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    General Health
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    What are the best haemorrhoid creams and treatments?

    Haemorrhoids, commonly known as piles, can be an uncomfortable and often painful condition affecting many individuals. In this article, we will take a look at different haemorrhoid creams and treatments, aiming to provide you with information about what haemorrhoids are, their causes, and the most effective ways to manage them. We will explore the various types of haemorrhoid medications, and will also answer frequently asked questions about their usage and efficacy.

    Lady experiencing discomfort due to piles (haemorrhoids)

    What is piles?

    Piles, also known as haemorrhoids, are swollen veins situated in the anus and lower rectum. Much like varicose veins, these swollen veins can cause discomfort and irritation. According to Mayo Clinic, haemorrhoids come in two main types: internal haemorrhoids, which form inside the rectum, and external haemorrhoids, which develop under the skin around the anus. 

    Video: A Doctor Explains Hemorrhoids (Piles)

    In the below video Dr O'Donovan (UK GMC number: 7436647) explains what Hemorrhoids (piles) are and the signs to look out for:

    Please be aware that the video above is only for educational purposes and is not intended for use as a substitute for seeking professional medical advice from your own doctor or trusted healthcare professional.

    Is haemorrhoids the same as piles?

    Yes, haemorrhoids are the same as piles. They are both names given to the same condition, and you may hear or read either in a medical context. The NHS defines piles using haemorrhoids in brackets to show that they are the same condition.

    How are haemorrhoids treated?

    Treating haemorrhoids typically involves a combination of methods to alleviate symptoms and promote healing. The NHS says that consulting a pharmacist can be an excellent first step in finding relief. According to the NHS, a pharmacist may recommend:

    • Creams to ease pain and swelling

    • Treatments for constipation, or to soften stools

    • Cold packs to ease discomfort

    If you would like to remain private when discussing your condition, you can consult with a pharmacist in a private room in most pharmacies, or, you could use an online provider like UK Meds where discretion is paramount.

    What causes haemorrhoids?

    Haemorrhoids, or piles, can develop due to various factors that lead to the swelling of veins in the anal canal. According to Bupa, these causes may include:

    • Straining during Bowel Movements: This can occur due to constipation or prolonged diarrhoea, which puts pressure on the veins in the anal area.

    • Weakening of Anal Canal: As you age, your anal canal may weaken, making it more susceptible to developing haemorrhoids.

    • Persistent Coughing: Chronic coughing can contribute to the development of piles by exerting pressure on the anal region.

    • Heavy Lifting: Engaging in activities that involve lifting heavy objects can strain the muscles in the pelvic and anal area, leading to haemorrhoids.

    What are common symptoms of haemorrhoids?

    Haemorrhoids, or piles, may not always cause noticeable symptoms, and some individuals may be unaware they have them. However, when symptoms do arise, they can include, according to NHS Inform:

    • Bleeding: Bright red blood may be noticed after passing a stool.

    • Itching: An itchy sensation around the anal area is a common symptom.

    • Lumps: A lump may protrude outside of the anus, which might require gentle manual repositioning after bowel movements.

    • Mucus Discharge: Some individuals may experience a mucus discharge following bowel movements.

    • Soreness and Swelling: The area around the anus may become sore, red, and swollen.

    Which ingredients in haemorrhoid creams are helpful for treating it?

    Several ingredients commonly found in haemorrhoid creams are known to be helpful in treating the condition. Here are some of the most commonly found ingredients, and how they can help:

    • Witch Hazel: Witch hazel has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling and soothe discomfort. Hydrocortisone: Hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid that helps alleviate itching, redness, and inflammation associated with haemorrhoids. Phenylephrine: Narrows blood vessels, reducing swelling and discomfort in the affected area. These three ingredients are commonly found in over-the-counter haemorrhoid medications according to Very Well Health.

    • Zinc Oxide: Helps to shrink the enlarged haemorrhoids and protect sore, sensitive skin against infection (Germoloids).

    • Lidocaine: Lidocaine is a local anaesthetic that helps to numb the area that you use it on, according to the NHS.

    What are the best haemorrhoid creams and treatments?

    There are a number of different haemorrhoid treatments that people can use if they need it. Here are some of the most commonly found treatments, as well as a short description of how each one works:

    • Scheriproct: Scheriproct is a medication containing both prednisolone, a corticosteroid, and cinchocaine, a local anaesthetic. It is used to reduce inflammation, itching, and discomfort associated with haemorrhoids.

