The 11 Best Hemorrhoid Creams and Treatments for Every Type of Pain, According to Experts

From salt soaks to topical creams, we've rounded up the most effective over-the-counter treatments and home remedies for external hemorrhoids.

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Photo: Amazon

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When it comes to our butts, down-there problems can be embarrassing or sensitive topics. Even hemorrhoids, as common as they are, can be difficult to understand and talk about. If you've gotten a hemorrhoid diagnosis from your doctor, don't fret: Hemorrhoids affect about one in 20 Americans (both men and women), and half of adults above age 50 have them, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

"We all have blood vessels in that area, but when they become enlarged, that is a hemorrhoid," explains Health contributing medical editor Roshini Rajapaksa, MD. Constipation, straining to push out a bowel movement, pregnancy, and even prolonged sitting or cycling can put pressure on veins and cause hemorrhoids to develop, she tells us.

Over-the-counter ointments or creams that contain a mild steroid can help decrease itching or pain, and there are also prescription-strength creams and suppositories available. But one of the best treatments you can do at home is to soak the area in warm water several times a day. This helps to soothe and shrink hemorrhoids, says Dr. Rajapaksa.

The Best Hemorrhoid Creams and Treatments

New York-based dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, MD, agrees. "I prefer having patients do sitz baths daily, which involves having them take warm baths and soaking the area," she says. Dr. Nazarian also backs over-the-counter products that contain witch hazel, since this ingredient is calming and anti-inflammatory. "[These products] are available in pads and wipes that can be applied directly to the hemorrhoid to help with symptomatic relief."

Sometimes, external hemorrhoids can shrink to the point that you don't notice they're there. But if you do experience bleeding from your rectum, it's important to see your doctor, especially if you've never had hemorrhoids before. Your doctor can do an examination and perform other tests to rule out something more serious. There are also medical procedures to actually remove hemorrhoids in case they don't disappear.

The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to prevent constipation, which in turn will help ward off swollen veins. "Eat a diet high in fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly," says Dr. Rajapaksa. Examples of fiber-rich foods include beans, whole grains, corn, lentils, artichokes, and fresh fruits and veggies. "Taking a fiber supplement daily can help decrease straining," she adds. While it may not affect hemorrhoids at a local level, it can soften stool and regulate bowel movements, Dr. Rajapaksa explains, therefore allowing hemorrhoids to shrink.

RELATED: The 20 Best Foods to Help With Constipation So You Can Finally Poop Again

Below, we've rounded up the 11 best over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments with expert-approved ingredients to help you treat your annoying pain in the butt from home.

Best Sitz Bath: Carex Sitz Bath

soaking bath
Amazon

Per Dr. Nazarian's recommendation, this small bowl fits over your toilet seat and offers a convenient way to soak and soothe the affected area. In addition to a sitz bath, this top-selling Amazon basin, which has a contoured design for optimal comfort and vents to prevent overflowing, comes with a solution bag for you to fill with your chosen hemorrhoid relief ingredients.

"This was for my boyfriend since he has hemorrhoid problems often," one reviewer writes. "Since he refuses to go to spas and saunas, I made him do these baths on the toilet for 20 minutes and they helped a lot. It helps with cuts and swelling and the heat helps shrink hemorrhoids."

Best Bath Soak: Better Bath Better Body Sitz Bath Soak

bath salt
Amazon

Sprinkle this soothing Epsom salt soak right into your sitz bath. Pure juniper essential oil and pure niaouli essential oil combine with Epsom salt, which is one of Dr. Nazarian's favorite ingredients for hemorrhoid relief, to reduce pain, cleanse, and support blood vessel function, as well as to reduce swelling. This all-star combination is what's earned this bath soak its 4.7-star rating on Amazon.

"I have very sensitive skin especially in the 'sitz bath department,' even psoriasis," a reviewer shares. "I am reluctant to use any product that has a fragrance. But I needed something desperately for hemorrhoids, so I ordered this and a seat for the toilet. I have had zero irritation from it and it is helping my problem."

Best for Instant Relief: Thena Natural Wellness Organic Sitz Bath Soak

bath soak
Amazon

Another Epsom salt-enriched pick, this organic bath soak has the finest grain Epsom and Dead Sea salts (fancy!) that dissolve quickly to offer immediate relief, shrinking hemorrhoids, softening damaged skin, and neutralizing odor. The bath soak also uses magnesium oil to lubricate the perineum to repair damaged tissue to prevent infection. On average, Amazon shoppers give this product a respectable 4.6 stars.

"I would recommend this for postpartum care or hemorrhoid care," one reviewer says. "It was much better [than others], and all that is needed… It helped heal my episiotomy complications within a week."

Best Wipes: Preparation H Flushable Medicated Hemorrhoid Wipes

wipes
Amazon

Formulated with witch hazel—per Dr. Nazarian's recommendation—and aloe, these medicated wipes cool, soothe, and comfort regions where hemorrhoids occur, which is why they've received 4,200 five-star Amazon ratings. The pouches are convenient to use and travel-friendly, so you can easily pop them in your purse or carry-on. Bonus: They're septic-safe for easy disposal.

