The 6 Best Over-the-Counter Hemorrhoid Treatments of 2020

Ease painful and irritating symptoms with these OTC products

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First Look

Best Overall: Doctor Butler's Hemorrhoid & Fissure Ointment at Amazon

"No need to be patient with this one. Doctor Butler's aloe vera and ginseng-infused treatment promises instant relief to symptoms."

Best Pills: Naticura Hem-Control Herbal Hemorrhoid Remedy at Amazon

"These gentle relief pills cause a gradual process so there'll be no emergency dash to the restroom, especially when taken daily."

Best Ice Treatment: Hilph Reusable Perineal Cold Pack at Amazon

"If medicine isn't your thing, try these cold packs, a staple during postpartum recovery, and made with gel beads to stay cold longer."

Best Soak: Thena Sitz Bath Soak at Amazon

"It doesn't get more natural than a bath soak, this remedy contains magnesium oil for lubrication and aloe vera for pain relief."

Best Treatment During Pregnancy: Motherlove Rhoid Balm at motherlove.com

"Hemorrhoids are a common symptom for expecting women, Motherlove has your back during and post-pregnancy with its natural balm."

Best Pillow: Kieba Donut Tailbone Cushion at Amazon

"Sedentary jobs and frequent traveling calls for proper cushioning, Kieba's donut-shaped pillow has got you covered (literally)."

First Look

Best Overall: Doctor Butler's Hemorrhoid & Fissure Ointment at Amazon

"No need to be patient with this one, Doctor Butler's aloe vera and ginseng-infused treatment promises instant relief to symptoms."

Best Pills: Naticura Hem-Control Herbal Hemorrhoid Remedy at Amazon

"These gentle relief pills cause a gradual process so there'll be no emergency dash to the restroom, especially when taken daily."

Best Ice Treatment: Hilph Reusable Perineal Cold Pack at Amazon

"If medicine isn't your thing, try these cold packs, a staple during postpartum recovery, and made with gel beads to stay cold longer."

Best Soak: Thena Sitz Bath Soak at Amazon

"It doesn't get more natural than a bath soak, this remedy contains magnesium oil for lubrication and aloe vera for pain relief."

Best Treatment During Pregnancy: Motherlove Rhoid Balm at motherlove.com

"Hemorrhoids are a common symptom for expecting women, Motherlove has your back during and post-pregnancy with its natural balm."

Best Pillow: Kieba Donut Tailbone Cushion at Amazon

"Sedentary jobs and frequent traveling calls for proper cushioning, Kieba's donut-shaped pillow has got you covered (literally)."

It’s 2020, so the list of what we’re comfortable talking to our friends about is hopefully long and open. But itching and bleeding from bumps on your anus—we’d rather ask the internet.

Really, the stigma is unwarranted: “Everybody has hemorrhoids,” says colon and rectal surgeon Tracey Childs, MD, chief of surgery at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA. 

Hemorrhoids occur when the veins in your rectum become swollen from too much pressure, like if you sit for a long time, strain during bowel movements, or are pregnant. 

Hemorrhoids will go away once the pressure is lifted. But they can be painful and itchy, so really what we’re treating with over-the-counter remedies are the symptoms, Dr. Childs adds. “But there isn’t one treatment or miracle compound that’s going to take care of the issue," she says.

Important note: There are a lot of other conditions that have symptoms similar to hemorrhoids. If the pain, swelling, bleeding, or constant need to strain don't get better after a few days, go to the doctor, Dr. Childs adds.

Here, the six best over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments of 2020. 

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Doctor Butler's Hemorrhoid & Fissure Ointment

Doctor Butler

 Courtesy of Amazon

This cream—named by someone with a lovely sense of humor—hits all the doctor's approved ingredients, including lidocaine for the most powerful topical numbing available and aloe for cool soothing. It’s also packed with bio-enhanced herbs, essential oils, and amino acids, which are all microbial and can help with healing. Additionally, the formula contains a vasoconstrictor to help shrink swollen tissue and stop bleeding.

The product was actually created by a board-certified proctologist, Dr. Cutler, who wanted to offer a more affordable treatment for folks with anorectal problems. He worked out a proprietary delivery system to help the skin absorb the formula more effectively. 

The result: quick relief from the pain, itching, and burning that can come with hemorrhoids. It’s recommended for other anal issues, including fissures, which is great if you aren’t totally sure which your symptoms are a sign of. Plus, it doesn't stain, which is a common problem with other hemorrhoid creams.

Best Pills: Naticura Hem-Control Herbal Hemorrhoid Remedy

Over-the-counter hemorrhoid suppositories won’t shrink your bump, but they can help stimulate a bowel movement or lubricate the anal canal so that it’s easier and less painful to go, Dr. Childs says.

There are a lot of products to help soften your stool, but we love this one because it has both of Dr. Child's witch hazel powder and psyllium husk, a natural fiber. Other ingredients like ginger root and horse chestnut seed are intended to help lower inflammation and promote healing in the damaged tissue of a hemorrhoid. Plus, psyllium husk is a gentle stool softener, so you’ll see results without any of the emergency feelings.

