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What are the Best Methods of Hemorrhoid Care?

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  • Written By: Melissa Neiman
  • Edited By: Lucy Oppenheimer
  • Last Modified Date: 17 December 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Proper hemorrhoid care is a must for reducing hemorrhoid flare-ups and relieving symptoms that can affect your ability to sit, sleep and carry out basic tasks. Sometimes hemorrhoids do not cause any discomfort, but symptoms can include anal itching, bleeding and mild to severe pain. The best methods of hemorrhoid care include simple lifestyle modifications, use of over-the-counter products and, in severe cases, surgery.

Hemorrhoids, also called piles, can affect anyone. They occur when the veins of the anus and rectum become swollen and inflamed. Common causes of hemorrhoids include constipation, diarrhea and straining to have a bowel movement. Sitting on the toilet for prolonged periods, heavy lifting and certain medical conditions, such as obesity and pregnancy, can also cause hemorrhoids.

Basic lifestyle modifications are among the best methods of hemorrhoid care. These include adding more fiber and fluids to the diet, trading nylon or silk undergarments for cotton ones and keeping the anal area clean and dry. Soaking in a warm bath, taking a sitz bath, applying a cold compress to the affected area and using a foam or inflatable hemorrhoid cushion may also help to relieve symptoms. Other ways to reduce discomfort caused by hemorrhoids include substituting wet toilet paper or non-perfumed wipes for dry toilet paper, avoiding laxative use and going to the bathroom as soon as the urge occurs.

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The best methods of hemorrhoid care also involve treating the affected area with over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream, using a hydrocortisone suppository or numbing the region with a witch hazel pad or other topical agent. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen may also be used for temporary pain relief.

Hemorrhoids that do not respond to these techniques or fail to resolve on their own within two weeks may require additional treatment. The best methods of hemorrhoid care under these circumstances include light therapy, chemical injection or a procedure called rubber band ligation. During rubber band ligation, a small rubber band is wrapped around the base of an internal hemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply.

If hemorrhoids are very large, occur both internally and externally or all other treatments have failed, surgical removal may be necessary. Known as a hemorrhoidectomy, surgery to remove hemorrhoids typically takes place under sedation in a surgery center. Patients are generally discharged the same day with care instructions and medication to relieve pain while the body heals, although overnight hospitalization is sometimes necessary.

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