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Hemorrhoids are veins in and around the human anus that have become inflamed and swollen as a result of unusual strain or pressure. They usually accompanied by pain, itching, irritation, and bleeding during bowel movements. There are several effective home treatments for hemorrhoids, such as regularly cleaning the area, applying ice packs, and bathing in warm water. Topical creams and suppositories can be effective treatments for mild or occasional hemorrhoids, while more severe cases may require direct medical attention from licensed physicians. In some situations, surgery is required to relieve very large and persistent hemorrhoids.
Most people first try a combination of home remedies to treat their hemorrhoids. Home treatments for hemorrhoids can include cleaning the anus with soft toilet paper or moist wipes to prevent infection. Soaking in warm water can relieve itching and irritation, and even reduce the time it takes for hemorrhoids to heal. Regularly applying cold packs to a hemorrhoid can reduce swelling and soothe itchy skin. People can also benefit from avoiding heavy lifting, wearing loose-fitting clothing, and getting plenty of rest.
Over-the-counter medications usually provide immediate relief from symptoms and significantly shorten the amount of time it takes for hemorrhoids to heal. Many pharmacies and supermarkets carry medicated topical creams that can be applied directly to an external hemorrhoid to relieve itching, pain, and swelling. Suppositories containing the same ingredients as creams can be helpful for hemorrhoids inside the anal cavity. Most creams and suppositories contain petroleum jelly or another lubricating agent to ease strain on the anus and infected area during bowel movements. Combined with different home remedies, consistent medical treatments for hemorrhoids typically result in their disappearance in one to two weeks.
A person who experiences frequent or extremely painful hemorrhoids should seek the guidance of a trained doctor. A doctor can investigate the area and determine the most appropriate treatment plan. One of the most common treatments for hemorrhoids performed by doctors is a rubber band litigation, a procedure in which a small rubber band is tied around a hemorrhoid to restrict blood flow. The blood-deprived hemorrhoid shrivels and falls off after about a week.
Surgical treatments for hemorrhoids are performed when no other method has proven successful. A procedure known as a hemorrhoidectomy is often used to completely remove large external and internal hemorrhoids. During a hemorrhoidectomy, the surgeon cuts out inflamed tissue and carefully treats the area to reduce further bleeding. Surgical treatments are often very effective in preventing future instances of painful hemorrhoids.