Hemorrhoids are a common health problem that frustrates millions of people year-in, year-out.
A lot of effort has gone into finding treatments that are convenient, pain-free, and effective.
Creams are cheap and often obtainable over the counter. But picking the best cream for you isn’t easy because there are so many different options.
- Best Over the Counter Hemorrhoid Cream
- Best Ointment for Hemorrhoids
- Cream for External Hemorrhoids
- Most Effective Anti Itch Cream
- Why Creams Can Be A Good Option
- What Does Hemorrhoid Cream Do?
- What Makes Hemorrhoid Creams Work So Well
- What is the Best Hemorrhoid Cream?
- Best Prescription Hemorrhoid Cream
- Choosing the Cream That’s Most Effective for You
Read this article to find out more about the different creams on the market, including which cream is best for external use and which creams you can buy over the counter.
We also discuss prescription creams, but these medical treatments will require a visit to your doctor first, you can’t buy prescription creams over the counter. Of course, a doctor’s visit is not a bad idea if you are struggling to get rid of hemorrhoids.
Best Over the Counter Hemorrhoid Cream
Looking for best over the counter hemorrhoid cream reviews? We think the following cream is a top bet for a lot of hemorrhoid sufferers. It is a simple product that provides intensive pain relief.
This cream works using an anesthetic called lidocaine. It’s powerful stuff that helps to numb the pain many people experience when they are suffering from hemorrhoids.
The fact that it contains 5% lidocaine makes it particularly effective as an anesthetic, it is a higher concentration of lidocaine that you will find in other hemorrhoid treatment creams.
Recticare is a very gentle cream which is suitable for both internal and external hemorrhoids, and it is mostly odorless which is great if you don’t like funky smells.
The unique combination of a powerful cream with its gentle action and smell-free nature makes Recticare a great choice if you are looking for the best cream for hemorrhoids.
- Fast-acting relief due to the high concentration of lidocaine
- Available over the counter or online
- Can be applied externally and internally
- Anti-itching properties
- Includes 10 finger cots
- Can be expensive to buy
- Fiddly packaging
Best Ointment for Hemorrhoids
Some people don’t like the consistency of a cream and prefer something a bit more like an ointment.
Thankfully there are plenty of ointments on the market with a consistency that is soothing and that doesn’t feel too much like you’re applying a prescription product.
Let’s take a look at what choices you have when you are looking for ointment for hemorrhoids.
Want hemorrhoid creams that work but that has a traditional medicine influence? Look no further than Mayinglong Musk Hemorrhoids Ointment, a product prepared using a traditional herbal formula.
In fact, this product contains seven traditional medicine ingredients, which is a lot of active ingredients for your money.
Many people like the fact that the product contains traditional ingredients rather than the chemicals so common to modern medicines.
This product is great for moisturizing the bowel areas to ensure smooth movements. By reducing itchiness and dryness Mayinglong Musk Hemorrhoids Ointment can greatly reduce the discomfort you experience when you suffer from hemorrhoids.
But what makes this product work? Let’s look at the ingredients in this lotion for hemorrhoids:
- Vaseline. An old ingredient everyone is familiar with, its included in the product because it’s so good at relieving minor skin irritations. The Vaseline in Mayinglong Musk Hemorrhoids Ointment does a fantastic job of relieving dry and itchy skin.
- Borneol. Never heard of borneol? We’re not surprised, it is a traditional Chinese medicine after all. It is in fact found in rosemary oil, something you will be familiar with. It acts as an anesthetic while also expressing sedative qualities. As you can imagine this goes a long way in relieving the pain associated with hemorrhoids.
- Pearl. In its powdered form, Pearl has been used in China for hundreds of years to heal all sorts of frustrating skin conditions. Studies have shown that it contains anti-inflammatory properties, and of course, hemorrhoids are strongly associated with inflammation.
- Bezoar. We don’t know what this ingredient does in the mix, there’s no medical use for it that we could find. We can tell you it is a small, stone-like secretion found in the stomach of some animals. There is a history of bezoar being used as an antidote of sorts, long ago.
