Haemorrhoids (commonly known as piles) are swollen veins in the anal passage (internal) or around the anus (external). They can be very painful, itchy and can sometimes bleed during a bowel movement.

Haemorrhoids are often caused by inadequate fibre or insufficient fluid intake and can sometimes be linked with constipation. Someone who is constipated will strain to pass faeces, causing veins to enlarge, which can lead to haemorrhoids. Once present, passing faeces becomes very painful which will delay sufferers from going to the toilet, which in turn causes constipation. Treatment for constipation as well as haemorrhoids may be necessary in this case. During pregnancy, the growing baby can exert increased pressure on the anal blood vessels causing haemorrhoids.
Creams and ointments can soothe itchy, sore skin around the anus while suppositories are better for internal haemorrhoids. Preparations often contain one or more of the following.
Astringents: Help to strengthen the wall of the veins by forming a protective layer on the surface of the anal canal. They help to relieve local irritation and inflammation. E.g. Bismuth

Local anaesthetics: Help to dull the pain associated with piles. e.g. Lidocaine

Anti-itching agents: e.g. zinc oxide

Antiseptics: Can help prevent infection e.g. Balsam Peru.

Heparinoid: Heparinoid reduces inflammation.

Hydrocortisone: relieves the pain and inflammation associated with severe piles. It should not be used for first time sufferers. It should only be used in adults over 18 and for no longer than 7 days. It should not be use while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Visit your pharmacist or doctor:
  • If the patient is pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • If the patient is suffering for the first time
  • If there is blood in the stools.
  • If the patient is losing weight.
  • If the patient has both diarrhoea and constipation
  • All patients under 12
  • If the patient is suffering from abdominal pain and/ or is vomiting
Helpful Tips from Mulligans Pharmacy:
  • At Mulligans Pharmacy, we understand that our customers may need treatment for symptoms of a personal or sensitive nature. Our pharmacists are always available for a discreet chat in our private consultation room at your request, or you can ask a Mulligans Pharmacist a question in confidence here.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Go to the toilet regularly and as soon as the urge to go arises.
  • A high fibre diet and plenty of water can prevent constipation.
  • A warm bath can often help soothe the discomfort of piles.
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The information provided is intended solely as a guide. Please seek the advice of your pharmacist to determine whether a particular service, medication, or treatment programme will be of value to you. Always check the dosage directions carefully on all medicines. Never combine medicines without consulting your doctor or pharmacist. All health facts and information contained herein should not be a substitute for medical advice. The use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions.
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