Feeling hopeless in the face of this discomfort? Fear not! Proper and consistent cleaning of hemorrhoids and the areas they affect does wonders for minimizing symptoms and preventing the frequency and severity of their return.
Keep reading to learn how to clean a hemorrhoid, how to wipe with hemorrhoids, basic anal hygiene, and more.
Who are we? We’re Doctor Butler’s, experts in down-there care of hemorrhoids and related conditions. We make proctologist-developed hemorrhoid ointments and complementary products to help you quickly leave the pain behind. Dr. Robert Cutler medically reviews all of the information here.
Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
Once swollen, internal hemorrhoids will either remain inside the rectum or anal canal or prolapse through the anus. Internal hemorrhoids are typically painless (unless they prolapse) but can cause light spotting of blood.
External hemorrhoids on the other hand are visible right away and will appear as purplish, pea-sized lumps. This kind of hemorrhoid and the swollen veins they cause are behind the itching, pain, soreness, and bleeding often associated with hemorrhoids.
Effective cleaning at home will serve as a beneficial treatment for whichever type of hemorrhoid you are experiencing.
How to Clean Hemorrhoids
Learning strategies for successfully cleaning hemorrhoids and the surrounding skin is part of a larger at-home approach to relieving symptoms, preventing infection, and reducing the rate of return. Find four recommended methods for cleaning hemorrhoids and how Doctor Butler’s products help support the care and keeping of your anal health below.
Once a hemorrhoid is swollen, it’s likely that anything involving the perineal area will become a painful effort. Even using toilet paper when wiping can prove incredibly uncomfortable, further irritating the sensitive skin around the hemorrhoid and leaving it susceptible to infection.
Personal cleansing lotion can be applied to toilet paper or wipes and provides a sting-free buffer that eliminates pulling on the dry skin, soothing as it cleanses. The lotion keeps the area around your hemorrhoid free of residue that may be difficult to reach and provides a hygienic foundation before applying ointment or cream treatments.
Sitz baths are as effective as they are simple. They require only a bathtub (or any bowl large enough). Fill it with 3 to 4 inches of warm water and gently ease your perineum and any area irritated by a swollen hemorrhoid. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes for cleansing and pain relief. Pat dry the area so as not to irritate the skin.
Bending your knees upward while bathing may help expose more of the affected skin to the water, providing a deeper clean, relaxing the muscles, and encouraging blood flow to the area. Sitz baths are most effective once any initial swelling has gone down, but offer a solid alternative to wiping with dry toilet paper after a bowel movement at any time in your hemorrhoid care process.
Adding epsom salt can help decrease inflammation and may even help relieve constipation.
No, wet wipes aren’t just for baby bottoms! We recommend organic wipes as the recommended route for cleaner hemorrhoids, as their gentler ingredients don’t contain the harsh chemicals that can exacerbate hemorrhoid symptoms. They won’t pull or dry-out skin like toilet tissue, and they help prevent the build-up of residue that can occur when rushing to finish up after a painful bowel movement. Flushable wipes also offer the benefit of portability to your hemorrhoid cleaning routine.
This isn’t a question we get a whole lot, but we have the answer if you’re curious! A customer emailed us to ask if “anal douching cleans a haemorrhoid”. (Whether you spell it haemorrhoid or hemorrhoid doesn’t matter to us, we’re just happy to try and get you an answer.)
While anal douching doesn’t clean the hemorrhoid itself, the use of a douche bulb, ball, or bag to introduce a stream of water into the anal cavity can help clear out the rectum of any residual fecal matter, which is a good thing! Plus, anal douching has the added bonus of loosening up stool that may be causing you to strain during bowel movements, further aggravating your hemorrhoid.
Those with anal fissures or torn skin around the anus should avoid anal douching though, as the insertion of a douching tool may cause additional tearing.
Hemorrhoid Home Care – What to Avoid
Just as we’re told not to judge a book by its cover, labels calling their products “natural” may still be hiding synthetic chemicals that irritate hemorrhoids. Similarly, products not specifically designed to keep hemorrhoids clean may be doing more harm than good. Keep an eye out for the following list of ingredients that should be avoided when cleaning and treating hemorrhoids:
- Formulas with High Concentrations of Alcohol
- Talcum Powder
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Non-diluted Essential Oils
Doctor Butler’s entire product line has been developed explicitly for the treatment of hemorrhoids, so you can rest assured that you’re only getting the good stuff when using them to clean and care for flare-ups and beyond.
Hemorrhoid Treatment Options
There are a variety of treatment options for hemorrhoids, from home remedies to medical approaches.
- Lifestyle changes – While hemorrhoids may not be wholly unavoidable, making slight adjustments to your diet and daily routine can do wonders for prevention. Eating high-fiber foods, staying hydrated, exercising, avoiding sitting for extended periods, and using the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge are all things you can begin doing immediately to increase your hemorrhoid health.
- Medications – At-home treatment can be an effective tool for fighting swelling and other troublesome symptoms as you wait for your hemorrhoid to heal. Creams and ointments contain ingredients like lidocaine to reduce pain, phenylephrine to constrict swollen tissue, and glycerin and lanolin to protect the skin. Cold compresses, heating pads, and ice packs can be used in between applications of medication to reduce swelling, thereby increasing the benefits of the at-home medications.
- Surgery – When lifestyle changes, proper cleaning, and at-home medications are not improving your hemorrhoid situation, it’s time to seek help from a medical professional. Surgical treatments like rubber band ligation or a hemorrhoidectomy (hemorrhoid removal) are used only when all other options have been exhausted but are an effective route for addressing more serious cases.
Hemorrhoid Help with Doctor Butler’s
Let’s wrap up! As a reminder, excess pressure on the lower rectum causes the hemorrhoid veins in your anal canal to swell and can lead to the many irritating symptoms we associate with hemorrhoids. To truly help your hemorrhoid situation you need to stamp out the cause of your hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are never a pleasant experience, but staying on top of anal hygiene and learning effective methods for cleaning even those hardest-to-reach hemorrhoid problem areas can ease the pain. Doctor Butler’s is here to support those efforts with hemorrhoid-safe products that are on double duty, protecting and soothing your skin as they keep it cleansed and healthy!