Haemorrhoids (piles) often settle down after a few days without treatment. However, there are a number of treatments that can help reduce any itching and discomfort. Making simple lifestyle changes through diet and exercise is usually the first recommendation.
Follow the advice below when going to the toilet:
- Avoid straining to pass stools because it may make your haemorrhoids worse
- After passing a stool, use moist toilet paper rather than dry toilet paper to clean your bottom
- Using baby wipes can help ease any discomfort that you have after passing a stool
- Patch the area around your bottom rather than rubbing it
Creams, ointments and suppositories
Creams, ointments and suppositories, available over-the-counter from pharmacies, can be used to relieve any swelling and inflammation that you have around your back passage. However, they will only treat your symptoms and will not cure the haemorrhoids themselves.
These types of medicines should only be used for five to seven days at a time. If you use them for longer than this, they may irritate the sensitive skin around your anus. Any medication you use should be combined with the diet and self care advice above.
There is no evidence to show that one preparation is more effective than another. Ask your pharmacist for advice about which product is most suitable for you. Also, always read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine before using it.
Do not use more than one product at the same time because they may contain similar ingredients.