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Creams for Hemorrhoids

As we all know, hemorrhoids are a condition that develops because of excessive pressure on the ano-rectal veins. The blood vessels swell, causing lot of pain, itching and bleeding in the rectal and anal region.

To counter this condition, there are several types of creams available in the market. However, finding the most effective one can be quite difficult for patients. To begin with, one must understand that creams are only a temporary solution. They provide relief from the irritating symptoms of hemorrhoids, which include itching, pain and bleeding.

Choosing Creams for Hemorrhoids: Points to Consider

Here are some points to consider when choosing creams for hemorrhoids:
  • Consider the active ingredient of the cream before making your decision, as all creams do not serve the same purpose. Also, the same cream may act differently for different people.
  • While some creams are meant for treating external hemorrhoids, others are meant for internal hemorrhoids. So, it is advisable to consult your doctor before choosing a cream for your needs.
  • Some ingredients in the hemorrhoid treatment creams can be harmful if applied in excess.
  • Creams with natural ingredients can also help in relieving the symptoms of hemorrhoids. Homeopathic creams are also an effective alternative.

Creams for Hemorrhoids: Ingredients

Most hemorrhoid treatment creams contain more than one active ingredient. Some of these are:

  • Local Anesthetics: Local anesthetics provide temporary relief from the pain, itching and burning. These ingredients act by numbing the nerve endings,thereby providing relief from the symptoms of hemorrhoids. They should be used only in the lower anal and perianal area. Moreover, local anesthetics can sometimes lead to allergic reactions by aggravating the itching and burning. If the symptoms get aggravated, their usage must be discontinued.

  • Vasoconstrictors: These chemicals are similar in action to a naturally occurring substance called epinephrine. These chemicals act by making the blood vessels smaller and reducing the swelling in the affected hemorrhoidal region. Since they are applied to the anal region, they have a lower possibility of causing adverse side effects, such as nervousness, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, tremors, and aggravation of hyperthyroidsm or diabetes, as compared to oral vasoconstrictors.

  • Protectants: These ingredients prevent the irritation of the anal area. They act by forming a protective barrier over the skin that hinders the skin of the affected area from coming in contact with any irritant, such as excretion or any aggravating liquid from the anus. This physical barrier reduces burning, pain, itching and irritation. Many hemorrhoid creams are either mainly protectants or contain protectants in some combination with other medications.

  • Astringents: Astringents act by coagulating the proteins present in the cells of the affected perianal skin and the anal canal’s internal lining. This action leads to dryness of the skin, which helps to relieve itching, burning and pain.

  • Analgesics: They act in a somewhat similar manner to local anesthetics and provide relief from pain, burning and itching by depressing the receptors that sense pain.

  • Keratolytics: These chemicals act by disintegrating the tissues and outer skin. The principle behind using this chemical is that disintegration of the skin and tissues allows the medication applied to the perianal area and the anus to go deeper into the affected tissues.

  • Corticosteroids: They act by reducing the swelling and alleviating the burning, itching and pain, but their major drawback is that they can permanently damage the skin. Hence, they should be used sparingly for short durations of not more than two weeks. Generally, only weak corticosteroids can be bought over the counter. Stronger corticosteroids are available if you have a prescription, but they are usually not used to treat hemorrhoids.

  • Antiseptics: Antiseptics are also used as an ingredient of hemorrhoid creams, and they act by inhibiting the growth of infectious organisms or bacteria.

However, be sure not to use your hemorrhoids cream for more than a week. If the problem persists, make sure to contact your doctor. Information about the causes and remedies of this painful condition is the key to its prevention and effective treatment.