How Long Does it Take for Hemorrhoid Cream to Work?

Hemorrhoids are intrusive and uncomfortable and sufferers need relief as soon as possible. It’s important to see your doctor, even for minor cases or to ask about natural remedies for hemorrhoids. If you are open to medication, there are plenty of effective over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatment options to reduce hemorrhoid symptoms. 


“Best Help Ever! This product is better than the prescription my doctor gave. I’m sticking with what works.”

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Medicated hemorrhoid creams are a beneficial method to calm swelling and relieve itching, burning and the pain that is associated with hemorrhoids. And what’s great is that relief comes quick and easy with ointment, which reduces pain almost immediately upon application.

Some active ingredients in the most popular hemorrhoid creams work differently, however, so to know which soothes the fastest and is best for your case of hemorrhoids, we will go over the different kinds of medicines available. How long does it take for hemorrhoid cream to work? That depends on what kind of ointment you’re using.

What is Hemorrhoid Cream and How Does it Work?

What is hemorrhoid cream? What does hemorrhoid cream do? Hemorrhoid cream is a smooth ointment that usually contains one or more of these active ingredients:

  • Zinc Oxide – Zinc oxide can fight off bacterial growth while shrinking the swollen blood vessels in and around your anus. As an added bonus, zinc oxide can also help your body absorb the medication and moisture in hemorrhoidal suppositories.
  • Lidocaine – Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that instantly numbs and calms the pain and discomfort of external hemorrhoids. 
  • Phenylephrine HCl – This medication is primarily used to reduce swelling. It also provides temporary relief from the itching, burning and pain of hemorrhoids by narrowing the affected blood vessels.
  • Glycerine – This substance acts as a protective barrier for the affected skin so that the tenderness is not exacerbated by bowel movements.
  • Lanolin – Similar to glycerine, lanolin protects the sensitive skin as it heals.

Hemorrhoid cream is a smooth, soothing consistency that is applied to the affected area with an applicator or fingers.

Ointments made for hemorrhoids provide anti-inflammatory action, reducing the swelling that is a source of the discomfort of hemorrhoids. You’ll also get some pain relief from most hemorrhoid creams, while the numbing effects provide instant relief to any burning sensations you might have. Hemorrhoid ointments provide relief from itching (which is a low-grade form of pain) as well, which can reduce discomfort and promote better sleep and healing.

How to Use Hemorrhoid Cream

Before we go over how to apply hemorrhoid cream, read the instructions that came with the cream or ointment you bought. Each cream may have different recommendations or applicators, so make sure you’re following the right steps for the cream you have. If you have any questions about this medication, please speak with your doctor before using it, especially if you have diabetes, are pregnant or have other chronic health conditions. 

You can apply your hemorrhoid cream up to 3 or 4 times per day, depending on which product you’ve purchased. It’s best to apply it after a bowel movement. Always apply hemorrhoid cream with clean hands and be sure to gently clean the affected area with warm water and soap, a wet wipe, or a personal cleanser.

Then, apply ointment to the affected area and into the anus with either an applicator or a gloved finger if you have internal hemorrhoids. When using Doctor Butler’s Lidocaine ointments with finger cots or an applicator, apply externally or to the skin of the anal canal only. Do not put this product more than two inches into the anal canal and into the rectum.

You may experience mild pain or stinging during application depending on how raw the affected area is. This will pass within moments but if it does not, you should consult with your doctor. You may also want to check in with your doctor if hemorrhoid symptoms do not ease up after 7 days of using hemorrhoid cream as directed. 

Fast heartbeat, pounding headaches, anxiety or trouble sleeping after use should also be discussed with your doctor. Though allergies to hemorrhoid creams are rare, if you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction, stop the use of this medication and see your doctor right away. 

How Long Does It Take for Hemorrhoid Cream to Work?

So, how fast does hemorrhoid cream work? Relief from the symptoms of hemorrhoids is instantaneous with most hemorrhoid creams. You will feel relief almost right away from things such as itching, pain and burning. When talking about how long for hemorrhoid cream to work in terms of healing, signs of healing hemorrhoids should be apparent within 7 days of consistent hemorrhoid ointment application, if used as instructed. 

