There are several ways to shrink hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids, also referred to as piles, are veins in the anus or rectum that have become swollen. Marked by inflammation, they can be itchy and painful. They may even bleed and lead to the leakage of fecal matter. Hemorrhoids may be severe enough to require surgical treatment, but often, they can be treated at home.
There are many over-the-counter products that are marketed to those looking to shrink hemorrhoids. They are said to help relieve the accompanying pain and itchiness in addition to the swelling. Such products may be helpful for those with mild cases of hemorrhoids, though the effects may only be temporary. They are available as creams, ointments, suppositories and pads soaked with witch hazel and other substances.
Applying warmth or cold to the area may help as well. For example, a warm bath may help to reduce discomfort in the area, at least temporarily In fact, some people recommend soaking in a warm bath three times a day as an effective way to help shrink hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoid sufferers don’t have to spend hours in the bathtub, however. Fifteen minutes for each soak may be enough to help.
A cold compress is good for helping to shrink hemorrhoids. It may also help to take a warm-water sitz bath. Wiping gently with moistened toilet paper may help to prevent increased irritation of the swollen anal area and increase comfort after a bowel movement.
Constipation and hard stools can lead to or aggravate hemorrhoids. Making sure stools are soft enough to pass freely and without straining can help swollen hemorrhoids to shrink faster, increase comfort, and prevent reoccurrences. Eating plenty of fiber, upping water intake, and exercising can help to make sure bowel movements are easy and regular.
Apple cider vinegar is a common home remedy for helping to shrink hemorrhoids. To use it, a person applies the vinegar to a cotton ball and then swabs the vinegar on the affected area. This can be done a few times a day to help hasten the shrinking process.
Often, hemorrhoids heal in one to two weeks, but they may return in the face of constipation, diarrhea, pregnancy, or trauma to the area. In some cases, hemorrhoids become persistent and increasingly troublesome. When this occurs, medical intervention may be warranted. This may include minimally invasive procedures or surgical techniques, depending on the severity and patient preferences.