How confusing is it today to choose the right hemorrhoid cream? The endless collection of gels, ointments, creams, and products leaves you dizzy and at a loss. You end up more baffled and annoyed than when you started.
As someone who battled with the condition for years and finally got through, I understand the frustration of looking for the right medication. The good news is that topical treatments like creams remain the most affordable, effective, and convenient treatment for hemorrhoids.
So, what should you know before choosing a cream, and how do you pick the best one?
Read on to find out!
What is Hemorrhoids Cream, and What’s in it?
For anyone still confused, hemorrhoid creams are topical treatment products that provide pain-relief and anti-inflammatory benefits or assist in healing hemorrhoids.
Most hemorrhoid creams come in the form of tubes that you can squeeze to collect the desired portion. Then, you apply the collected cream on the area affected by the hemorrhoids. In most instances, this area is the anal section and surrounding skin.
So, what do these creams contain? Most hemorrhoidal ointments come with one or more of the following ingredients.
- Hydrocortisone (good for swelling and itching)
- Lidocaine (relieves pain)
- Witch hazel (natural remedy and anti-inflammatory)
- Pramoxine (anesthetic qualities and relieves itchiness)
- Mineral oil (good for drying tissues and irritation)
These ingredients are chemicals or compounds that help fight hemorrhoidal symptoms. And they’re called ‘active ingredients’ because they target and work towards specific symptoms of the condition.
Your chosen cream or ointment may come with other inactive ingredients too. These are additions that do not fight symptoms directly. But they add that extra benefit or supplementary advantage with the active ingredients.
For instance, your cream may have specific fragrances that prevent odor in the affected area. Some ointments may have preservatives that allow the contents to remain usable for long.
Top Hemorrhoid Creams on the Market
The benefits of hemorrhoidal creams may vary from patient to patient. So, there’s no single cream that qualifies as the ‘best’ treatment. However, some hemorrhoid creams have been around for a long time, and tons of patients continue trusting these products.
- Preparation H is arguably the most popular and well-known hemorrhoid cream. It helps internal, external, and even prolapsed hemorrhoids to some degree. This cream is known for its anti-inflammatory qualities, soothing effects, and the relief it provides from discomfort.
- Doctor Butler’s Hemorrhoid & Fissure is another widely used hemorrhoid cream. It includes Lidocaine and Phenylephrine HCI that provides relief and soothes symptoms.
- Anusol is another successful hemorrhoid cream that many people trust thanks to its healing, pain-relieving, and anti-inflammatory effects.
- Shield Rectal Ointment serves as an effective cream for hemorrhoids offering pain relief and prevention of infections.
- Recticare is a common anorectal cream that can help both hemorrhoidal symptoms as well as anal fissures. It offers special action against itchiness, rashes, and discomfort.
Let me add that these are not recommendations from me personally. They’re simply a list of the top creams and most widely used ointments that people seem to rely on.
I’ve used all of these creams over the years and can honestly say that I’m satisfied with the effects. But none of them serve as stand-alone treatments for hemorrhoids, in my experience. The right lifestyle, diet, and medical intervention always work together, along with topical creams, if you want to kick the condition completely.
How to Use Hemorrhoid Creams Correctly
Your hemorrhoid cream will include clear instructions on how to apply the contents and tips to avoid side effects.
Most hemorrhoid creams work best if you follow these steps.
- Step 1: Clean and sanitize the affected area to make it safe and ready for the cream. Warm water and mild soap remain the solution here.
- Step 2: Press the hemorrhoid cream tube and squeeze out a small portion (pea-sized is enough). Collect it at your fingertips.
- Step 3: Using a gentle circular action, apply the cream to the affected skin and anal area (make sure your hands are also squeaky clean)
- Step 4: Stay still and avoid big movements to let the cream settle in and get absorbed.
Repeat the same application process a few times daily. Spread it out evenly throughout the day so that the affected area experiences consistent exposure to the treatment.
Possible Side Effects of Hemorrhoids Creams
Like any chemical solution, hemorrhoid creams may also create side effects in some people. Here are some common examples.
- Allergy is the most common and obvious side effect you can expect from any chemical solution. People allergic to a specific hemorrhoid cream will develop rashes and itchiness and worsen their hemorrhoids.
- Skin irritations may occur in some people. These reactions may not be allergies. But they can also appear as rashes or redness on the skin.
- Using excessive portions of hemorrhoid creams may cause burning sensations or mild pain in the tissues. These effects happen because most hemorrhoid creams include strong chemicals.
- Even without any rashes or signs, hemorrhoid creams may make your skin thinner. Creams that contain heavier chemicals remain more likely to cause these unpleasant effects.
- In some cases, hemorrhoid creams may react negatively with other medications or ointments you may use for existing conditions.
Tips for Picking the Best Hemorrhoid Cream for Your Needs
Consider these best practices and mindful tips that may help you narrow down on the best cream for your condition.
- Examine your hemorrhoidal condition and take note of which symptoms stand out the most.
- Learn (from a doctor) whether your hemorrhoids are internal or external.
- Identify what active and inactive ingredients are present in the cream you’re about to buy
- If you suffer from any allergies, check if the cream contains ingredients that may cause reactions.
- Check out cream reviews, patient recommendations, and online testimonials about the ointment.
The most crucial tip for choosing any hemorrhoidal medication is to consult expert advice. Talk to your personal or family doctor. Share your concerns, questions, and apprehensions. An accurate and timely diagnosis of your hemorrhoids will help you choose the appropriate cream or ointment for your condition.
Hemorrhoidal creams, ointments, and solutions continue flooding the market, confusing both patients and potential sufferers.
Understanding what these creams are, what they contain, and how they will help you pick the most suitable hemorrhoidal cream for your symptoms and troubles.