WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels inside your rectum (internal hemorrhoids) or on your anus (external hemorrhoids). Sometimes a hemorrhoid may prolapse, which means it extends out of your anus.
- Topical medicine: This may come as pads, creams, ointments, or lotions. This medicine may help decrease pain and swelling.
- Stool softeners: This medicine makes it easier for you to have a bowel movement. You may need this medicine to treat or prevent constipation.
- Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Decrease constipation: Eat foods that are high in fiber and drink more liquids. This will help soften your bowel movements. Exercise regularly.
- Ice: Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel, and place it on your hemorrhoid for 15 to 20 minutes every hour as directed.
- Heat: Heat may help to decrease pain. Take a warm bath or a sitz bath. A sitz bath is a pan of warm water that fits on the toilet bowl. Ask how often to use a sitz bath.
- Keep your anal area clean: Gently wash the area with warm water daily. Soap may irritate the area. After a bowel movement, wipe with moist towelettes or wet toilet paper. Dry toilet paper can irritate the area.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have frequent and painful bowel movements.
- You see blood in the toilet bowl or on the toilet paper after a bowel movement.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have severe pain in your rectum or around your anus.
- You have bleeding from your anus that does not stop.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.