Haemorrhoids are often painful swollen veins near the anus.
Also known as piles, they commonly are triggered by straining during bowel movements, the effects of pregnancy or childbirth, or constipation.
Here are some of the ways you can soothe haemorrhoid pain and discomfort:
- Take a warm bath - the NDDIC suggests soaking in a bathtub of warm water for about 10 minutes, several times daily. Use of a haemorrhoid cream or a suppository also can help relieve symptoms.
- Use moistened toilet paper or a moist hand towel to clean yourself after a bowel movement
- Apply an ice pack
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever
- Try a topical cream - when recommended by your doctor. Creams that help numb the area may contain witch hazel, or those that soothe itching may contain hydrocortisone
- Don't use a haemorrhoid medicine unless you've spoken to your doctor about it first
With these measures, the pain and swelling of many symptomatic haemorrhoids will decrease in two to seven days, and the firm lump should recede within four to six weeks.
However, in cases of severe, persistent pain, your physician may elect to remove the haemorrhoid with a small incision. Performed under local anaesthesia as an outpatient, this procedure generally provides relief.
Piles are more common than you think
What to do if you have piles
How a doctor would diagnose and treat piles
- HealthDay staff, (19 November 2008). Health Tip: Easing Hemorrhoid Pain. http://consumer.healthday.com/diseases-and-conditions-information-37/hemorrhoid-news-372/health-tip-easing-hemorrhoid-pain-621252.html.
- HealthDay staff, (15 December 2011). Health Tip: Dealing With Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy. http://consumer.healthday.com/diseases-and-conditions-information-37/hemorrhoid-news-372/health-tip-dealing-with-hemorrhoids-during-pregnancy-659383.html
- HealthDay staff, (16 May 2006). Health Tip: Healing Hemorrhoids. http://consumer.healthday.com/diseases-and-conditions-information-37/hemorrhoid-news-372/health-tip-healing-hemorrhoids-604510.html
- HealthDay staff, (30 July 2009). Health Tip: Understanding Hemorrhoids. http://consumer.healthday.com/diseases-and-conditions-information-37/hemorrhoid-news-372/health-tip-understanding-hemorrhoids-629322.html