Is it Okay to Use Hemorrhoid Cream for Wrinkles?

Many women, including Hollywood actresses and models, have sworn by using haemorrhoid cream to smooth wrinkles and bags under the eyes. However, there is considerable doubt about whether it's safe to do so. This is especially true of the haemorrhoid creams sold in the United States.

However, plant-based haemorrhoid creams may offer a safer, if still unconventional, alternative treatment for reducing wrinkles and under-eye puffiness.

Haemorrhoids vs. Wrinkles and Under-eye Puffiness

Haemorrhoids are small veins around the rectum and anus that have become swollen and dilated--like varicose veins found on the legs. They may cause bleeding, develop blood clots or become inflamed. External haemorrhoids develop underneath the skin around the opening of the anus. They are often itchy and tender to the touch and can make bowel movements quite painful. Internal haemorrhoids are often not painful. In fact, someone can have internal haemorrhoids and not realise it unless he begins to bleed. If they become pushed out through the anus because of straining, they are called prolapsed haemorrhoids.

Wrinkles are caused by gravity and loss of collagen associated with ageing. The process of intrinsic ageing takes place regardless of outside influences. However, extrinsic ageing is due to factors such as smoking or excessive exposure to the sun. The result is that the skin develops folds and shows lines. Under-eye puffiness is also due to the effects of gravity. The skin around the eye is thinner than skin elsewhere on the face, and more prone to wrinkles. In addition, the fat deposits, which protect the eye area become displaced and settle underneath the eye.

How Hemorrhoid Cream Works

Haemorrhoid cream works by constricting and shrinking rectal blood vessels and tissue. This reduces the swelling for both internal and external haemorrhoids. The relief that comes from using haemorrhoid cream can be dramatic, but the effect is temporary. Using haemorrhoid cream on the face can have similar temporary effects: temporary shrinking of bags underneath the eyes and shrinking of facial skin pores.

The Original Preparation-H

The original formula for Preparation-H, one of the most well-known haemorrhoid creams, originally contained live yeast cell derivative (LYCD) as an active ingredient, along with shark liver oil. Many individuals insist that this formula is more effective in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and under-eye puffiness than the reformulated formula. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered the removal of LYCD from Preparation-H formulas sold in the United States due to clinical testing irregularities. The original formula is still available in Canada and in Europe.

Reformulated Preparation-H

The formulation of Preparation-H haemorrhoid sold in the United States presently contains Phenylephrine HCl, which is a vasoconstrictor as the main active ingredient. This ingredient took the place of LYCD, while the shark liver oil remained. However, this ingredient has been known to cause irritation, redness and rashes, as well as more serious side effects such as increased blood pressure.

Natural Hemorrhoid Treatments and Wrinkles

Plant-based haemorrhoid treatments have active ingredients such as witch hazel and chamomile. These substances also work to reduce the swelling associated with haemorrhoids. They may offer a less toxic alternative for individuals who want the advantages of the anti-swelling properties of haemorrhoid cream without the potentially harmful side effects of LYCD or Phenylephrine HCl.