Do Hemorrhoid Creams Work?

By: Sharon Bell

If you have hemorrhoids, you may be tempted to try products that claim they can make this annoying and painful condition vanish like magic. However, most of them are a waste of money. None of these products can actually shrink hemorrhoids or make them disappear.

At best, these products can temporarily relieve pain and itching which is what a good sitz bath can do. The bad part is that some ingredients may irritate the skin and make matters worse.

Consumers Union's medical consultants say this is true for anesthetics like benzocaine, dibucaine, and others. Hemorrhoid suppositories, on the other hand, offer very little help since they slide past the spot that needs to be treated. Ointments tend to retain moisture that further aggravate itch and irritation.

"There's hardly any product that can shrink or dry up hemorrhoids. All of them can ease the symptoms of hemorrhoids just like hot water. You'll feel good in a day or two but the hemorrhoid returns later," according to Dr. Ed T. Corpus Jr., a general and vascular surgeon at the Vein Care Clinic at Ferosa Condominium in Manila.

What then are your options? Previously, surgery was a common procedure for the treatment of hemorrhoids. It was painful, required the use of general anesthesia, and a week-long hospital stay.

Today, hemorrhoidectomy, as the procedure is called, is less traumatic. Local anesthesia is often used and most patients can return home the day after surgery. This is usually recommended for enlarged external hemorrhoids that protrude every time you move your bowels.

For enlarged internal hemorrhoids, various treatments are available. The doctor can tie the hemorrhoid with a small elastic band which "chokes" it, reduces its blood supply and causes it to shrink in a few days. This is the most widely used technique which can be done in a physician's office.

Other methods that work in a similar way include laser surgery (which uses an intense beam of light to burn off the hemorrhoid) and cryosurgery (where the hemorrhoid is frozen and falls off in several days).

Internal hemorrhoids can also be treated with sclerotherapy. Here the doctor injects the hemorrhoid with a sclerosing agent that causes it to shrink. This process has been used for years in Canada, Europe, and the United States.

"With surgery you have to suffer a bit because it's painful and may take time before you completely recover. That's not the case with sclerotherapy. It makes use of potent, non-toxic chemicals that shrink hemorrhoids fast. The whole process can be done in the physician's office for only 10 to 15 minutes and only one injection is required. Within two hours, the medication spreads and dries up the hemorrhoid in three to five days," explained Corpus, a phlebologist (vein specialist) who trained in New York and Philadelphia.

Are there side effects to worry about? Like all drugs, sclerosing agents have their share of side effects but these are transient and not everyone experiences them. What is certain is that their benefits far outweigh the risks of surgery and other painful procedures.

Since obesity is a factor in hemorrhoids, it pays to lose weight. You can do this with the help of Zyroxin, a safe and natural supplement that will maximize your weight loss through its unique fat-burning ingredients. For details, visit

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