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How to Prevent & Take Good Care of Hemorrhoids

How to Prevent & Take Good Care of Hemorrhoids


Learning how to care for your hemorrhoids can help you reduce pain and itching and prevent the development of new hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids occur when veins swell in your anus or rectum, due to increased pressure in the veins. Pressure increases can happen if you strain while having a bowel movement, but may also occur due to obesity, pregnancy, heavy lifting or other activity that causes you to strain, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Treatment of hemorrhoids involves making changes to your diet, lifestyle and bathroom habits.

Step 1

Eat more foods that contain fiber, such as whole-grain cereal, leafy vegetables and fruit. Eating fiber helps improve digestion and prevention constipation. Straining during bowel movements if you are constipated can cause hemorrhoids.

Step 2

Use moistened pads or toilet paper to clean the anal area after a bowel movement. Moist pads or toilet paper are less likely to irritate hemorrhoids and make symptoms worse.

Step 3

Drink 48 to 64 oz. of water or nonalcoholic fluids during the day. Water lubricates the intestines, allowing easy passage of waste through the intestines.

Step 4

Soak your anal area in warm bath water two to three times each day. Use comfortably warm water and sit in the bathtub for at least 10 minutes. Soaking the hemorrhoids can help relieve pain and wash away collected fecal matter that can irritate the skin.

Step 5

Apply ice to your hemorrhoids to reduce swelling. Buy an ice pack at a drugstore or make your own cold compress by adding ice to a plastic bag. Cover the bag with a soft washcloth before applying the compress to your hemorrhoids.

Step 6

Use over-the-counter medications to relieve hemorrhoid symptoms. Oral medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, temporarily relieve pain, while topical creams that contain hydrocortisone reduce itching. Using over-the-counter topical products for more than a week unless directed by your doctor because the products can cause rashes, inflammation and skin thinning.

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