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About 75% of all Americans will have hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. Fortunately, most flare-ups are not severe and can be improved with Preparation H® and simple, at-home treatments.
- Use topical treatmentsOver-the-counter hemorrhoid products can provide relief for hemorrhoid symptoms, like pain, burning and itching. Among over-the-counter hemorrhoid brands, Preparation H® is the brand doctors recommend most by name. To find the right product for you, use the Personal Relief Finder.
- Soak in hot water To soothe symptoms and reduce the risk of flare-ups, soak the anal area. One way to do this is to take a “sitz bath” of plain, warm water for 10 minutes, two to three times a day. This can relieve itching, irritation and spasms in the sphincter muscle. Sitz baths (sold in pharmacies) are small, plastic tubs that fit over a toilet seat. You can also sit in a regular bathtub with a few inches of warm water or use the shower “wand” attachment. Soap may aggravate your flare-up. Afterward, gently pat the area dry.
- Avoid dry toilet paper if it is irritatingIf dry toilet paper is irritating, gently clean the area with Preparation H® Medicated Wipes up to 6 times a day or after each bowel movement. They cool, soothe and comfort.
- Apply cold or moist compressTo reduce swelling, apply cold compresses or ice packs wrapped in a towel directly to the external area for up to 10 minutes. (Do not put ice into the rectum or leave ice on longer as it can freeze the skin.) Preparation H® Medicated Wipes can be used as a moist compress. First cleanse the area. Fold new wipe to desired size and place in contact with anal area for a soothing and cooling effect. Leave in place for up to 15 minutes and repeat as needed.
- Take OTC oral pain relievers Oral pain relievers can temporarily reduce the pain associated with hemorrhoids.
For tips on treating hemorrhoids while at work or traveling, see Treating Flare-Ups Away From Home.