The 9 Best Over-the-Counter Hemorrhoid Treatments to Buy in 2018

Ease painful and irritating symptoms with these OTC products

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Hemorrhoids are a pain in the rear end…quite literally. The condition (also known as piles), is marked by inflamed veins in the rectum or anus. Symptoms can include pain, itching, bleeding, and more. While there’s often no known cause, they may occur more frequently during pregnancy and result from straining during bowel movements.

The bad news: As many as three out of four adults will get them at some point. The good news: There are a host of over-the-counter (OTC) medications that can typically treat them.

While most cases of hemorrhoids aren’t serious, there are times when some of the symptoms associated with them may be a sign of something more serious. Make sure to contact a health care provider for an accurate diagnosis. Also, note that some hemorrhoid treatments could interfere with conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, and diabetes among others, so read the warnings on each package before using.

If you do choose to treat your hemorrhoids with an OTC product, here are the top over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments to try. 

Best Overall: Preparation H Rapid Relief with Lidocaine

Preparation H Rapid Relief

Courtesy of Amazon

The heavy hitter in the OTC hemorrhoid treatment arena is Preparation H. For decades it has provided relief for countless sufferers. While it comes in a variety of formulas, this one contains the pain reliever lidocaine (5 percent—the highest strength available for treating hemorrhoids) to stop pain and itching quickly. Glycerin protects and soothes skin.

The cream is for external use only and should be applied up to four times daily at the first sign of symptoms. Customers say it works as intended, and the relief from pain can’t be beat. Bonus: Many swear that it does wonders for under-eye bags too.

Best Wipes: Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads 100 Pads Per Pack

Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads 100 Pads Per Pack

Courtesy of Target

When you want relief and want it quickly, these medicated cooling pads from Tucks deliver. The pads’ active ingredient is witch hazel, and they promise relief from burning and itching on contact. You simply wipe with the moistened pads after each bowel movement or up to six times daily, then toss them. Beyond hemorrhoids they can also be used after childbirth or rectal or vaginal surgery to soothe the sore areas.

Customers give these pads high marks all around. One reviewer on Amazon wrote: “After suffering with hemorrhoids for years, I finally decided to buy some of these and I’m so mad at myself for waiting so long! Instant relief!”

Best Ointment: Doctor Butler's Hemorrhoid & Fissure Ointment

This ointment from Doctor Butler’s (developed by a proctologist named Dr. Butler) promises fast relief from itching, burning, bleeding, and other symptoms that come with hemorrhoids. It’s been approved by the FDA and contains the most powerful topical pain reliever—lidocaine (4 percent). It also contains a mix of healing herbs, amino acids, and minerals that promise to soothe and heal. The tube is equipped with a dispensing applicator, and it should be used three times per day.

Countless customers rave about this ointment, saying it worked when nothing else would. Some go so far as to call it a “magical cream” and “a lifesaver.”

Best Soak: Thena Sitz Bath Soak

When you’re suffering from hemorrhoids, sinking into a nice bath can provide the soothing relief you need. From Thena Natural Wellness, this soak can be used as a sitz bath or added to a regular bath. It contains a mix of all-natural Epsom and dead sea salts and other organic ingredients. Not only does it help provide relief while you’re in the tub, but it may also keep working afterward to help shrink hemorrhoids.

Organic coconut oil, sweet almond oil, lavender, and grapefruit oils provide a relaxing, aromatherapy experience. Customers say it’s soothing, effective, and smells amazing.

Best Pills: Naticura Hem-Control Herbal Hemorrhoid Remedy

If you don’t want to use creams, ointments, or other treatments, these Hem Control capsules from Naticura provide an alternative. They promise to calm, repair, and help heal hemorrhoids and the affected areas from the inside out. They’re made from a mix of herbal ingredients designed to help normalize digestion functions and prevent hemorrhoids in the future.

While, as with any herbal supplement, you should talk to your doctor before taking them, there are plenty of customers who say they work remarkably well. Some say it takes a while to see results, but others reported improvements soon after they started taking the pills. Many who were skeptical at first say they have been pleasantly surprised with the results.

Best Cream: Tronolane Hemorrhoid Cream

Tronolane Hemorrhoid Cream - 2 Oz (Pack of 3)

Courtesy of Wal-Mart

When you want something a little less greasy than an ointment, a cream like this one from Tronolane can provide a good alternative. It contains both an anesthetic to help relieve pain, itching, and soreness and an astringent to help promote healing.

Unscented and non-staining, it can be applied externally with an applicator up to five times a day. Customers say the cream is soothing and helps stop pain quickly.

Best Treatment During Pregnancy: Motherlove Organic Rhoid Balm

For all the amazing wonder of pregnancy, it can also come with some uncomfortable side effects, like hemorrhoids. This balm from Motherlove Organic is designed specifically for pregnant women with hemorrhoids. It’s 100 percent organic and created with a soothing mix of olive oil, beeswax, witch hazel leaves, yarrow herb, and calendula flower. For external use, you apply it several times a day.

Customers say it works quickly, smells great, and they like the natural ingredients without worry of harmful chemicals. As with any treatment while pregnant, you should always check with your doctor first, and this is a good one to run by them for light hemorrhoid relief.

Best Pillow: Kieba Hemorrhoid Treatment Donut Tailbone Cushion for Hemorrhoids

When hemorrhoids make even sitting painful, this pillow can help relieve the pressure. Made of a dense foam, it’s shaped like a donut and won’t flatten out. It can be used anywhere, including on plane seats, in wheelchairs, and in beds, and it has a non-slip bottom to keep it in place. The velour cover is removable and machine washable.

It’s a bit too firm for some, but most customers give this pillow high marks, saying it’s comfortable and can be used in a variety of positions. They like that it doesn’t flatten out over time and find it works to help alleviate pain associated with a variety of conditions beyond hemorrhoids, including that experienced during pregnancy and after childbirth and surgery.

Best Ice Treatment: Hemorrwedge Hemorrhoid Treatment Ice Pack

For cooling relief from hemorrhoid pain, these Hemorrwedge ice packs provide it in the most literal sense. You don’t have to mess with creams, lotions, or other potions—you simply put them in the freezer then pull one out whenever you need it. Specially designed to fit where it hurts most, these ice packs provide instant relief from swelling and pain. Two are included so you can have one ready to go at all times. They also come with a hygienic storage case.

The Hemorrwedges can be used alone or along with other hemorrhoid treatments. Customers say they work better than ice bags as they’re perfectly shaped to stay put and provide simple, easy-to-use effective relief. Some find them a bit too cold, which the manufacturer suggests remedying by running them under lukewarm water or letting them sit at room temperature for a while.

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