies and lifestyle changes such as increasing their amount of dietary fiber, engaging in moderate exercise to stimulate bowel functions and soaking in a sitz bath, according to Harvard Health Publications. Over-the-counter topical creams may also help soothe the pain from hemorrhoids, and applying a small ice pack or Tucks pads may also alleviate the discomfort.

According to WebMD, to prevent hemorrhoids from getting worse, avoid wiping after bowel movements. Instead, blot gently with toilet paper moistened with water or a cleansing agent such as Balneol, or use baby wipes or other types of pre-moistened towels, such as Tucks. Another way to avoid rubbing the anus region is to rinse the area with a bidet or in the shower. Then, pat the area dry with a soft towel.

WebMD also suggests using soaps free of perfumes and dyes while showering. Tylenol can be taken to decrease the pain associated with hemorrhoids, and anti-inflammatory medications, such as Aspirin or Aleve, help decrease the itching involved. Placing ice on the area a few times a day for 10-minute intervals may also alleviate some symptoms. After placing ice, WebMD recommends putting a warm compress on the region for 10 to 20 minutes. Finally, it is important to avoid undue pressure in the anal region. Wear loose-fitting clothing and avoid sitting for extended periods of time.

Large or painful hemorrhoids that do not diminish with home treatments may require fixative or surgical procedures, according to WebMD. Common fixative treatments involve rubber band ligation, heat lasers and electric current to create scar tissue to relieve the pain and minimize size. Fixative treatments are typically only performed on hemorrhoids that are internal. Patients who are 70 years or older or individuals in poor health commonly opt for fixative treatments to avoid the risks of surgery.

In extreme cases, it may be necessary to surgically remove hemorrhoids, especially when large intestinal growths appear in addition to several small hemorrhoids, explains WebMD. Doctors consider surgery when other treatment options do not successfully control the bleeding. Patients should consult with a physician to determine the most appropriate home, fixative or surgical treatment option while considering existing health conditions.