This formula is made from entirely natural ingredients with no chemicals and no fillers. That means it’s not only better in the moment, but also you can use the stool softener regularly if you need to help avoid future straining (though we’d highly recommend adding more fiber to your diet via whole foods, first).

Best Ice Treatment: Hilph Reusable Perineal Cold Pack

When you need guaranteed pain relief stat, icing is always the way to go. It numbs the area it touches and can help lower inflammation and swelling. There's one major problem with this method: it’s a real acrobatic act to get ice to sit—and stay—against a hemorrhoid.

Hilph’s long, flat cold packs, made from soft gel beads, are ideal for molding into the tricky area of your anus. The outer fabric feels nice on your skin and doesn’t have any uncomfortable sharp corners. And the small gel beads inside freeze very fast and stay cold for a long time—without creating a mess from dripping, melting water.

We love that the packs come not just with washable sleeves, but with four of them in case you need back-to-back ice therapy faster than you can do laundry.

They’re super affordable compared to competitors, and you can pop the pack in the microwave to turn it into a hot pack if needed. Plus, after your hemorrhoid goes away, these are great to use hot or cold to soothe soreness after a workout or an injury.

Best Soak: Thena Sitz Bath Soak

You can soak in a warm tub as much as you want for comfort during a hemorrhoid, Dr. Childs says. While you don't necessarily need salt, this sitz has a strong reputation of being not only seriously relaxing but also seriously pain-relieving.

This bath soak is made with super fine epsom salt and dead sea salt, which dissolves quickly. It's enhanced with coconut oil and magnesium oil to lubricate the skin, aloe vera and witch hazel leaf to provide soothing relief, and 14 other natural herbal oils. 

It's safe (and highly encouraged) for use during pregnancy and postpartum care—as well as anyone suffering a painful hemorrhoid, of course. 

Sitting in a warm tub mixed with this sitz bath for 15 to 20 minutes will help provide serious 'roid relief. The jar should last you about 10 to 12 baths. And because of all the oils and botanicals in the formula, your skin will come out silky soft after—bonus! 

Best Treatment During Pregnancy: Motherlove Rhoid Balm

Motherlove

“Hemorrhoids are very common in pregnant women because the pressure in the pelvis in and of itself can cause hemorrhoids, and oftentimes women get constipated and have to strain,” Dr. Childs explains. 

The last thing you want to deal with when you are or are about to be a new mom is reading ingredient labels and reviews on how effective a cream actually is. Unlike the steroid creams your doc will give you for relief, Motherlove Rhoid Balm is made of all-natural pain and itch-relievers (namely witch hazel, yarrow, and calendula)—so moms don't have to worry about what's soaking into their skin. All the ingredients are USDA Certified Organic. 

The formula is intended to soothe hemorrhoids from pregnancy or from labor and features astringent properties to help reduce swelling. Plus, it's super affordable and made for women, by women.

Best Pillow: Kieba Donut Tailbone Cushion

Sitting on a soft cushion will ease your recovery, Dr. Childs says. You may be able to use a pillow at home, but if you need targeted lack-of-pressure, a donut pillow is the ideal shape. 

Place it between your butt and the couch and you’ll feel less pressure on your pelvis, coccyx, lower back, and perineum. The opening is about 7.5 by 5 inches—a good size for most tushes to sit on the cushion and keep the hemorrhoid-specific area of the anus free of pressure. 

What’s more, the size is ideal for taking the pillow with you on long car rides or airplanes where prolonged sitting might otherwise aggravate a hemorrhoid.

This pillow is made of dense comfort foam so it won't flatten out after hours of sitting or deflate. We love the non-slip bottom to avoid constant readjustment. And the velour cover is machine washable for easy cleaning and optimum sanitation.

Final Verdict

When it comes to hemorrhoid relief, the single, must-have product is Doctor Butler's Hemorrhoid & Fissure Ointment. It will treat the majority of your symptoms and can be used anywhere, any time of day. If you need serious soothing and have the time and a tub, Thena Sitz Bath Soak is an almost guaranteed pain relief. If you have hemorrhoids regularly, take Naticura Hem-Control Herbal Hemorrhoid Remedy to help soften your stool—and go see your doctor for what else you can do.

What to Look for in an Over-the-Counter Hemorrhoid Treatment

Ingredients: What to look for in a hemorrhoid treatment depends on the product. Ointments and creams can help ease the pain and itching. Witch hazel in particular is quite soothing, as is aloe vera, coconut oil, or even vitamin E, Dr. Childs adds. A topical anesthetic like lidocaine can be helpful, too.

Form: When you have a hemorrhoid, it can be extra painful to try and have a bowel movement; natural stool softeners with ingredients like psyllium (which is just fiber) work well, she adds. If you're not trying to add any more pills to your daily regimen, opt for a cooling pad or seat cushion that can relieve some of the pain naturally. Bath salts for soaking are another great way to ease the itch without medication.

Why Trust Verywell Health

Rachael Schultz is a freelance writer with a focus in health and nutrition. Her articles have appeared on a handful of other Health sites, and she has a degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She specializes in breaking down science and medical jargon into digestible information.

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