Home remedies for piles fall into four areas, preventative, practical, topical and dietary. In this article we will be looking at practical tips for the relief of piles and the types of self-care that you can carry out at home.
Take a warm bath
Pain from piles can be eased by sitting in a bath of warm water. You will often see a sitz bath being recommended. This is a hip bath, but who happens to have one of these at home! A normal bath that you have at home will do fine. Sitting in warm water should help to relieve the itchiness around the anus. You may need to take several baths per day if the itch is severe.
Perfumes which could further irritate the skin should be carefully avoided. Don’t use perfumes on wipes or in bath or shower gel, instead use a perfume free gel or any baby product as these are guaranteed to be gentle.
Use a cold compress
Ease the area with a cold compress. You can use an ice pack or a small pack of frozen vegetables such as peas. Don’t place ice directly against your skin, wrap it in a cloth first. For a ready made cook compress take a look at these pads from Amazon. Designed for ladies who have given birth, they are equally soothing for men. Doing this for up to 30 minutes at a time can relieve pain and swelling.
After a bath or shower, don’t rub the area dry. Pat your anal area dry with a soft towel or dry with a hair dryer.
Apply Witch Hazel
This is a mild astringent which can help cool the area and shrink the inflamed blood vessels. This can be bought cheaply from any pharmacy. Just dab a little onto some cotton wool and apply.
After passing a stool, clean the area with an un-perfumed wet wipe, or a baby wipe. This is far gentler on inflamed skin than rubbing with dry toilet paper which could further exacerbate the problem. A moist wipe will help to relieve discomfort. You can buy very good wipes from Amazon which also contain Witch Hazel and I would highly recommend getting some of these.
Use a topical preparation
Apply a topical preparation such as a small amount of Vaseline (petroleum jelly) or a product such as Sudocrem to aid healing. Calendula (often used by nursing mothers for sore nipples) is another good product as is Aloe Vera. These are gentle preparations which can help to relieve the itch.
Use the correct toilet posture
The correct posture on the toilet can help to prevent straining. While you are sitting on the toilet there is no support at all for the pelvic area or the rectum. If you can put your feet up on a small footstool and lean forward. Rest your arms across your knees and position your feet so your weight is on the balls of your feet. This position will minimise the strain on your rectum.
Make quick toilet trips. Don’t spend ages on the toilet. If nothing is happening after 5 minutes, give up for a while and move around. You can always go back later.
Don’t ignore the urge
Go to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge. If you put off going when you should go, the feces will become dryer in the anus and harder to pass when you do eventually get there. Even if it is inconvenient, always try to get to the toilet the first time that you feel the urge to go.
Take over the counter remedies
Take a stool softener such as Lactulose or other over the counter preparation that can be bought from the pharmacy. Softer easier to pass stools will mean less straining.
Try Hemocyl to shrink piles. It’s proven to be very effective. Click here to read more about Hemocyl.
Make dietary changes
Including more fibre and water in your diet can be a huge help. See more about diet and piles here If you need to lose weight in order to help with constipation problems, you can get help here.
Lie on your side when resting. This will help take the pressure off of the piles and will be more comfortable than sitting on them.
Avoid standing still or sitting for prolonged periods. Equally you need to avoid exercise that causes heavy straining such as weight lifting and athletics. The best exercise is something like walking or swimming that allows you to move around without straining. The movement will help keep your circulation in good order and help avoid constipation.
Avoid heavy lifting as far as is practical. If you must lift heavy objects, take care to do it slowly as sudden movements can cause further pressure on the piles.
Wear cotton underwear
Cotton helps prevent a build up of moisture which could cause further irritation. I’m sure I don’t need to tell the ladies to avoid thongs while they have piles, but the looser the better when it comes to underwear and clothing around the area.
Scratching is one of the worst thing you can do. Apart from the fact that it won’t actually relieve the itch, it is easy to break the already sensitive skin which could allow infection into the skin. Scratching the anal area, does not provide relief, but starts up a vicious circle of itch and scratch. Far better to try the advice in one of the tips.
Wear cotton gloves
If the itch is extreme and you find yourself scratching in your sleep, try wearing a pair of cotton gloves to prevent this. If you can sleep through a full night without scratching you will go a good way towards breaking the itch-scratch cycle.
Keep your hands busy
If you can find a hobby which will occupy your hands you will be less likely to scratch or rub unconsciously. It is the quick unthinking scratch or rub that can “set them off”in a second! If you are able to knit, write, do jig-saws or anything similar it will help keep your mind and hands active and way from your piles.
Sit on a ring cushion
When piles are inflamed and thrombosed sitting on an inflatable ring can take the pressure off of them. If you are not too heavy, you may be able to use a child’s pool inflatable, otherwise you can order good quality cushions directly from Amazon. The one shown here is made of memory foam. See the Featured Products page for more details.