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How Do I Relieve Hemorrhoid Itching?

The witch hazel plant provides the astringent commonly used to cleanse and disinfect hemorrhoids.
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  • Written By: Susan Grindstaff
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 07 October 2014
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For people who suffer from hemorrhoid itching, probably the best treatment plan is to find the underlying cause of the hemorrhoids to stop their occurrence. There are, however, a few treatments that may help minimize both hemorrhoid itching and pain until the actual cause has been determined. Topical ointments and suppositories that help reduce itching and swelling can be purchased at most pharmacies without a prescription. Keeping the rectal area very clean, especially following bowel movements, may also help lessen the severity of the symptoms.

The two most commonly used topical ointments designed to treat hemorrhoid itching and pain are ointments that contain either cortisone or lidocaine. Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory steroid that may help shrink hemorrhoids. As the hemorrhoids begin to shrink, very often the itching will also subside. Lidocaine is primarily targeted at relieving hemorrhoid pain, but also has some anti-inflammatory properties.

For fast and often immediate relief of severe hemorrhoid itching, some doctors recommend submerging the rectal area in a bath filled with shallow water for about half an hour. This should be done several times a day, as needed. The bath water should ideally be as hot as can comfortably be tolerated. These baths help keep the rectum clean, and may also hasten the healing process.

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There are a few natural remedies for hemorrhoid itching. Topical ointments made from witch hazel, yarrow, or goldenrod are said to be effective hemorrhoid treatments. Juice from the aloe plant, which has long been used as a treatment for wounds and burns, is also believed to relieve hemorrhoid itching and pain.

Hemorrhoids are caused by a variety of factors, but one of the most common causes is constipation. People who suffer chronic constipation often pass stools that are hard enough to tear rectal tissue. Doctors often recommend the use of stool softeners and laxatives as a short-term treatment for constipation, but over the long term, changes in diet are often required. Diets high in fiber content, preferably from fruits and grains, are typically suggested.

Other common causes of hemorrhoids include obesity, heavy lifting, and sedentary lifestyles. In some cases, hemorrhoids can be the result of serious medical conditions, including liver diseases such as cirrhosis. Pregnant women are at particularly high risk for developing hemorrhoids, due in part to weight gain and constipation, both associated with pregnancy. Hemorrhoids can also be the result of severe straining during childbirth.

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