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Should only a doctor treat bleeding hemorrhoids?

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Quick Answer

A person should see a doctor for hemorrhoids that cause severe rectal bleeding, but minor bleeding may be treated at home, according to MedlinePlus. Common symptoms associated with hemorrhoids include painless blood from the rectum, anal itching, pain when sitting and hard, tender lumps near the anus.

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Treatments for hemorrhoids include over-the-counter corticosteroid creams, creams with lidocaine and stool softeners, claims MedlinePlus. To relieve itching caused by hemorrhoids, a person can apply witch hazel to the area and wear cotton underwear. A person should not scratch the area and should also avoid toilet paper that is colored or perfumed. Instead, baby wipes can be used. Sitz baths can also bring relief from hemorrhoids and should be used for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.

If the hemorrhoids do not improve with home treatment, a person may need to contact a doctor, explains MedlinePlus. A doctor may introduce other types of treatment, such as rubber band ligation.or heat treatment to shrink the hemorrhoids. If these treatments do not work, a doctor may suggest surgery for the hemorrhoids. Typically, surgery is reserved for those who have severe bleeding associated with hemorrhoids or for prolapses that do not respond to other treatment methods.

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