Haemorrhoids are veins in the anus and rectum that become swollen due to irritation brought on by straining during bowel movements, childbirth or pregnancy, heavy lifting, or sitting too long on a toilet. There are two types of haemorrhoids, internal and external. Internal haemorrhoids are located inside the rectum and are usually painless though they often bleed. External haemorrhoids are located under the skin around the anus and are tender sack-like growths that are often a source of great pain and irritation. Both types of haemorrhoids have many treatments available, including simple home remedies and surgeries done by a physician to help shrink the haemorrhoids and alleviate pain.
Sit in a bath filled with hot water. Do not lie down completely in the bath, and keep your legs bent while you are seated. Do this three to four times a day for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
Use stool softeners to relieve pressure in your bowel movements. This will help prevent further damage to the rectal walls, thus preventing more haemorrhoids from forming or your haemorrhoid from getting worse.
Apply a topical medication to the affected area. There are many available on the market, including Anusol HC cream, which helps to reduce swelling.
Place ice or an ice pack on the haemorrhoid to cut off the blood supply. This should help the haemorrhoid shrink as it decreases swelling. Do not keep ice on the area for more than 20 minutes at a time.
Apply cider vinegar to the area two to three times a day, as it has been shown to help shrink haemorrhoids in about a week.
Ingest horse chestnut and/or sweet clover. Horse chestnut helps to shrink the haemorrhoids as sweet clover reduces swelling in blood vessels.
Consult a physician if no home treatments work. She might suggest one of several surgeries which include rubber band ligation. In this procedure, a small rubber band is tied around a haemorrhoid to reduce blood supply. In infrared photocoagulation, the haemorrhoid is shrunk when an infrared light is focused on the area to coagulate the veins. In injection sclerotherapy, a chemical mixture is injected into the growth which obstructs the veins and shrinks the haemorrhoid.
Avoid using dry toilet paper. This can irritate the haemorrhoid and make it worse. Try either using moist tissues or lukewarm water for cleaning the area. Avoid soaps and other chemicals when cleaning the rectal area.
If you are bleeding from the rectum, consult a physician as it may not be due to internal haemorrhoids but a more serious condition.
Tips and warnings
- Avoid using dry toilet paper. This can irritate the haemorrhoid and make it worse. Try either using moist tissues or lukewarm water for cleaning the area.
- Avoid soaps and other chemicals when cleaning the rectal area.
- If you are bleeding from the rectum, consult a physician as it may not be due to internal haemorrhoids but a more serious condition.