Can You Put Ice on Hemorrhoids? Discover the Best Hemorrhoids Ice Pack
Posted on 17 November 2018 by Maryanne Johnson
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There are so many ways to treat hemorrhoids, and it seems like everyone has their own special method or remedy that they swear by. Using supplements, herbs, and pills to treat hemorrhoids is popular these days, but there’s something about a natural approach that feels better.
Ice on hemorrhoids is a forgotten remedy in the mix of high-end pills and botanical supplements promising to get rid of hemorrhoid symptoms quickly. Sufferers can get caught up in taking pills in a desperate attempt to get rid of hemorrhoid, ignoring the simplicity and effectiveness of an ice pack, which can reduce swelling.
The condition of hemorrhoids has been around since humankind made its way into the world, but when treating hemorrhoids, research has found that simpler solutions seem to be the most effective.
The occurrence of hemorrhoids peak in mid-to-late in life. Research tells us that while our age is a significant risk factor in hemorrhoids, there are some things we can do to treat the symptoms and prevent flare-ups.
Hemorrhoids affect 1 in 20 Americans (both men and women)—about half of adults age 50 and older have hemorrhoids. That's a lot of cases that require treatment! With a disease so common, it is vital for us to educate ourselves in the best way to treat it.
Here, our guide will walk you through everything you need to know about ice packs and hemorrhoids, from why it’s a good solution to your hemorrhoid symptoms to how to use an ice pack for your hemorrhoids.
You can be proactive in treating your hemorrhoids while you manage your symptoms. Being apathetic about preventing hemorrhoids will only lead to more flare-ups. Find the sources and risk factors that pertain to you, and you will soon be on your way to living a hemorrhoid-free life.
Does Ice Help Hemorrhoids?
What can ice do for you? If you’ve ever experienced swelling, bruises, or even sprain, you’ve probably been told (most likely from your parent) to put a frozen bag of peas or a big pack of ice on your injury. Cold packs sound familiar to you as you recall your days playing sports or falling hard on the playground.
Well, it’s time to relive your youth as you’re treating your hemorrhoids because ice packs do in fact help reduce swelling. You can still use your supplements, suppositories, fancy creams, and pain relievers, but a good old-fashioned ice pack will quickly become your go-to solution to hemorrhoid symptoms.
Although there aren’t many studies that focus directly on the impact and helpfulness of ice packs on hemorrhoids, plenty of scientific research has deemed ice packs to be apart of the treatment process. Many hemorrhoid studies off-handedly mention ice packs as a way to reduce swelling, alleviate itching, and aid in relieving pain and discomfort, at least temporarily.
In a 2015 study conducted by the Australian College of Midwives, evidence was found to support the effectiveness of ice pack application to help subside pain, specifically in alleviating the postpartum perineal pain felt by women who gave birth for the first time.
What can this study tell us about hemorrhoids? Hemorrhoids affect the perineal area, too, and a strong conclusion can be drawn that if ice packs aid in relieving pain for perineal injuries and difficult births, then ice packs can certainly be effective in treating hemorrhoids.
Should I Use Ice or Heat for Hemorrhoids?
As we discussed before, ice packs can reduce the swelling of sensitive and tender external hemorrhoids. Ice packs can also help subside pain and discomfort by essentially numbing the perineal area, the region in which hemorrhoids affect.
Alternatively, there is the question of the opposite end of the temperature spectrum. Many sufferers wonder that if ice packs are helpful, then what about heat?
Numerous research and studies covering hemorrhoids and hemorrhoid symptom management do not list high heat as a method of treatment, but this doesn’t mean that heat can’t be useful.
Along with ice packs, warm baths are recommended to treat external hemorrhoid swelling and pain. Warm baths relax the muscles and promote the circulation of blood to heal the affected area. Sitz baths can be tremendously useful in hemorrhoid symptom management.
However, the key to using heat is only to use lukewarm and never hot. Your hemorrhoids are already sensitive and painful, and hot heat can intensify these symptoms, along with the burning sensation often associated with external hemorrhoids.
Your treatment methods should include a warm sitz bath that submerges the perianal area, followed by an application of an ice pack. Both ice and heat can be used throughout the day as needed.
Is It Safe to Use Ice on Hemorrhoids?
Yes, ice can safely be used on hemorrhoids and is often recommended by doctors to their patients as a viable method to manage symptoms.
Ice packs are perfectly safe and a natural remedy for not just hemorrhoid treatments, but for many other injuries that involve swelling and pain. You can use ice packs on your hemorrhoids as needed, throughout the day.
External hemorrhoids are the type of hemorrhoids that induce feelings of burning, pain, itching, and aching. You have more nerves in the area where external hemorrhoids develop, and because of this, external hemorrhoids produce more symptoms.
You might feel:
- A burning sensation in the anal area
- Lumps that are tender, sore, and hurt
- Anal itching and discharge
- Trouble sitting down and passing bowel movements
- Blood clots that form inside the hard anal lumps
Unlike other methods, like oral painkillers, oral supplements, and even fiber supplements, there isn’t a limit to how often you can use an ice pack.
Whenever you feel like the symptoms of pain, throbbing, aching, and swelling has become too much to handle, apply a pack of ice to the anal area.
How to Ice Hemorrhoids The Right Away
Icing hemorrhoids is easy. Grab a bagful of ice (or use a pack designed to hold ice that you can pick up at your local drugstore), wrap it in a towel to soften the coldness if you so desire, and apply it directly to the affected area.
You can leave the ice pack on your anorectal area, specifically the external hemorrhoid lumps, for fifteen minutes or up to two hours.
Refill your ice bag as needed if the pack becomes too watery and melted. You can also feel free to use other forms of treatment with your ice pack, such as:
- Taking a warm sitz bath
- Eating more fiber in whole foods
- Using pain relieving ointments
- Medicated wipes with witch hazel
Does Ice Help Shrink Hemorrhoids?
You’ve probably used ice to reduce swelling before, like with sprains, bruising, swollen cuts, and other injuries. The same theory applies to hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are rectal venous inflammation, causing the supportive tissues, blood vessels, and intertwined arteries and veins to swell and ultimately produce hemorrhoids and their symptoms.
You can have internal or external hemorrhoids, and most annoyingly, both can occur at the same time. However, external hemorrhoids cause more pain. When icing hemorrhoids, you are icing external hemorrhoids.
External hemorrhoids are swollen lumps that form around the anus. These tender, aching bumps cause pain and discomfort, but this symptom can be treated with the application of an ice pack.
Although hemorrhoids (both types) will go away in a few days, using ice can help them shrink faster.
Can I Insert an Ice Cube in the Anus for My Hemorrhoids?
It is not advisable that you use an ice cube like a suppository. If you’re looking for relief fast with your hemorrhoids, try using a suppository designed for hemorrhoid relief.
Preparation H manufactures suppositories appropriate for rectal insertion. If you want, you can even put the suppository packets in the freezer for a colder application.
You might damage your anal opening if you attempt to insert an ice cube through the anus, causing a fissure, which is the tearing of the perianal skin.
If you have questions about how to treat your painful hemorrhoids, you can discuss treatment methods and prevention plans with your primary care physician. Together, you and your doctor can work to prevent flare-ups from occurring in the future.