What Are the Different Types of Hemorrhoid Medicine?

The witch hazel plant provides the astringent commonly used to cleanse and disinfect hemorrhoids.
Petroleum jelly, which is often included in hemorrhoid suppositories.
Over-the-counter cream is one of the most popular ways to treat hemorrhoids.
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  • Written By: A.E. Freeman
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 31 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Pain and itching from hemorrhoids can be relieved with certain types of hemorrhoid medicine. Typically, hemorrhoid medicine contains hydrocortisone, a steroid that can help treat itching. Products containing phenylephrine and witch hazel in the form of creams, suppositories, or pads may also provide relief. Some medicines contain pain relievers that numb the area. Other types of hemorrhoid medicine reduce swelling in the anus and protect against irritation.

People experience hemorrhoids when they strain to have a bowel movement. The hemorrhoids are veins that have swollen and become inflamed, typically in the rectum and anus, due to the strain. Pregnancy can also cause hemorrhoids. Usually, hemorrhoids itch, are painful, and can cause bleeding. Some hemorrhoids are inside the body, while others are external.

A common hemorrhoid medicine contains hydrocortisone, a corticosteroid. One-percent hydrocortisone cream is usually available without a prescription. People with a lot of pain and itching may ask their doctor for a 2-percent hydrocortisone cream, which is available by prescription. Corticosteroids can cause side effects, particularly with prolonged use, and shouldn't be used without consulting a doctor first.

Another common hemorrhoid medicine contains phenylephrine, which causes the blood vessels to constrict, reducing swelling. This type of medicine is usually available as a cream or suppository and also commonly contains petroleum jelly, which coats the hemorrhoid and protects it from irritation. The medicine can be used up to four times a day and typically doesn't cause side effects.


Some brands of hemorrhoid medicine contain witch hazel, a type of astrigent that can soothe the pain and itching of hemorrhoids. Witch hazel–based products are commonly sold as pads or towelettes that a person can wipe on the area to soothe the pain. As with other medications for hemorrhoids, witch hazel should be used under a doctor's supervision.

Other types of hemorrhoid medicines numb the area to help relieve pain and itching. These medications typically contain lidocaine or another anesthetic. Some medicines combine lidocaine with hydrocortisone or another medicine to soothe pain and itching.

A person suffering from hemorrhoids can take some measures to relieve the pain aside from using specific hemorrhoid creams or medicines. Improving diet by eating more fiber can reduce straining from constipation and lower the risk of hemorrhoids. Drinking plenty of water and taking laxatives that contain fiber may help reduce constipation as well. Ice packs or soaking in a warm bath can also help relieve pain caused by hemorrhoids. Some people find that using moist towelettes instead of dry toilet paper helps hemorrhoids clear up too.


Discuss this Article

Post 3

@simrin-- That sounds like the cooling gel I used when I had hemorrhoids during my pregnancy. It's a gel with witch hazel and phenylephrine and works really well. I haven't tried aloe vera for hemorrhoids but I believe you that it works. I know aloe vera is great for skin in general.

Aside from this gel and keeping the area clean by wiping it regularly, I think aspirin helps a lot too. It's good for the pain and since aspirin dilutes blood, it increases blood circulation and quickens healing.

Post 2

I'm not an expert, so please ask your doctor first if you want to try this.

Last time I had external hemorrhoids, I used a corticosteroid ointment and had a horrible allergic reaction. My hemorrhoid itched and hurt more after using the ointment then before! I guess I'm allergic to corticosteroid.

Since I couldn't use the ointment, my hemorrhoid got worse in the following couple of days. It was very painful and I couldn't even sit on it. I searched my medicine cabinet for something that would help and found a topical aloe vera gel ointment with lidocaine for cuts and bug bites.

I wasn't sure if this would be safe or not but I was willing to risk it so I applied it on the hemorrhoid. Within five minutes, the pain and itch literally disappeared! I applied the gel several more times for the next two days when the pain came back and it healed my hemorrhoid completely!

I think aloe vera gel has healing properties and of course the lidocaine eased the pain. This is the best hemorrhoid treatment I've ever tried.

Post 1

The only hemorrhoid drug treatments I use are anti-hemorrhoidal topical cream and witch hazel pads.

Witch hazel pads are great. It really cools the area and prevents itching. I especially recommend this for people who are traveling and can't carry a bottle of witch hazel around. I usually wipe the area with one of these pads 2-3 times a day.

After witch hazel, I apply the topical cream. It's a hydrocortisone anti-hemorrhoid cream. It helps with inflammation and pain. I make sure to apply this after bowel movements and before I go to bed. I feel like it heals the hemorrhoid while I sleep.

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