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Over-the-Counter Hemorrhoid Treatment Options

written by: Michelle Kingston • edited by: BStone • updated: 4/2/2011

Hemorrhoids cause so much embarrassment for people that they would rather use an over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatment rather than discussing this sensitive matter with a doctor. If you are a hemorrhoid sufferer, you may want to look into the following products for home use.

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    TUCKS Medicated Pads

    Tucks medicated pads have been a popular over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatment for many years. The pads are ready to use and you can travel with them discretely. A box of one hundred pads sells for about $7.00. tucks med pads 100ct 3d fr 

    Tucks pads contain fifty percent witch hazel, an effective anti-inflammatory. Witch hazel is also an astringent; it helps reduce itching, burning and swelling; it also cools down the affected area.

    According to manufacturer's instructions, Tucks can be used up to six times daily, or after using the bathroom. The pads are extremely small though, and some users have complained about their fingers getting in the way, so you do need to be careful when applying the pads.

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    Preparation H Ointment

    Preparation H is a premier hemorrhoid relief product. Unlike Tucks, which soothes external areas, Preparation H actually shrinks internal and external hemorrhoids. Users like the product because it is fast acting. The suggested use is four times daily to keep symptoms at bay.

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    Preparation H is used with an applicator, but the process can be a bit messy and awkward. Another drawback is the duration of time that the product takes to work. Some users have suggested that Preparation H is great during early usage, but as time passes, the hemorrhoids or discomforts seem to reoccur. Others swear by the product and use it regularly.

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    Witch Hazel

    Witch Hazel, as discussed earlier, is one of the main ingredients in Tucks medicated pads. You can purchase a bottle of witch hazel in drug stores for about three dollars. Here's how easy it is to use—soak gauze or cotton balls with the solution and then hold it to the external hemorrhoids for a few seconds. Witch hazel is possibly the best over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatment. It is known to shrink hemorrhoids and provide quick, soothing relief. You can reapply witch hazel throughout the day as needed.

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    Avatrol

    Avatrol is an all-natural oral treatment for hemorrhoids. The product is safe to use and has no side effects. Avatrol contains a mix of horse chestnut, cayenne, bilberry, Vitamin E and other plant ingredients that may be effective in treating hemorrhoids. The daily dose is one capsule every morning with a full glass of water; you do this treatment for about forty-five to sixty days. Taking Avatrol helps to minimize painful symptoms, but only if hemorrhoids are mild to moderately problematic.

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    Zinc oxide

    The thick coating in zinc oxide protects a baby's skin from itching and other irritations caused by diaper rash. Zinc oxide provides the same protection for itchy, painful skin problems associated with hemorrhoids. Applying the cream directly to the skin also helps the irritated area heal more quickly.

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    Cod Liver Oil

    Cod liver oil tastes a little better today than it did fifty years ago, and the benefits are just as good. Cod liver oil does not shrink hemorrhoids, but just one teaspoon of the oil daily should soften and lubricate your stool, thereby making the stool easier to pass without the need to strain. If you find the taste or smell of cod liver oil too unpleasant, you can find the capsule form in health food stores.

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    Having hemorrhoids doesn't mean you have to suffer in silence. You can try any of the above treatments to see if your conditions improved. You can also check out more hemorrhoid products like Anusol, HemoClin and HmR Natural Hemorrhoidal Ointment to find relief.

    A note of caution, despite manufacturer's claims that hemorrhoid products can be used regularly, the Mayo Clinic advises that over-the-counter remedies should not be used "for more than a week" unless patients are under a doctor's care.