Can You Use Witch Hazel for Hemorrhoids?
Let’s Talk About Hemorrhoids
It’s understandable that you may feel embarrassed when it comes to talking about hemorrhoids. If you’re one of those people, don’t be! Hemorrhoids are pretty common. In fact, more than half of people have experienced hemorrhoids by the time they’re 50.1 Anyone can get hemorrhoids, although age, pregnancy, and straining during bowel movements are a few factors which may increase your chances.1 Despite the fact that they’re fairly common, hemorrhoids are an issue that should be taken seriously. With symptoms like pain, itching, swelling, and irritation,1 hemorrhoids can negatively impact your quality of life. Luckily, there are solutions such as witch hazel to help with your symptoms.
Witch Hazel and Hemorrhoids
Topical witch hazel is a liquid distilled from the witch hazel (Hamamelis) plant.3 Available in wipes like Preparation H Medicated Wipes and in gel like Preparation H Cooling Gel, witch hazel is an astringent that can help cool, soothe, and provide temporary relief from the burning, itching, and discomfort of hemorrhoids.3,4 Preparation H wipes and gel with witch hazel are indicated for external use and provide temporary relief from the external discomfort caused by hemorrhoids.
How to Use Witch Hazel for Hemorrhoids
You can explore a range of products formulated with witch hazel for your hemorrhoids, including:
- Preparation H Soothing Relief Cleansing & Cooling Wipes with 20% witch hazel
- Preparation H Medicated Wipes with 50% witch hazel
- Preparation H Medicated Wipes for Women with 20% witch hazel
- Preparation H Cooling Gel with 50% witch hazel and 0.25% phenylephrine HCl
When using any of these products, be sure to follow the product label carefully. Witch hazel for hemorrhoids is generally used in response to symptoms, not preventively. As such, you should use witch hazel as soon as symptoms appear, and quit once symptoms abate.
Other Solutions for Hemorrhoids
Depending on the level of severity of your hemorrhoid symptoms, there are a number of additional options that may help provide relief. Some of these methods are preventative. For instance, eating a high-fiber diet can help you avoid straining during bowel movements, which is a common cause of hemorrhoids.2 Other approaches focus more on hemorrhoid treatment. Topical treatments, including Preparation H products with witch hazel, suppositories and oral pain relievers may help alleviate hemorrhoid symptoms once they develop.2 In some cases, a doctor may recommend surgery, although this course of treatment is rarer.2
Home remedies including sitz baths, aloe vera, and tea tree oil are additional potential solutions for hemorrhoids.5 Because not all home remedies are backed by scientific evidence, be sure to talk with your doctor before starting anything new.
1. Hemorrhoids. John Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/hemorrhoids.
2. Hemorrhoids - Diagnosis and treatment. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hemorrhoids/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20360280/.
3. Witch hazel topical. Michigan Medicine. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/d03762a1.
4. Witch Hazel topical solution wipes. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/18640-witch-hazel-topical-solution-wipes.
5. Enlarged hemorrhoids: How can you relieve the symptoms yourself? Informedhealth.org. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279466/