How Do You Shrink an External Hemorrhoid?


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Applying a steroid cream can be the best way to shrink an external hemorrhoid. Topical over-the-counter ointments such as Preparation H are soothing to the area, but research does not indicate that those ointments actually shrink the hemorrhoid, according to David Rosenfeld, M.D.

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The most common symptoms of an external hemorrhoid include itching, pain and clotted bleeding at times, as a clot inside the hemorrhoid has caused some or all of the tissue to protrude partially from the anus. Hemorrhoids often look like purple grapes and are painful, notes Rosenfeld.

Doctors often prescribe a steroid cream for application to external hemorrhoids. Approximately 95 percent of all external, thrombosed hemorrhoids go away without surgery, so a regimen of cream application and hot baths is the first treatment, for up to four weeks. If the hemorrhoid does not go away, or if another one returns in the same location, the recommendation is an excision procedure. To provide additional comfort, patients use topical ointments such as Preparation H as well as anti-itch ointments to prevent irritation to the area. Adding fiber and water to the diet to bulk up and soften stools ease irritation in the area. Harder stools contact the hemorrhoids and aggravate the sensitive tissue, explains Rosenfeld.

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