Can hemorrhoids go away?

By Ekaterina Brodski-Quigley, MD May 10, 2022 • 4 min

Hemorrhoids are a common health issue, and they can be uncomfortable or even painful. They can go away on their own, or it may take some intervention. Luckily, there are many effective treatments for this condition, ranging from simple lifestyle changes to surgery. 

Do hemorrhoids go away on their own?

Hemorrhoids go away on their own in some cases. Treatments are also available. Most symptoms of hemorrhoids go away within a week or two with over-the-counter treatment, but if they don't, consult a healthcare provider to rule out any complications. Sometimes hemorrhoids require a prescription medicine or even surgery. Other conditions can mimic the symptoms of hemorrhoids, including anal fissures (tears on the skin of the anus) or colon polyps (growths inside the colon). A healthcare professional can help treat these issues.

Hemorrhoid remedies

There are many options available to treat hemorrhoids, ranging from home remedies to over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments and prescription medications. These include:

Sitz bath: This involves placing a dish of warm water on the toilet to submerge the hemorrhoids. Simple measures like this can reduce the discomfort and bleeding that hemorrhoids can cause. 

Over-the-counter pain relievers: Temporary use of over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can ease discomfort. 

Prescription medications: Nitroglycerin and nifedipine may be prescribed and work directly on the veins that cause hemorrhoids. 

Topical treatments: Hemorrhoid creams and other topical products usually contain hydrocortisone, witch hazel, phenylephrine, lidocaine or a combination of these medications. These treatments can help to alleviate the swelling, itching and pain caused by hemorrhoids and are available over the counter. Many people find that these are the only hemorrhoid remedies they need to control their symptoms.

Botox: This can be injected directly into the hemorrhoids at a doctor's office. 

Hemorrhoid surgery

Lifestyle changes and medications are usually enough to successfully treat hemorrhoids. However, some cases may require hemorrhoid surgery. There are several surgical approaches for different types of hemorrhoids. Some can be done in a general practitioner's office with local pain relief, while others need to be done in an operating room using general anesthesia.

If you have concerns about hemorrhoids, see your healthcare provider for an evaluation and treatment recommendations.

Published May 2022.

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