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Hydrocortisone for Hemorrhoids Guide - Discover Which Product is Best for Hemorrhoids?

Posted on 13 March 2018 by

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Hydrocortisone is a steroid used to reduce the action of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation, redness, and swelling.

Since inflammation and swelling are two common symptoms associated with hemorrhoids, hydrocortisone is used in a few different forms to treat hemorrhoids.

Used topically and internally, it work's to reduce the itching and pain associated with inflamed hemorrhoids.

There are many different skin conditions which may indicate usage. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist to see if it make sense to try this out.

The following are skin problems that you can use Hydrocortisone for:

  • allergic reactions
  • rashes
  • insect bites
  • poison oak
  • poison ivy
  • dermatitis
  • eczema
  • hemorrhoids

Talk to your doctor so you can understand the risk of side effects and make sure to report side effects to your health care provider right away.

Here’s more on how it can help treat your bothersome hemorrhoids.

Best Hydrocortisone Suppository for Hemorrhoids

Suppositories are an effective way to treat internal hemorrhoids by delivering medication directly to the site of your problem.

Suppositories come in many different brands and combine different ingredients to meet your needs.

Hydrocortisone suppositories contain the corticosteroid used medicinally to treat minor pain, itching, swelling and discomfort.

Below are three brands of hydrocortisone suppositories:

  1. Anusol-HC
  2. Anucort-HC
  3. Generic Hydrocortisone Acetate

Anucort-HC uses hydrocortisone rectally to treat itching and swelling from hemorrhoidal inflammation. Each suppository contains 25 mg of hydrocortisone acetate in a specially blended, hydrogenated vegetable oil base.

Local adverse reactions that were reported for Anucort-HC are:

  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Irritation
  • Dryness
  • Folliculitis
  • Skin infection 
  • Hypopigmentation
  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Secondary infection

anucort hc suppositoryOf 52 reviewers on WedMD, Anucort-HC suppositories scored 3.68 out of five-stars for effectiveness.

They also scored 3.89 out of five-stars for ease of use and 3.32 out of five-stars for satisfaction.

Lower ratings and reviews on Anucort-HC included comments saying:

  • Took longer than three days to work
  • Had limited instructions for use
  • Causes severe gas
  • Leaves embarrassing stains behind on the clothes
  • Caused severe headache

Positive reviews and comments say that Anucort-HC:

  • Worked within the hour with 90% relief
  • Gave Immediate improvement
  • Symptoms disappeared
  • Removed the pain, bleeding, and itching

Anusol-HC suppositories are used to treat hemorrhoids and itching and swelling in the rectum and anus.

anusol hc suppository

They work by relieving rectal pain, itching, and bleeding by reducing swelling.

The corticosteroid medicine works directly in the rectum and anus. Like Anucort-HC, Anusol-HC contains 25 mg of hydrocortisone acetate in a hydrogenated vegetable oil base.

WebMD reviews of the product give it a 3.4 out of five-star review for effectiveness. It also has a 3.6 out of five-star review for ease of use and 2.8 out of five-star review for satisfaction, but only nine reviewers weighed in. 

Positive reviews of Anusol-HC said it:

  • Took away pain in a short time
  • Reduced swelling to a great extent
  • Takes the sting out within an hour

Negative reviews of Anusol-HC said the product:

  • Causes additional inflammation
  • Doesn’t relieve symptoms
  • Stopped working after nine months of successful use

The generic hydrocortisone acetate uses the same ingredients as the brand names. Although reviews from twenty reviews on WebMD don’t rate it as effective as the brand names mentioned above.

hydrocortisone acetate suppository

Out of five stars, the generic version received a 2.55 rating for effectiveness, 3.09 rating for ease of use, and 2.45 rating for satisfaction.

Dissatisfactory reviews of Generic Hydrocortisone Acetate reported that the product:

  • Is hard to open because of the packaging and is too brittle to cut out of the package
  • Provide no relief for pain, burning, or itching
  • Small suppository

Although dissatisfied patients were more prevalent, satisfactory comments and postive reviews of Generic Hydrocortisone Acetate mentioned some patients were:

  • Satisfied with the product
  • Eased the pain enough to sleep
  • Shrank hemorrhoids in a week

Best Hydrocortisone Cream for Hemorrhoids

While there are some effective hydrocortisone suppositories on the market to treat hemorrhoids, creams are much more readily available.

Many popular brands offer an anti-itch hemorrhoidal cream to treat the bothersome symptom of itching.

These hemorrhoid creams can provide anti-itch relief without a prescription needed. They may also work for other skin conditions. 

Below are three popular hydrocortisone creams to treat hemorrhoids:

  • Preparation H Anti-Itch Cream Hydrocortisone 1%
  • Proctozone-HC Cream
  • Anusol-HC Cream

Preparation H Anti-Itch Cream Hydrocortisone 1% provides maximum strength itch relief for anal itch without a prescription medication.

preparation h hydrocortisone cream

The active ingredient in Preparation H with Hydrocortisone is the 1% hydrocortisone.

