If You Have Hemorrhoids, Topical Cream May Help
Hemorrhoids. They are not exactly a dinner table topic. Few people talk about their symptoms or bring the topic up in social settings. However, more people suffer from the burning, itching, and discomfort of hemorrhoids than you might realize. An estimated 50 percent of all adults have experienced a hemorrhoid flare-up at some point, according to the National Health Care Survey. Only about 12 percent of those seek medical care for their rectal bleeding and other symptoms.
In most cases, the swollen veins around your anus we call hemorrhoids or piles, will resolve on their own. As they heal, your symptoms will disappear. In the meantime, though, having hemorrhoids can be a distraction that interferes with your work or social life.
It is important to get an accurate diagnosis, since these symptoms can point to more serious conditions. Once you have a diagnosis, though, you most likely will not need any additional medical care. You can treat your symptoms and minimize any discomfort by applying hemorrhoid cream.
If your symptoms do not resolve within a week or so, you may need to see a proctologist, also known as a colon and rectal surgeon. They will be able to offer additional treatments, either at-home, in-office or in a surgical suite.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
One of the primary causes of hemorrhoids is prolonged sitting. Sitting for long periods of time is a side product of modern life. Many adults who work in front of a computer spend eight or nine hours a day sitting at work. Then, they sit in the car, bus, or train to commute, sit during meals, and go home to sit and watch TV. Truck drivers who spend as many as 18 hours a day sitting also frequently experience hemorrhoids.
Sitting for long periods of time puts pressure on the veins around the anus. This increase in pressure can cause inflammation, resulting in a painful hemorrhoid flare-up. Investing in a standing desk, taking regular breaks, and exercising after dinner instead of watching TV can help.
Other common causes for hemorrhoids include being pregnant and being obese. For women, carrying the weight of a growing baby in utero progressively puts more pressure on the anus for 40 weeks or until delivery. For pregnant women who do experience hemorrhoids, the symptoms often clear up after giving birth. Being overweight or obese is another common factor that contributes to hemorrhoids by placing added pressure on the veins around the anus.
A poor diet with little dietary fiber can lead to constipation and straining while having a bowel movement. This is one of the most common causes of hemorrhoid flare ups.
If you experience hemorrhoid symptoms, you’re not alone. It is a common problem many people experience. Fortunately, easing the worst symptoms is often as simple as applying hemorrhoid cream.
How to Use Hemorrhoid Cream
Hemorrhoid cream is widely available in big box stores, pharmacies, and even grocery stores. It is an inexpensive and effective way to reduce the pain, burning, and discomfort associated with hemorrhoid swelling. The creams aim at ameliorating the symptoms of hemorrhoids, however they do little to actually treat them and prevent them from recurring. They provide an effective solution for relieving hemorrhoid symptoms, but hemorrhoid symptoms that do not go away on their own require additional treatment from a colorectal specialist.
You can apply hemorrhoid cream around the outside of your anus, or internally. The techniques you will use to apply the cream depends on whether you have symptoms of internal or external hemorrhoids and where you need to apply the cream.
Applying Hemorrhoid Cream For External Use
- Squeeze the tube of hemorrhoid cream and apply a small amount to your finger.
- Apply the hemorrhoid cream around the outside of your anus with your finger.
- Use hemorrhoid cream 2 to 3 times during the day, including before bed and first thing in the morning.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap after each application of hemorrhoid cream.
Applying Hemorrhoid Cream For Internal Use
If applying hemorrhoid cream to the exterior of your anus does not provide relief for your symptoms, you may need to apply the hemorrhoid cream internally. This can help reduce the symptoms you experience related to internal and prolapsed hemorrhoidal tissues.
- Try to have a bowel movement before an internal application of hemorrhoid cream.
- Attach the included round-tip applicator to the tube of hemorrhoid cream.
- Squeeze the tube of hemorrhoid cream gently to fill the applicator.
- Lubricate the end of the applicator with petroleum jelly or another lubricant.
- Gently insert the rounded tip of the applicator into your rectum.
- Squeeze the tube of hemorrhoid cream gently to move the cream in the applicator into the rectum. Be careful not to squeeze too hard. You only need the cream from the applicator to move.
- Remove the applicator and wash with soap and warm water.
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water.
- Try not to have a bowel movement for at least two hours after an internal application of hemorrhoid cream.
Trying Other Hemorrhoid Symptom Remedies
Hemorrhoid cream has been used for decades to relieve the temporary symptoms caused by inflamed veins or hemorrhoidal tissue around the anus. It helps treat the symptoms until the flare-up subsides. This normally happens within a few days to a week. If symptoms are not gone within a week, it is time to make an appointment with a Los Angeles proctologist.
When it comes to easing symptoms while waiting for healing, hemorrhoid cream is not the only treatment option available over-the-counter or at home. Other common and effective hemorrhoid remedies include:
- Using medicated wipes with witch hazel
- Improving digestion and ease of bowel movements by drinking more water and eating more fiber
- Using sitz baths, soaking in a shallow tub of warm water
- Using moist towelettes or rinsing in the shower instead of dry toilet paper
- Applying a cold pack to your anus to reduce hemorrhoid swelling
- Taking over-the-counter medicine to reduce pain and inflammation
You can use any or all of these tactics to address your hemorrhoid symptoms and help you stay focused at work and relax at home until the veins return to their normal size. While they are all effective at reducing discomfort, with the exception of changing your diet, none of these will actually speed the healing of your hemorrhoid or reduce the risk of a recurrence.
See a Doctor From Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates to Treat Your Hemorrhoids
Our team of board certified surgeons from Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates specialize in the evaluation and treatment of hemorrhoids. If your hemorrhoid symptoms persist after five days to a week of using hemorrhoid creams and other treatments, it is time to make an appointment and let us help you with your Los Angeles hemorrhoid problems. Call (310) 273-2310 to schedule your confidential consultation.
In addition to stubborn hemorrhoids that will not go away, hemorrhoids can recur after treatment. When this occurs, you may require in-office treatment or even hemorrhoid removal surgery to reduce your risk of a future issue.