There’s not much of a bright side when it comes to dealing with hemorrhoids, but at least there are remedies readily available at your local pharmacy.
The best over-the-counter (OTC) treatments protect the skin, so try using topical creams that contain zinc oxide or petroleum jelly. Other good ointments to try contain one percent hydrocortisone, which can relieve inflammation and itching.
There are also plenty of home remedies that can help relieve pain, swelling and inflammation.
That said, it’s wise to not always rely on over-the-counter treatments, particularly if you have a recurrent problem. While they may help, you might need to take a more proactive approach to ensure a permanent solution.
For instance, if you’ve been diligently applying a cream for several days and the problem hasn’t become noticeably better, than call your physician. Using OTC products for more than a week can produce side effects including skin rashes and inflammation, and can also thin the skin around the rectal area. If you’ve begun to bleed, or are having noticeable pain, that’s another red flag that you should see the doctor.
Your physician can prescribe a stronger medication, and may also suggest seeing a specialist for a short surgical procedure. If that’s the case, don’t worry. Many advancements have been made in hemorrhoid treatment, and so procedures such as hemorrhoid banding, injections, infrared coagulation, stapling and hemorrhoidectomies have become outpatient remedies to this all-too-common problem.