Is Over-the-Counter Hemorrhoid Cream Effective?


Quick Answer

Over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams are effective in relieving itching and pain, according to WebMD. Nonprescription suppositories and creams, such as Preparation H, offer topical anesthetics in low doses that relieve symptoms, and astringents and low-dose steroids, such as hydrocortisone in Anusol, and witch hazel help reduce swelling, notes MedicineNet.

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Full Answer

Applying an ice pack and a nonprescription medication, such as a 1 percent hydrocortisone cream, to the skin outside of the anus soothes inflammation and itching that hemorrhoids produce, notes WebMD. Some over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments have ingredients such as ephedrine, phenylephrine HCI or epinephrine, which are vasoconstrictors, explains MedicineNet. If the body absorbs substantial amounts of these substances, they can raise the blood sugar level. Diabetics should consult their doctors before using any nonprescription hemorrhoid medications.

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