    • Anusol Cream: Anusol Cream contains ingredients like zinc oxide, which helps shrink haemorrhoids, and hydrocortisone, which reduces inflammation and itching.

    • Xyloproct Ointment: Xyloproct Ointment contains lidocaine, a local anaesthetic, and hydrocortisone, a corticosteroid. It provides relief from pain, itching, and inflammation associated with haemorrhoids.

    • Uniroid HC Ointment: Uniroid HC Ointment contains hydrocortisone, which helps reduce inflammation and itching in haemorrhoids, promoting healing and relief.

    • Anusol Suppositories: Anusol Suppositories are inserted into the rectum and contain ingredients like zinc oxide and hydrocortisone to provide relief from internal haemorrhoids.

    • Germoloids Cream: Germoloids Cream contains ingredients like lidocaine and zinc oxide to relieve pain, itching, and swelling associated with haemorrhoids.

    • Germaloids Suppositories: Germoloids suppositories are inserted into the rectum and contain ingredients like zinc oxide and lidocaine to provide relief from internal haemorrhoids.

    • Germaloids Ointment: Germoloids ointment contains ingredients like lidocaine and zinc oxide to provide relief from pain, itching, and swelling associated with haemorrhoids.

    • Anusol HC Ointment: Anusol HC Ointment contains hydrocortisone and zinc oxide to reduce inflammation, itching, and swelling in haemorrhoids.

    • Anusol HC Suppositories: Anusol HC Suppositories are inserted into the rectum and contain hydrocortisone and zinc oxide to provide relief from internal haemorrhoids.

    • Perinal: Perinal is a topical cream containing hydrocortisone and cinchocaine. It is used to relieve pain, itching, and inflammation associated with haemorrhoids and other anal discomforts.

    You can purchase all of the above medications for haemorrhoids online from UK Meds.

    How are haemorrhoid creams different to haemorrhoid ointments?

    The primary difference between haemorrhoid creams and haemorrhoid ointments is in how they are made, specifically the ratio of oil to water, according to Preparation H. Ointments typically contain a higher concentration of oil, whereas creams tend to have a higher concentration of water. This difference in composition affects their texture and consistency. Ointments have a greasier texture due to the higher oil content, while creams are lighter and more easily absorbed into the skin due to their higher water content.

    How do you use haemorrhoid creams?

    The way that you will use a haemorrhoid cream will depend on what specific cream or ointment you are using. You should make sure to read the instructions for the specific medication you are using before you use it and if you are not sure, you should consult with a healthcare provider. Typically, according to Web MD, you will use haemorrhoid cream in the following way:

    1. Clean the affected area.

    2. Apply a small amount of the cream using your finger or an applicator.

    3. Repeat the application as specified. It may be needed once every four hours but will vary.

    4. If you require an internal application, you may need to use an applicator.

    5. Consult with your doctor if you are unsure how to use the medication.

    How can you prevent haemorrhoids (Piles)?

    There are a number of things that you can do to avoid and prevent piles. Here is a list provided by the NHS of things you can do to treat and prevent piles:

    • Drink lots of fluid and eat plenty of fibre to keep your stool soft

    • Wipe your bottom with damp toilet paper

    • Take paracetamol if piles hurt

    • Take a warm bath to ease itching and pain

    • Use an ice pack wrapped in a towel to ease discomfort

    • Gently push a pile back inside

    • Keep your bottom clean and dry

    • Exercise regularly

    • Cut down on alcohol and caffeine (like tea, coffee and cola) to avoid constipation

    Here is another NHS list of things you need to avoid if you are trying to prevent haemorrhoids:

    • Do not wipe your bottom too hard after you go to the toilet

    • Do not ignore the urge to poo

    • Do not push too hard when pooing

    • Do not take painkillers that contain codeine, as they can cause constipation

    • Do not take ibuprofen if your piles are bleeding

    • Do not spend more time than you need to on the toilet

    When should you see a doctor about Haemorrhoids (Piles)?

    According to the NHS, you may wish to consider visiting a doctor if you are suffering from haemorrhoids if any of the following applies to you:

    • You have symptoms of haemorrhoids and they're getting worse, or there's no improvement after 7 days of treatment at home

    • You keep getting haemorrhoids

    • You notice a change around your anus that is not normal for you

    They state that a doctor may be able to provide you with stronger medications, or they may be able to diagnose you with another condition that could be causing the same symptoms.


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