Although not much is said about this embarrassing subject, uncomfortable and painful hemorrhoids are more common than you might think – about three out of four adults suffer from this problem at some point in their lives. Hemorrhoids, which can be internal or external, appear due to excess pressure in the veins in the rectum, which causes these veins to swell. But don't worry, there are natural ways to treat this condition before you need to use a stronger medication. So, learn here how to use witch hazel to alleviate swelling and irritation of hemorrhoids, but don't hesitate to see a proctologist if you are experiencing a lot of pain in the area, bleeding or if your hemorrhoid does not improve with these homemade care.
Method 1 of 3: Treating External Hemorrhoids
Step 1. Cleanse the anal area before treating the hemorrhoid
Shower every day to keep the anal area clean. During cleaning, clean the area carefully, without rubbing it so as not to irritate it further, and let the water drop abundantly to relieve the pain.
- You don't need to use soap if the area is burning hot, but use plenty of warm or hot water.
- Always use an intimate moistened tissue or soft toilet paper after each bowel movement, as stool remains irritate the hemorrhoids. If found, buy a baby wipe that contains witch hazel in the formula for best results.
Step 2. Take a sitz bath to relieve the pain
Fill the tub with about a foot of warm water and dilute 1/2 cup of Epsom salt and 2 tablespoons of witch hazel in it. Sit in the bathtub for 10 to 15 minutes and add more hot water as the bath water starts to cool. After that, just dry yourself gently with a towel.
You can also buy a steam seat that fits your toilet, or simply use a basin to make this sitz bath
About witch hazel:
Witch hazel has been used to treat inflammation and hemorrhoids for a long time as it contains anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties that help soothe sensitive skin and reduce itching and swelling. Therefore, it is a great option to treat hemorrhoids naturally.
Step 3. Wipe a cotton wool soaked with witch hazel over the hemorrhoid for immediate relief
Dip a cotton ball in witch hazel and gently press it into the hemorrhoid for about one minute up to six times a day to relieve pain in the area. Always discard cotton after use and wash your hands thoroughly.
If you prefer, look for a witch hazel medicinal wipe on the internet, which is ready to use. Although it is difficult to find in Brazil, you can buy this product under the name "medicated cooling pads" on US pharmacy websites
Step 4. Use a witch hazel ointment to relieve the itching and swelling of hemorrhoids
Buy this ointment at a pharmacy or on the internet and use it according to the instructions on the product insert. Generally speaking, you will use an applicator to apply the ointment directly to and around the hemorrhoid.
- Always wash your hands and applicator after applying the ointment.
- This product is a good option because, in addition to relieving pain, it also provides an extra layer of protection between the skin and clothing, preventing the hemorrhoid from getting worse and causing more irritation.
- If you don't like the feeling of the ointment during the day, compress the cotton wool soaked in witch hazel more times a day.
Method 2 of 3: Using a Suppository for Internal Hemorrhoids
Step 1. Make a suppository with witch hazel tincture and cocoa butter
In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of witch hazel tincture with 1 teaspoon of cocoa butter. Both of these ingredients can be found in pharmacies or health food stores.
As a tincture is a concentrated form of a specific ingredient, witch hazel tincture usually comes in a dropper bottle and is much more potent than witch hazel in its original plant form. It is essential to use this more concentrated form in the suppository, otherwise the witch hazel will have no effect
If you prefer to buy such a suppository ready-made at the pharmacy, be careful not to confuse the suppository for hemorrhoids with a glycerin suppository, which is laxative and will have a totally different effect!
Step 2. Shape the mixture into a suppository shape
If you are having trouble shaping the suppository, place the witch hazel and cocoa butter tincture mixture on a PVC film and wring it out to shape it into a suppository shape. Then place it in a small bowl and cover it with PVC film.
In this case, a suppository is a solid dose of some type of medicine that is inserted into the rectum and works by releasing the soothing witch hazel mixture as it melts
Step 3. Freeze the suppository for one to two hours until it is completely frozen
Place the canister covered with PVC film in the freezer and wait for the suppository to be very firm to the touch before using it.
The suppository needs to be as cool and firm as possible for it to be fully inserted into your rectum
Step 4. Wash your hands and put on a disposable glove
Wear hand protection to keep your fingers free of germs and prevent bacteria from getting into your nails or the folds of your skin.
- You can also use a latex finger pad (a rubber finger guard), which is like a disposable glove, but just for your fingers.
- If you don't have either, use your hand yourself, but wash it thoroughly before and after handling and placing the suppository.
Step 5. Lubricate the end of the suppository to help it enter more easily
Apply a water-soluble lubricant to the end of the suppository to help it glide more easily and avoid any discomfort when inserting it so it doesn't hurt your hemorrhoid further.
