How to Get Quick Hemorrhoid Relief

Hemorrhoid Home Treatment and Remedies

woman in discomfort
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When I was young, I would see all of those ads for hemorrhoid treatments, but I was totally in the dark as to what on earth they were talking about. Then, I grew up. All it took was one nasty hemorrhoid, and I quickly learned the urgent importance of all of those hemorrhoid treatment products.

Of course, the best course of treatment is to do your best to prevent hemorrhoids from occurring in the first place, but it is reassuring to know that most hemorrhoids clear up with some basic home treatments, remedies and tips.

1. Work to Reduce Swelling

ice pack
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You can do a lot to reduce the pain of your hemorrhoid and encourage healing by reducing swelling. Here are two options - you can use them each interchangeably: 

  • Ice packs can be placed on the rectum for short periods of time (no longer than 15 minutes). Never place ice directly on your skin; use a cloth as a barrier.
  • Sitz baths are a very soothing and effective solution for the discomfort of hemorrhoids. A sitz bath involves soaking your rectum in warm water by sitting on a plastic bath designed for the purpose. It is recommended that you take one for 15 to 20 minutes, once or twice a day.

2. Don't Strain

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It is essential to try to pass your bowel movements without straining. Straining increases pressure on the veins in the rectum, which will maintain or worsen the hemorrhoid that you already have. Holding your breath while you are at it, can also aggravate the problem.

Even though having a bowel movement might be painful because of the hemorrhoid, it would be helpful to stay as relaxed as possible. Sit in a relaxed manner and slow down your breathing. Let your body do the work. 

3. Try to Keep Your Stools Soft

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Working to keep stools soft is not only a key strategy in preventing hemorrhoids, but it is also important in trying to relieve the problem. Here are some basics:

  • Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout your day. When you don't take in enough water, water will be drawn from the stool, making it harder - and harder to pass.
  • Increase your fiber intake through the use of a fiber supplement. Otherwise known as bulk laxatives, these supplements have been shown to reduce the overall symptoms of hemorrhoids, including bleeding, pain and itching.
  • Try a stool softener. Stool softeners are aptly named; they work to soften stool so that it becomes easier to pass, thus lessening any pressure or irritation on your hemorrhoid.

4. Keep the Area Clean

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It is essential to keep your rectal area clean, particularly after bowel movements. You can use a moist towel or moist baby or flushable wipes to gently cleanse the area. Think more about dabbing the area clean - as opposed to any kind of harsh scrubbing. (And if you use wipes, most of them aren't really flushable as even the ones that say they are flushable can clog your toilet).

5. Use an Over-the-Counter Product

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There are a wide variety of hemorrhoid treatment products available over the counter. These products may come in cream or suppository form. Some products only relieve pain and itching, while others work to reduce swelling. Be sure to read labels carefully so that you know what kind of relief you can anticipate and carefully follow their directions for use.

6. Try a Homeopathic Remedy

dabbing on a cotton ball
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Although homeopaths may recommend a variety of products, there is scant research as to the effectiveness of any homeopathic remedy for hemorrhoids.

Probably, the most well-known homeopathic remedy is the use of witch hazel, which you would apply directly on the hemorrhoid.

Note: Sometimes self-care doesn't work. If you have severe or persistent symptoms make an appointment with your doctor. Rarely is a procedure necessary, but it is always a good idea to make sure that your symptoms are actually being caused by a hemorrhoid and not something else.


Alonso-Coello, P., "Laxatives for the treatment of hemorrhoids." Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews 2005 4:CD004649.

Greenwald, D. "Common Disorders of the Anus and Rectum: Hemorrhoids and Fissures" American College of Gastroenterology Accessed November 23, 2009.

"Hemorrhoids" National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Accessed November 23, 2009.

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