Swollen and inflamed veins in and around the rectum are called hemorrhoids, or piles. Pressure in the lower rectal area from pregnancy, bowel movements, prolonged sitting, obesity or anal intercourse causes the condition. Hemorrhoids are common. Half the population has suffered from hemorrhoids by the age of 50. Symptoms include pain, itching and general discomfort around the anal area. MayoClinic.com recommends that a person seek medical attention if hemorrhoids bleed excessively and no improvement is shown after trying several home remedies.
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Clean the anal area daily by taking warm baths to wash the skin and decrease irritation. Do not use soap, which may aggravate hemorrhoids, advises MayoClinic.com. Decrease moisture to the area by using a blow-dryer to dry hemorrhoids. Soak in the tub as often as needed for relief of pain and irritation.
Use a sitz bath, a small, plastic basin that fits over the toilet, for convenience. You can purchase a sitz bath at most pharmacies and medical supply stores. Fill it with warm water and allow the rectal area to soak for about 15 minutes. Wash and dry the sitz bath after each use.
Apply cold ice packs or compresses to the rectal are to relieve pain. Soak a washcloth or moist towelette in ice water and slightly press onto the hemorrhoid. Refrigerate witch hazel and apply to the area for an additional cooling effect. Avoid toilet paper or other products with perfume or alcohol.
Soften stools to decrease irritation to hemorrhoids. Hard stools make hemorrhoids increasingly painful and increase straining. Drink plenty of water. Eat foods high in fiber to encourage soft stool formation. Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet throughout the day. Allow stool to pass with ease by applying a small amount of petroleum jelly about ½ inch into the rectal area using your finger or cotton swab.
Take oral pain relievers such as acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen. Always take food or drink milk when consuming ibuprofen to prevent complications such as stomach ulcers.