If the suppository looks too big when you take it out of the freezer, cut it in half and rest assured this will not affect the suppository results
Step 6. Lie on your left side and insert the suppository
Lie on your side and bend the knee of your right leg while keeping your left leg straight. Then lift the right buttock with one hand and gently push the suppository all the way into the anus with the other hand.
You may need to push the suppository in using a finger, which, although uncomfortable, will be pretty quick
Step 7. Lie on your side for five to ten minutes while the suppository takes effect
It may be necessary to hold the sphincter for a few seconds to keep the suppository inside your body. In spite of this, try to relax and, with luck, you will be able to lessen the pain of the hemorrhoids.
- You may feel cold while waiting for the suppository to take effect, so keep a blanket nearby if you need it.
- Watch some fun videos on your cell phone in the meantime to distract yourself and make the time go by faster.
Step 8. Discard gloves and wash hands
Use warm water and soap to scrub your hands well for at least 20 seconds before drying them on a clean towel. Even though the suppository has dissolved, you may still feel some leakage as you move around. If this happens, use an absorbent pad to keep the cocoa butter from leaking out and soiling your clothes.
You can use this suppository up to three times if you need pain relief
Method 3 of 3: Seeking a Doctor
Step 1. See a proctologist if your hemorrhoid bleeds, hurts a lot, or doesn't get better with these homemade tips
Most hemorrhoids disappear within a week without the need for medical attention. However, hemorrhoids can sometimes bleed or cause a lot of pain, making you need to see a doctor for more appropriate treatment.
- Tell your doctor if you have used witch hazel or any other remedy, natural or not, to treat hemorrhoids at home.
- If you are bleeding and are over 40 years old, it is essential to see a proctologist, as although this may just be a hemorrhoid, bleeding could also be a sign of something more serious.
It is completely normal to feel embarrassed about having hemorrhoids, but remember that they are quite common and the proctologist has seen and treated many of them.
Step 2. See a doctor immediately if you feel dizzy, unwell or faint
These could be symptoms of a more serious health problem or possibly an infection. In such cases, seek medical attention immediately to diagnose and treat your condition properly.
Do not drive if you are dizzy. Call a friend or relative to pick you up and take you to an Emergency Care Unit (UPA) as soon as possible
Step 3. Take the necessary exams
The proctologist will do a physical examination, such as a touch test, to confirm your diagnosis, especially if you suspect internal hemorrhoids. Despite being a little awkward and uncomfortable, this exam is usually pretty quick.
In rare cases, your doctor may order a colonoscopy if they suspect you have another health problem. Although it is painless, you may also experience some discomfort during this exam
Step 4. Discuss topical treatment options with the proctologist
If witch hazel doesn't work, there are other ointments, creams and suppositories that can help treat your condition. Some commonly recommended remedies are hemorrhoid creams and hydrocortisone suppositories, but if the hemorrhoid still doesn't improve after a week, go back to your doctor to change your treatment.
Read the medicine package insert before using it and follow the instructions exactly
Step 5. Discuss other treatment options with the proctologist
If nothing is helping, your doctor may suggest that you try something different to relieve your hemorrhoid pain. Most treatments for this condition are minimally invasive, and the proctologist may suggest:
- An elastic bandage, a procedure that involves tying rubber bands around the hemorrhoid to cut off the blood supply to that swollen vein, causing it to fall out;
- An injection of medicine to reduce the hemorrhoid;
- A laser or infrared light procedure to shrink and harden the hemorrhoid;
- Surgery (recommended in more severe cases) to remove or staple the hemorrhoid in an attempt to relieve the pain.
- Use a hair dryer to dry the anal area, as a towel can further irritate the hemorrhoid. Keep the hair dryer about 20 cm from the skin and move it back and forth until the area is dry.
- Increase your fiber intake and avoid sitting for long periods of time to prevent hemorrhoids.
- Avoid exerting too much force when evacuating, as this pressure can cause new hemorrhoids or worsen existing ones. So take your time and try to relax so you don't put too much pressure on the veins in the rectum.
- Hemorrhoids are quite common among pregnant women, but usually disappear a few weeks after giving birth. However, talk to your gynecologist or a proctologist if they are causing you too much pain or discomfort.
- If you notice blood when cleaning yourself or if you have pain when having a bowel movement, see a doctor.
- Always see a doctor to correctly diagnose your condition. Although hemorrhoids can usually be treated at home, you may have a more serious problem than this that requires different treatment. So, the ideal is always to see a doctor, preferably a proctologist, to diagnose and treat your condition correctly.
- If witch hazel causes irritation or itchiness, you may be allergic to it. In that case, stop using it immediately.