- Lanolin. Basically grease, we don’t know why this is included except for bulking up the product and perhaps because the wax-like texture provides a soothing effect.
Now that you know what’s in Mayinglong Musk Hemorrhoids Ointment you might be wondering what the side effects are.
Luckily there doesn’t appear to be any serious side effects to what looks like quite a complicated mix in what is one of the best ointments for hemorrhoids.
You can expect a little bit of discomfort as you apply it, but nothing too dramatic. As always if you experience dramatic and very painful side effects, you need to urgently contact a doctor.
So let’s summarize what this cream is about:
- Natural home remedy
- Based on classic Chinese medicine
- No prescription required
- Powerful mix of ingredients
- Relieves discomfort and itching
- Protects inflamed surfaces
- No pharmaceutical ingredients
- May be less effective than chemical compounds
Are you looking for serious hemorrhoid creams that work, but prefer the ointment consistency? Try Preparation H Hemorrhoidal Ointment with Lidocaine.
This chemical product doesn’t have the natural medicine kudos of Mayinglong Musk Hemorrhoids Ointment, but many people would say that Preparation H is more potent.
It may not be a traditional remedy, but Preparation H has been around for a pretty long time. It’s popular because you can apply it both internally and externally.
The product is particularly effective because it includes four ingredients, all working together for an effective treatment regime. What’s in Preparation H? Here you go:
- Phenylephrine. A pharmaceutical ingredient, Phenylephrine is tasked with providing a protective coating which relieves many of the discomforts associated with hemorrhoids. Thanks to this ingredient Preparation H reduces pain, discomfort, and irritation while also providing relief for itching and burning.
- Aloe Vera. Everyone knows the powerful soothing and healing effects of aloe vera, and that’s why it is included in Preparation H. Aloe Vera also helps protect against fungal and bacterial infections, which can be an issue with hemorrhoids.
- Mineral oil. Internal hemorrhoids, in particular, can cause problems with bowel movements and Preparation H includes mineral oil to soothe you on the inside. Mineral oil is great at relieving itchiness and tenderness.
- Lidocaine. Also included in Recticare Anorectal Cream, lidocaine is, as we mentioned, and anesthetic. Sometimes hemorrhoids just need to heal and all you need is something to relieve the pain and discomfort. This is where lidocaine works wonders.
One thing that stands out about Preparation H is the price. People love this product because it is so affordable, and lots of people buy it time and time again because it is one of the strongest hemorrhoid creams at the price.
But people are often worried that piles creams have side effects. What are the side effects of Preparation H? Not a lot.
You may get signs of an allergic reaction, but this is very rare. Some people can get irritation and bleeding around the rectum, but again these are rare side effects.
In fact, the most you should expect when you apply Preparation H is a mild discomfort or burning sensation, in part due to the process of applying the cream and in part due to the ingredients contained in Preparation H.
Overall Preparation H is a solid product that you should definitely consider if only to try given the affordable price.
So let’s look at the best and the worst features of Preparation H:
- Strong ingredients provide immediate relief
- Affordable price
- No need for a prescription or doctor’s visit
- Broad relief for itching and burning
- Can be used externally and internally
- The main active ingredient, phenylephrine, only works for a short time
- Requires frequent reapplication
- Doesn’t offer prevention
- Cannot be used for more than six or seven days
Cream for External Hemorrhoids
Lots of the creams we’ve already reviewed will work just great for both internal and external hemorrhoids, but some people prefer a cream that is really intended for external piles.
Which creams are great for external application, and what is the best cream for bleeding hemorrhoids?
External hemorrhoids are particularly frustrating because they can present in a more painful manner. This is because you have more pain receptors in the area around your anus than you do inside.
For this reason creams for external piles work very well if they contain some kind of anesthetic to provide pain relief.
One of the creams that provide a very effective numbing effect is Nupercainal Hemorrhoid Ointment.
Nupercainal does not contain lidocaine but contains a different ingredient that is excellent at introducing a numbing effect. This ingredient is called dibucaine.
