How to Apply Hemorrhoid Cream: An In-Depth Guide

Table of Contents

Hemorrhoids are common. So common, in fact, that they affect about half of all American adults over 50.1 That’s a lot of people looking for relief, but the good news is that this frustrating condition is treatable and relief is possible.

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.

As a board-certified proctologic surgeon (aka proctologist), Dr. Robert Cutler knows which treatments quickly alleviate the discomfort of hemorrhoids. In this resource page, we’ll share his advice on how to get that relief from over-the-counter products so that you can go back to living your life without pain, protrusion, itching, and swelling.

Instructional Video

What are Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are enlarged blood vessels and veins in and around the rectum and anus that can cause pain and discomfort. They are often caused by pressure built up from constipation, diarrhea, pregnancy, sitting for long periods, and more. Symptoms include bleeding, pain, itchiness, and swelling. 

Flare-ups can make it challenging to sit, exercise, and do many other day-to-day tasks. Hemorrhoids can disrupt your life in a significant way, making treatment essential to getting back to normal and preventing them from becoming a more serious condition.

Luckily, there are numerous treatments to provide relief from the discomfort of hemorrhoids. When suffering a hemorrhoidal flare-up, people typically reach first for over-the-counter creams and ointments to alleviate their symptoms quickly. 

With this guide, we hope to provide you with the information you need to get the most out of these creams and ointments so that your symptoms subside, you begin to heal, and you can get back to doing the things you love. The page is broken up between External and Internal hemorrhoids, so scroll further down the page for details on internal hemorrhoids specifically.

How to Apply Hemorrhoid Cream (External)

External hemorrhoids are enlarged blood vessels that occur on the outside of your anus. You may feel a lump or bump near your anal opening if you have external hemorrhoids. The affected area is likely to be painful, itchy, and swollen, and you may experience a burning sensation.

Using a treatment cream for hemorrhoids is a fast acting way to relieve these symptoms if they’re not going away on their own.

Treatment for external hemorrhoid cream should follow these steps:

  1. The first step in the application of hemorrhoidal cream is to find the right time to apply ointment. Application can be done before and after bowel movements and again at bedtime.
  2. Once you’ve figured out when you’re ready to apply the ointment, you’ll want to wash and dry your hands before using hemorrhoid cream. It’s essential to keep the area affected by hemorrhoids clean and clear of bacteria.
  3. Wash the affected area, either with a sitz bath infused with Epsom salt for hemorrhoids or cleansing wipes. Try to avoid toilet paper as it can be rough on irritated hemorrhoidal skin.
  4. Gently squeeze the tube of hemorrhoid cream so that a pea-sized amount comes out onto your finger. You may need more, but this is a good amount to start with.
  5. Apply the hemorrhoid cream gently to the affected area, ensuring you massage it into any external hemorrhoids.
  6. If you need more hemorrhoid cream to cover the entire affected area, add more to your finger and repeat the application.
  7. Make sure to replace the cap on your hemorrhoid ointment.
  8. Rewash your hands to ensure you’re not tracking bacteria anywhere else.
  9. If ointment was applied before a bowel movement to reduce the pain of the bowel movement, repeat these steps again afterwards and try to avoid using the restroom again for about three hours minimum. Apply again at bedtime, up to 3 times daily or as many times as the package allows.

If you follow these easy steps when applying hemorrhoid ointment, relief should come soon. It’s essential to read the instructions for how to apply hemorrhoid cream on the package, as they may vary slightly from the steps above.

As an alternative to hemorrhoid cream, a perineal spray, or hemorrhoid treatment spray offers medicated relief from many of the symptoms of external hemorrhoids and can be used in combination with an ointment to soothe symptoms and heal at the same time. Use a spray to reduce symptoms before a bowel movement, then apply ointment afterwards for continued relief and healing.

How to Apply Hemorrhoid Cream (Internal)

Internal hemorrhoids are also veins or blood vessels that have become enlarged and irritated due to pressure on the anus and rectum, but these hemorrhoids are inside your rectum. Much like external hemorrhoids, constipation, pregnancy, and sitting for long periods are the most common sources of problem internal hemorrhoids. 

Symptoms include bleeding during bowel movements and sometimes feeling like the bowels have not been entirely evacuated even after going to the bathroom. Internal hemorrhoids are not often painful unless they have prolapsed or extended outside the anal opening. 

Doctor Butler’s Lidocaine-based hemorrhoid ointments are not to be inserted fully into the rectum, but they will help resolve some of the symptoms of internal hemorrhoids. Treatment for internal hemorrhoid cream should follow these steps:

  1. Choose the right time to apply. You will want to apply internally with an applicator or finger cot before a bowel movement to reduce pain, and then again after the bowel movement and before bed. Follow package instructions for the application limit per day, which is usually three of four times.
  2. Once ready to apply the ointment, wash your anal area as you do not want to introduce more bacteria to the affected area. Use Epsom salt for hemorrhoids or cleansing wipes. Try to avoid toilet paper as it can be rough on irritated hemorrhoidal skin.
  3. Wash your hands for the same reason.
  4. Attach the applicator head to the hemorrhoid cream, ensuring it is on tight. (Alternatively, just squeeze some of the cream onto a finger cot if that’s what you have available and insert internally in place of steps 5 through 9).
  5. Squeeze some of the hemorrhoid cream out and rub it on the outside of the applicator tip. It will provide lubrication for easy and painless insertion of the hemorrhoid ointment applicator into the rectum. 
  6. Insert the applicator head of the hemorrhoid cream into your anal canal very gently. Only insert the hemorrhoid ointment applicator about 1 to 2 inches. Pushing it any further could cause pain. 
  7. Squeeze your hemorrhoid cream tube just enough for roughly a pea-sized amount of hemorrhoidal ointment to come out. 
  8. Remove the hemorrhoid cream applicator gently.
  9. Remove the cap and wash the hemorrhoidal cream applicator and your hands thoroughly to ensure no bacteria is reintroduced into the rectum the next time you’re applying the cream. 
  10. After your next bowel movement, apply ointment again and try to avoid using the bathroom for at least 3 hours after you’ve applied hemorrhoid ointment to internal hemorrhoids.  

If you follow these easy steps when applying hemorrhoid ointment, relief should come soon. It’s essential to read the instructions for how to apply hemorrhoid cream on the package, as they may vary slightly from the steps above.

Don’t Let Hemorrhoid Flare Ups Ruin Your Day

Coping with hemorrhoid flare-ups can be disruptive and frustrating, but the treatment of your hemorrhoids with cream or ointment can bring quick relief. It’s easy to apply hemorrhoid cream if you follow the steps laid out above or on the package. 

For a fast-acting hemorrhoid cream packed with medicine like Lidocaine, Phenylephrine, along with natural and soothing ingredients, check out Doctor Butler’s Hemorrhoid & Fissure Ointment. 

Doctor Butler’s Hemorrhoid Creams deliver powerful pain relief, while amino acids, herbs, and essential oils are designed to stimulate quick healing. Developed by a proctologist, these creams contain a proprietary delivery system that enhances absorption for a faster, easier route to relief.

Shop Doctor Butler’s full line of proctologist-developed hemorrhoid care products and soothing wipes, as well as medicated sprays, creams, ointments, and seat cushions. Don’t wait. Shop today, and you’ll be on the road to healing in no time.


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

Maryann S. Verified Reviewer


  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Definition & Facts of hemorrhoids – niddk. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. ↩︎
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