A hemorrhoid cream can be a powerful and easy way to treat hemorrhoids of all kinds. Hemorrhoid creams vary in design and some are more suitable in specific cases than others. The most commonly found ingredients used in these preparations are as follows:
Steroids: The function of steroids is to reduce inflammation. The principle active ingredient in many hemorrhoid creams is the steroid hydrocortisone and there are many branded forms of available with or without a prescription. Non prescription forms are relatively low strength preparations (0.5 to 1%) and a suitable for the relief of itchy anal and rectal areas. The cream may have other ingredients such as Lidocaine (a rapid anesthetic also used in dentistry) to provide additional symptom relief which will vary according to the brand. For treatment of hemorrhoids, it is usual to apply hydrocortisone twice a day (every morning and night) for 2 to 6 days. The standard advice is that if the condition does not improve or worsens within seven days, seek medical advice. Always use exactly as stated on the product or as a physician recommends.
Astringents: astringents draw together or constrict body tissues, resulting in decreased flow of blood or other secretions and so reduce a cooling effect. They can be useful to relax, cool, and ease the pain of inflated hemorrhoids. Two natural ingredients, witch hazel and shark liver oil, are most common astringents.
Analgesics: These non-steroid substances can have some similar non-inflammatory effects to steroids. Common over the counter medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen fall into the same category. They act by reducing the production of prostaglandins which (among other things) act as messenger molecules involved in inflammation. These can bring very rapid pain relief.
Anesthetics: Local anesthetics block the initiation and conduct of nerve impulses. This causes a rapid numbness and so provides a temporary relief. One is Lidocaine mentioned above. It does not even address the underwriting swapping or inflammation.
Moisturizers: these temporarily hydrate the infected area which may provide some relief from the irritation.
Vasoconstrictors: these reduce blood flow to the hemorrhoid area and by this means prolong the relief from inflammation. Used most commonly for this purpose is ephedrine.
Hemorrhoid creams can be highly effective for reducing the sensation and unpleantness associated with the condition. Hemorrhoids need treatment and the creams are an excellent way to do so in the majority of cases. Each kind of cream uses its own specific combination of active agents although steroids are often the principle constituent.
Remember that although hemorrhoids are very common other more serious diseases may exhibit similar symptoms. It is therefore always advisable to seek medical advice should symptoms persist.