Dibucaine provides an excellent level of topical relief when applied to external areas. It won’t actually shrink your hemorrhoids, but if pain relief is what you are after the dibucaine-containing Nupercainal is your friend.
Nupercainal Hemorrhoid Ointment contains other helpful ingredients too, including mineral oils which as previously described can have a soothing effect. There’s petroleum in the ointment too which is useful if you are going to apply the cream internally.
All-in-all Nupercainal is a solid product that is great if you want fast-acting relief from hemorrhoid pain relief cream.
We think Nupercainal Hemorrhoid Ointment is a great option if you want fast relief for external hemorrhoids, but let’s look at the pros and cons more closely:
- Strong numbing properties
- Fast-acting, you can get very quick relief
- Available over the counter or online
- Relief lasts up to eight hours
- Misses some healing ingredients
- Not a natural remedy
- Allergies can be an issue
Most Effective Anti Itch Cream
Itching is one of the biggest nuisances of suffering from hemorrhoids. Which creams are great for reducing itching? Here’s a couple that will work really well to reduce itching:
Recticare Anorectal Cream is mostly intended as an anesthetic, but the anti-itching properties in it are terrific for reducing the effects of itching.
Another cream that has good anti-itching properties is Preparation H. Users report that Preparation H goes a long way in reducing the degree to which they itch while they suffer from hemorrhoids.
But let’s look at a cream we can highly recommend for its ability to relieve itching.
One cream that provides particularly strong relief for itching is Equate Maximum Strength Pain Relief Hemorrhoidal Cream.
Equate works so well in part due to the inclusion of aloe. The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe are very potent when it comes to relieving itching.
The fact that Equate is so smooth and easy to apply is one of its most liked benefits. If you are already itching a lot you don’t want to worsen your suffering by applying a rough cream. Equate is very easy to apply.
What are the pros and cons of Equate? It’s simple really:
- Based on aloe vera
- Soothes rapidly
- Can shrink your hemorrhoids
- No prescription required
- Lacks some of the most potent treatment ingredients
- Cannot be used if your hemorrhoids are bleeding
Why Creams Can Be A Good Option
Creams for hemorrhoids are easy to buy, with most products available over the counter or online. Some require a prescription, but they’re all safe.
Patients like creams because they are easy to apply and not invasive, with most creams involving no side effects.
Hemorrhoid creams are also very effective, but you must read hemorrhoids cream reviews to see which product are best for your particular requirements. Also they are rarely as potent as internal remedies, because they only treat symptoms.
Every cream is a little bit different, as the best cream for hemorrhoid pain is not necessarily the best cream for bleeding hemorrhoids. It just depends.
Look at the ingredients in the cream on the one hand and look at user reviews too as this will help you pick a cream.
What Does Hemorrhoid Cream Do?
Creams are not a magic cure-all when it comes to hemorrhoids, but creams can have a lasting impact on your hemorrhoids, providing significant relief.
There are many mechanisms by which hemorrhoid creams work, but relief rather than cure is the main way creams act. Let’s look at some of the ways in which hemorrhoid cream can relieve your symptoms:
- Reduce itching and pain. One of the most frustrating symptoms hemorrhoid suffers complains about, creams can dramatically reduce the swelling in around your anus which causes itching and pain. Hemorrhoid creams contain ingredients that reduce pain and swelling, reducing how aware you are of your hemorrhoids.
- Combating inflammation. Hemorrhoids are caused by inflammation in the veins in and around your anus. Reducing this inflammation also reduced your hemorrhoid symptoms. Topical creams can act to reduce inflammation, in turn reducing the symptoms you have to manage.
- Damaged tissues. The swelling around hemorrhoids can cause tissue damage that exacerbates your symptoms. Creams can go a low way of healing tissue damage and therefore mitigate your hemorrhoids symptoms.
- Help bowel movements. Creams act as a lubricant which can help your experience smoother bowel movements. By reducing pain and inflammation creams can make your bowel movements much more comfortable.
Your hemorrhoid cream won’t instantly cure you, but it will make a huge difference to your symptoms, letting you go on with day to day life with less stress and pain.