"I had a really bad flare of hemorrhoid pain and bleeding after a series of drives down a dirt road, and the bouncing by ruts and severe dips," one Amazon shopper explains. "After using these wipes, and the Preparation H extra strength cream, I found immediate relief. After about a week, not only was the inflammation gone, but also noticed a diminished size of the sore itself."

Best Ointment: Doctor Butler's Hemorrhoid & Fissure Ointment

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Amazon

Packed with organic herbs, minerals, and amino acids, this popular ointment reduces pain, itching, and burning; protects and soothes irritations; reduces swelling; and stops bleeding from hemorrhoids and small anal tears. With over 2,000 five-star reviews, you know it'll provide some relief.

"This really is a miracle ointment," one Amazon shopper raves. "I've been suffering from hemorrhoids for years and I knew when I became pregnant I was in for some trouble. I'm now 5 weeks postpartum and a few days ago I developed a thrombosed hemorrhoid. It was excruciating… I am on day two with five applications already and I have much improvement."

Best for Hemorrhoid Shrinking: Dr. Cole's Herbal Balm Hemorrhoid Treatment

hemorrhoid treatment
Amazon

Chock-full of expert-recommended essential oils and ingredients like witch hazel, beeswax, olive oil, yarrow, and vitamin E, this organic balm numbs and shrinks hemorrhoids gently and effectively. When you open the tin, be sure to stir the contents with a fork, as the beeswax tends to settle on top and needs to be blended into the mixture. Apply a dime-sized amount to the irritated area three to four times a day.

"This product has literally saved my life," one reviewer writes. "I can't use over the counter or prescription treatments. This is the only product that I don't have a severe allergic reaction to. It soothes and comforts and helps shrink the hemorrhoids."

Best Spray: Earth Mama Herbal Perineal Spray

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Amazon

Boasting witch hazel, lavender, cucumber, and peppermint oil, a few spritzes of this spray can soothe, cleanse, and decrease inflammation in areas where hemorrhoids develop. Its nozzle is designed to work upside-down for a touch-free application, delivering instant soothing in hard-to-reach areas. For extra relief, store the bottle in the fridge for a cooling sensation when you use it.

"Now I am currently 19 days postpartum, I delivered an eight-pound baby boy via the help of a forcep delivery," one Amazon shopper's five-star review begins. "I had several tears that were second-degree tears, including a brutal episiotomy and severe hemorrhoids… More than two weeks postpartum I'm back on my feet and still using this spray which is in fact very cooling and very refreshing. I still have a long way to go in recovering down there, but this product has helped so far."

Best for Pain Relief: WiseWays Herbals Witch Hazel Salve

witch hazel
Amazon

According to Dr. Nazarian, witch hazel can be very calming and anti-inflammatory, which is perfect for treating painful hemorrhoids. It's the main ingredient in this salve from WiseWays, where it works with other soothing ingredients such as yarrow, arnica, calendula, and chamomile to provide relief from itching, burning, and discomfort.

"I'm eight months pregnant and suffer from painful hemorrhoids," says one reviewer, who calls the salve a must-have. "After weeks of pain and trying over the counter medicines, I saw the reviews for this and decided to try. And in just days, it reduced my hemorrhoids and pain."

Best for Itch Relief: Preparation H Soothing Relief Anti Itch Cream

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Amazon

Designed to deliver instant relief using a powerful dose of 1% hydrocortisone—which is the highest strength available over the counter—this maximum-strength, fragrance-free cream significantly soothes and reduces itchiness to kickstart your healing. It works best used with the Preparation H Cooling Wipes mentioned above.

"I will say that this worked instantly, and provided an itch-free night which was great," writes one Amazon customer. "Grease-less formula which sinks into the skin quickly and goes to work fast."

Best Treatment During Pregnancy: Motherlove Rhoid Balm

rhoid balm
Amazon

Featuring a blend of witch hazel and yarrow, the Motherlove Rhoid Balm can reduce itchiness and swelling and decrease pain in pregnancy- and childbirth-induced hemorrhoidal tissues. Other key ingredients include calendula flower, plantain leaf, olive oil, and beeswax, which come together to provide additional soothing hydration and relief.

"Third trimester hemorrhoids savior," one Amazon shopper dubs the ointment balm. "Definitely a must try if you're in discomfort and better ingredients than other products. I had instant relief once I applied the cream on. Took away my irritation and burning sensation right away and in three days hemorrhoids began to decrease in size."

Best Cooling: TruRemedy Remedy Hemorrhoid Balm

hemorrhoid remedy
Amazon

This cooling balm gets to work fast to reduce hemorrhoid-causing burning, swelling, and itchiness with its essential oil-fortified formula, which includes tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary in addition to witch hazel, arnica, and yarrow. Additionally, it helps eliminate bacteria and prevents future flare-ups by keeping the affected area soothed and balanced.

"You can put it in the refrigerator so it's extra cooling," one Amazon shopper advises. "I actually noticed immediate relief when I put it on, and the next morning everything calmed down. I feel like it goes a long way too, and those other creams I feel like I use so much in the tubes never last."

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