The inactive ingredients of Preparation H Anti-Itch Cream are:

  • Anhydrous citric acid
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole
  • Carboxymethylcellulose sodium
  • Cetyl alcohol
  • Citric acid monohydrate
  • Edetate disodium
  • Glycerin
  • Glycerol oleate
  • Glycerol stearate
  • Lanolin
  • Methylparaben
  • Propyl gallate
  • Propylene glycol
  • Propylparaben
  • Purified water
  • Simethicone emulsion
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Stearyl alcohol
  • White petrolatum
  • Xanthan gum

The product ranks on Amazon as #2 cortisone treatments and #6 for hemorrhoid care best sellers.

Out of 134 reviews, customers gave the product a 4.3 out of five-star review. Of those providing reviews, seventy-one percent gave the product a five-star review.

Additionally, fifteen percent gave it four stars, seven percent gave it three stars, three percent gave it two stars, and four percent gave it one star.

Favorable reviews of Prep H said that it:

  • Works great
  • Relieves the itch right away
  • Highly effective
  • Trusted product
  • Very soothing
  • Works better than prescription strength

Unfavorable reviews of Preparation H say the product:

  • Didn’t work much
  • Works okay
  • Not what expected
  • Expensive
  • Better than a lot of OTC products but not as effective as prescription

Proctozone-HC is used to treat minor pain, itching, swelling, and discomfort caused by hemorrhoids.

procotozone hc

Proctozone-HC contains 25 mg of hydrocortisone in a water-washable base of:

  • Purified water
  • Propylene glycol
  • Glycerol monostearate SE
  • Cholesterol
  • Isopropyl myristate
  • Polysorbate 60
  • Cetyl alcohol
  • Sorbitan monostearate
  • Polyoxyl 40 stearate
  • Sorbic acid
  • Methylparaben
  • Propylparaben

Overall, the product gets a 2.75 out of five-star review. Although the prescription version has a higher concentration, than over-the-counter

Preparation H is said to be the better product. This is probably because its treatment is for overall symptoms with added anti-itch. 

Anusol-HC hemorrhoid cream is a prescription only hydrocortisone cream to treat the symptoms of hemorrhoids.

anusol hc ointment

The active ingredient in the cream is 25mg of hydrocortisone. It is contained in a water-washable cream that contains:

  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Petrolatum
  • Stearyl alcohol
  • Propylene glycol
  • Isopropyl myristate
  • Polyoxyl 40 stearate
  • Carbomer 934
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Edetate disodium
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Purified water

Anusol-HC is listed as one of the best creams to treat hemorrhoids. Out of a five-star review, the product received 3.6 stars.

When over-the-counter creams are not working, Anusol-HC prescription cream is a great option to treat bothersome itch of hemorrhoids.

Is Hydrocortisone Good for Hemorrhoids?

Hydrocortisone is a strong anti-inflammatory that can greatly relieve symptoms. It not only reduces swelling, it can also relieve the symptoms of itching.

Since this can be one of the most bothersome symptoms of hemorrhoids, it is often used to treat hemorrhoids.

Because of its potency, however, prolonged use is not recommended. Extended use of the steroid can weaken the skin and cause other symptoms.

That’s why higher concentration is offered only through prescription medication.

Under the guidance of your medical provider, prescription strength hydrocortisone can greatly relieve your symptoms to treat hemorrhoids.

However, as a substitute, you and your doctor may consider a hydrocortisone topical cream that you can apply for long time (or as long as necessary) without the risk of side effects. 

Can You Use Hydrocortisone While Pregnant?

Because there have yet been enough tests done to determine whether hydrocortisone use is safe while pregnant, it is best to avoid using these creams. They should also be avoided while breastfeeding.

Can Hydrocortisone Shrink Hemorrhoids? 

Yes and no—hydrocortisone can help relieve hemorrhoid symptoms such as mild to intense anal itch, but it is not specifically a “hemorrhoid minimizer.” 

By relieving anal itch, it can help you in avoiding scratching the anorectal area, lessening the potential of increased irritation. 

By allowing the hemorrhoid to reduce in swelling by itself without excess aggravation, the hemorrhoid will eventually shrink and disappear.

Are There Side Effects to Watch Out For?

It's important to inform your doctor or pharmacist if you're allergic to hydrocortisone before you start usage.

That aside, using hydrocortisone for hemorrhoids may have some negative side effects, ranging from rectal bleeding and fever to skin thickness redness. When any of these happens, we recommend that you report side effects as swiftly as possible.

Any Safety Tips When Using Hydrocortisone for Hemorrhoids?

The fundamental rule when using creams or ointments is to wash your hands after every use. Why? You don't want to have them in your eyes or mouth without knowing.

In addition, it's advisable to talk to your doctor before you start these meds. Using the wrong cream for hemorrhoids over an extended period can be dangerous.

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