What Makes Hemorrhoid Creams Work So Well
Creams have different combinations of ingredients; each ingredient is designed to relieve symptoms and to improve healing. What are these ingredients? Here are some of the types of ingredients typically included in topical hemorrhoid treatments:
- Analgesic. Intended to provide a cooling sensation, analgesics can reduce discomfort and pain by relieving painful itching sensations. It’s a great way to reduce symptoms and is often included in creams.
- Anesthetic. Similar to an analgesic in the way it works, but more potent. Anesthetics numbs the area to which it is applied, and thereby provides relief for symptoms, but the relief is temporary.
- Steroidal. Inflammation goes hand in hand with hemorrhoids and reducing inflammation using a steroid is a common method of action for hemorrhoid creams. Horse Chestnut Seed Extract is another ingredient that reduces inflammation.
- Moisturizer. Dryness can cause itching and many people suffering from hemorrhoids complain about experiencing dryness. Creams include moisturizers because it goes a long way in relieve the itching and pain caused by hemorrhoids.
The ingredients in your cream will vary from product to product. Over the counter, treatments tend to have ingredients different from their prescription counterparts.
Prescription treatments may have stronger-acting ingredients that carry the risk of side-effects, which is why only doctors are allowed to prescribe certain hemorrhoid creams.
What is the Best Hemorrhoid Cream?
No hemorrhoid cream is perfect for everyone. The cream that will work for you will depend on several factors. Consider the following when you are picking a cream:
- Seriousness of symptoms. Hemorrhoids can vary from a nuisance to a very serious problem. A quick and easy over the counter treatment may not be sufficient for more serious cases. Consider consulting with a doctor and getting a prescription instead.
- Consistency of product. Treatments can come in the shape of creams, oils, and ointments. You may not like the physical feel and consistency of some products, so consider your preferences for oils vs. cream, say, before you buy.
- Access to a doctor. If you can afford a doctor’s visit you may not be able to get a hold of treatment only available on prescription. That does not mean you cannot get hemorrhoid cream, but carefully research your over the counter options to find the most suitable product.
- Internal or external hemorrhoids. You can’t apply all creams internally. If you are suffering from internal hemorrhoids you must pick a product which is suitable treatment. Likewise, if you have external hemorrhoids you should pick a cream intended to treat external hemorrhoids.
It’s always worth looking at plenty of options before you make a decision about which cream is best for you.
Best Prescription Hemorrhoid Cream
On rare occasions, only a prescription treatment will do. If you see your doctor you may be prescribed a treatment which is not available over the counter.
Depending on your experience with hemorrhoids you may find that the treatments we reviewed in this article do not work for you.
For most people over the counter, treatments work just fine. But for others, a prescription treatment may provide better relief.
Treatments are generally issued as prescription-only because they come with the risk of side effects, or because frequent use can be damaging.
Prescription restrictions are there to protect patients and that is why prescription hemorrhoid treatments are not available online or over the counter.
Let’s take a look at two of the prescription treatments you may be offered if your doctor believes over the counter treatments are not going to work for you.
First, Anusol HC is often prescribed and is available as both a suppository and a cream. It contains a strong ingredient called hydrocortisone acetate which represses the chemicals in your body that causes swelling and pain.
Another popular product is Proctocort. Proctocort is a cream and it also contains hydrocortisone. It is also very potent but should be used with great care and only if you have a valid prescription.
Choosing the Cream That’s Most Effective for You
We’ve looked at why hemorrhoid creams work and given you some of the best creams and ointments to try for hemorrhoids.
But how do you choose a cream?
Think first about what your priorities are: is it pain relief, or would you like something to treat your ailment, making it go away?
Speaking to a doctor can be a great idea, or even just consult your pharmacist. Sometimes you may need to try a couple of different hemorrhoid treatments before finding one that works for you and a DIY home remedy often isn’t the best treatment approach.
Either way, don’t despair – there is a cream or ointment that will work wonders for you. Only if nothing else helps you might have to consider surgery and changing your diet to improve bowel movement, to prevent and avoid this condition altogether.