There are several methods for the treatment of hemorrhoids, which may range from surgical to non-surgical methods. One of the most effective methods is the Sitz bath, which involves no use of medicine or surgery. Doctors usually prescribe this method as the first step in the treatment of hemorrhoids. It acts by cleansing the inflamed and infected area, and increases the blood flow in the pelvic area and reduces inflammation. The sitz bath also gives comfort and instant respite from the irritating painful symptoms. Adding baking soda or salt to the bath also relieves infection in the surrounding area, and with continued use, it may even eliminate the hemorrhoids completely. Besides, this treatment is also inexpensive and easy to use.
However, this treatment works best when used in combination with other forms of treatment. This includes lifestyle changes such as consuming a healthy, balanced high-fiber diet and drinking lots of fluids, and it can go a long way in effectively treating this condition.
Sitz Bath for Hemorrhoid Relief
A sitz bath is actually a plastic tub which fits on the toilet seat and is filled with water. Here is the procedure:
Place the sitz bath on the toilet seat in a way that it does not move.
- Fill it up with warm water; make sure that the water is not too hot.
- Some sitz baths have vents so that the water does not overflow and spill out when you sit. If your sitz bath does not have vents, make sure you do not overfill it.
- If the doctor has prescribed it, then add salt or baking soda to the water in the sitz bath as it provides relief to the affected area.
- Sit in the sitz bath for about 10-20 minutes as recommended by the doctor.
- After the bath, dry the affected area by gently patting with a soft towel.
- Use the sitz bath as frequently as recommended by the doctor.
Some Other Methods to Get Relief from Hemorrhoids
Apart from using a sitz bath, you can try the following methods to get relief from the symptoms of hemorrhoids:
Use moist wipes in place of toilet paper to clean up after defecating. Normal dry toilet paper can cause irritation of the affected region. Wipes medicated specially to treat hemorrhoids are also available in the market. You can also add witch hazel extract to the moist wipes to alleviate the symptoms of hemorrhoids. Witch hazel is a naturally occurring astringent that reduces the inflammation, burning and pain of hemorrhoids.
Applying ice packs on the affected region can also help to provide relief from the itching and pain. You can wrap the ice in soft tissue paper and then sit on it. You can also choose to add witch hazel to the ice pack to provide relief from the symptoms of hemorrhoids.
Keep the affected anal region dry and clean. While taking a bath, clean the affected anal area gently using warm water. Soap is not necessary, as it may aggravate the irritation and itching. Keeping the affected area dry helps prevent irritation.
You can also use hemorrhoid cushions to get relief from the symptoms of hemorrhoids. It is actually a rubber ring that can be inflated. The cushion minimizes the pressure on the hemorrhoids due to contact between the affected area and the sitting surface.
Using fiber based stool softeners can help in the formation of softer and bulkier feces. Hard and dry feces cause straining and may irritate the hemorrhoidal tissues and cause bleeding.
Using a hemorrhoid cream or a numbing agent, which can be used topically, can also provide relief from the symptoms. However, these creams should not be overused, as some of them may have side effects.