There are some variables that can make that time frame longer or shorter however. The size of your hemorrhoids will have an effect on how long the healing process takes as larger hemorrhoids take longer to heal than small hemorrhoids. The slight differences in how people apply the product may also affect the healing time. 

If you forget an application of your hemorrhoid cream, just use it whenever you remember and restart your regular schedule the next day. If you apply three times a day and forget it in the morning, for example, apply once you remember and then stagger your applications for the rest of the day. You should aim to avoid over-applying the medication and causing irritation to the affected area.

If your hemorrhoids have not shown signs of shrinking within two weeks, it’s time to talk to your doctor about other options. 

How Often Can I Use Hemorrhoid Cream?

How often can hemorrhoid cream be applied? Most creams will indicate the frequency of use in the instructions that come with it, so it’s important to check with the specific product you have. Usually the limit is no more than 3 or 4 times per day depending on the precise product. 

You’ll want to use clean hands and gently clean the affected area before use. Using a gloved finger or the applicator, apply the cream by smoothing it over the affected area. You can do this in the morning and before bed as well as after a bowel movement but don’t exceed the number of daily uses recommended by the instructions that came with the product.  

Exceeding this limit can cause irritation to the affected skin, and potentially exacerbate the condition. You may wish to see your doctor to discuss frequency of use if you have conditions like diabetes or are pregnant. 

What Should I Do if My Hemorrhoids Don’t Go Away?

Hemorrhoid cream not working? What if your hemorrhoids don’t go away? If you’ve been using your hemorrhoid cream for a week as instructed and you’ve seen no change in the size of your hemorrhoids, or if your condition seems to have worsened, it’s time to speak to your doctor. If you wait to speak to your doctor, you may end up requiring more invasive treatments that include surgery, rubber band ligation and other uncomfortable procedures. 

How to Prevent Hemorrhoids from Recurring

The good news about hemorrhoids is that they are often preventable and preventative measures aren’t all that bad. Here are several ways that you can ensure you hemorrhoids don’t flare up again: 

  • Eat a high-fiber diet – fiber keeps your bowel movements soft and regular which can relieve the pressure from constipation that is often the culprit behind hemorrhoid flare ups. You can also use a fiber supplement to soften your stools. 
  • Stay hydrated – hydration combined with your hemorrhoids high fiber diet can help keep your bowel movements soft and regular.
  • Avoid sitting for long periods – sitting puts pressure on the rectal area which can cause or exacerbate hemorrhoids. If you work at a desk, alternate between sitting and standing or get up and walk around a couple of times per hour. 
  • Exercise – regular activity can prevent constipation and bring down the pressure in your body. 
  • Don’t hold it – if you have to empty your bowels, don’t wait. This can cause your stools to dry out and become harder and compacted. 
  • Don’t strain during bowel movements – try to let it happen without straining as that can put pressure on your rectal area and cause hemorrhoids to flare up. 

Find Immediate Relief from Hemorrhoid Pain with Doctor Butler’s

A great cream for hemorrhoids and piles is going to give you temporary symptom relief right away, and provide healing that will begin to be noticeable after a week of use as instructed. Typically, hemorrhoid creams will relieve pain, itching, swelling and general discomfort as they heal.

Doctor Butler’s hemorrhoid cream with lidocaine, zinc oxide and other soothing ingredients offers immediate relief for symptoms and brings healing to the affected area within a few days of use. Choose from different strengths depending on the severity of your hemorrhoids and get the relief you’re looking for. Shop Doctor Butler’s hemorrhoid creams today.


“Best Help Ever! This product is better than the prescription my doctor gave. I’m sticking with what works.”

Maryann S. Verified Reviewer

About Robert Cutler, D.O.

Dr. Robert Cutler has performed duties as a specialist in the field of Proctology over 30 years as a practicing physician. Over this time, he has had great success integrating patient care from both an efficiency standpoint and as a practical approach to holistic and preventative medicine.

Dr. Cutler also performs FDA approved Clinical Trials and has had formal research training in Human Subject Assurance Training, OHRP/NIH and Good Clinical Practice for Investigators, Quintiles. Dr. Cutler continues to work on creating more affordable solutions to help people who are affected by ano-rectal problems as well as various chronic or acute skin issues.

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