What Causes Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are caused when veins become swollen in the anal region, the result of excessive straining during a bowel movement as well as constipation. They are actually more common than people would like to know or be aware of. Hemorrhoids can cause extreme levels of pain and discomfort, making it essential to find the best route to remove the problem entirely.
OTC Hemorrhoid Treatments
Among the most popular treatments people look for are OTC (over the counter) hemorrhoid treatments. Over the counter treatments work utilizing different anesthetic agents as well as other strong ingredients specifically created to relieve the discomfort and pain associated with hemorrhoid tissue that has become inflamed.
Hemorrhoids can be treated using a number of different otc products. Some treatments work for both internal and external hemorrhoids while others are specifically designed to treat one or the other.
Below is an overview describing some of the best otc hemorrhoid treatments available in most grocery stores and pharmacies. When using these treatments, individuals should experience that the symptoms associated with hemorrhoids can be reduced significantly.
However, if the symptoms associated with hemorrhoids continue to persist for more than a week, it is best to consult a primary health care physician before continuing with any otc hemorrhoid treatment.
Protectants are a common over the counter hemorrhoid treatment medication. It works to reduce the inflammation associated with hemorrhoids by creating a protective barrio right over the mucous membrane and the skin. It also prevents the topmost layer of skin from losing water. Protectants come in a variety of types, including gels, water-based solutions, mineral oil, cocoa butter, petrolatum and kaolin.
Astringents are commonly used to reduce the inflammation and swelling along the affected tissue. This is done via shrinking. Astringents also decrease any secretions, including mucous. These acts reduce a number of symptoms associated with hemorrhoids, including burning, itching and inflammation. However, astringents do not relieve pain. Most commonly used over the counter hemorrhoid treatment astringents include zinc oxide, calamine, and witch hazel.
Antipruritics offer individuals temporary relief from some of the symptoms associated with hemorrhoids, including irritation, burning and itching. Antipruritics actually distract the mind from perceiving these sensations. Although safety in the use of antipruritics as an otc hemorrhoid treatment is still being debated, common ones include juniper tar and menthol.
Keratolytics are another popular otc hemorrhoid treatment that is typically used in conjunction with ointments and creams used to treat hemorrhoids. This type of hemorrhoid medication acts to dissolve the skin flakes as well as scales, allowing all the tissue in the affected region the ability to better absorb the topical medications used to treat hemorrhoids. Keratolytics reduce the irritation and itching associated with hemorrhoids. Alcloxa and Resorcinal are well known examples of keratolytics.
Vasoconstrictors consist of a number of treatments designed to greatly reduce the swelling by causing the affected blood vessels to constrict. Vasoconstrictors are known for the light anesthetic effect they have over the blood vessels as well as the relief they provide from discomfort, irritation and itching. However, before using vasoconstrictors to relieve hemorrhoids, it is important to first consult a physician as they are not recommended for use by those individuals who suffer from blood pressure disorders, such as hypertension, or heart disease. This is because the chemical agents found in vasoconstrictor medications are known to raise blood pressure and cause the heart to beat abnormally.
One last type of over the counter hemorrhoid treatment is local anesthetics. These medications block the nerves in the area from being able to send off messages to the brain of being in pain and the unpleasant sensations of irritation, burning and itching. Temporary relief can be achieved with local anesthetics for those suffering from external hemorrhoids.
Well known treatments include Dibucaine, Benzyl alcohol, Lidocaine and Benzocaine. Often local anesthetics are used in conjunction with another otc treatment. People who have full time jobs or go to school for long hours can benefit from local anesthetics because it allows them to maintain their focus on their job or in class and not on the pain associated with hemorrhoids.
Aside from ointments and creams, those with external hemorrhoids can find relief from irritation and pain with hemorrhoid pads. The over the counter hemorrhoid treatment pads are medicated and are essentially in reducing pain and inflammation. However, there are a number of options for hemorrhoid pads over the counter. If an individual is unsure which hemorrhoidal pad is best for them, ask the pharmacist at the drug store for assistance. While it may be slightly embarrassing to do, it can greatly assist in ensuring the hemorrhoids are treated quickly and effectively.
If hemorrhoids are at their initial stages, external hemorrhoids treatments can include a number of viable home remedies, including gentle exercises, stool softeners, and changing diets along with any of these over the counter hemorrhoid treatment option. However, if the medical professional notes that the hemorrhoids are at a more advanced stage of progression, the treatments for hemorrhoids may require prescription-based hemorrhoids medications as well as various techniques, including rubber band ligation to prevent blood circulation and cause the external hemorrhoid to shrink, and injection sclerotherapy, when a chemical solution is injected in the blood vessel in close proximity to the hemorrhoid. There is also the possibility of looking into surgical procedures to reduce the hemorrhoids. This is why it is very important to consult a medical professional right at the onset of hemorrhoids, in order to possibly avoid surgery.
Consult Your Doctor
Always consult with a medical professional before purchasing any otc hemorrhoid treatments. They will assist in determining which treatment is the best possible option. You should also immediately tell the medical professional if the over the counter product did not work. Your medical professional may need to do another examination and require a more effective treatment option.
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