The 12 Best Hemorrhoid Creams and Treatments of 2024

Hemorrhoids, or swollen veins in the rectum and anus, are typically a result of increased pressure in those same areas. Some people don’t realize they have hemorrhoids, but others are painfully aware and desperate for quick relief. If you do experience discomfort from hemorrhoids, over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments can help.

To help you find the right treatment for you, we spoke to experts about what to look for in an effective hemorrhoid treatment. Then, we tested hemorrhoid products at home and anonymously surveyed users about their experiences. Finally, we narrowed down our top picks based on criteria such as ingredients, application methods, and instructions for use. A gastroenterologist from our Medical Expert Board reviewed the contents of this article for medical accuracy surrounding hemorrhoids, different treatment options, and how to evaluate them. Based on our extensive research and testing, here are the best OTC hemorrhoid treatments available today.

What Healthcare Providers Want You to Know

  • Ingredients to look for: There are several types of ingredients you may find in hemorrhoid treatments, and they’re generally designed to provide different kinds of relief. According to Matthew Bechtold, MD, a University of Missouri Health Care gastroenterologist, you should consider products containing one or more of the following ingredients: witch hazel or zinc oxide to soothe and protect; hydrocortisone to relieve swelling and itching; pramoxine or lidocaine to numb the affected area; and phenylephrine to narrow blood vessels in the affected area.
  • Results and what to expect: Many hemorrhoids will improve quickly with treatment, at least in terms of pain; often, you’ll notice fewer symptoms in just a few days. The actual healing process can take longer, though: anywhere from three to six weeks. 

When to See a Healthcare Provider

Hemorrhoids are fairly common, affecting about 10% of adults, says Sergey V. Kantsevoy, MD, director of The Center for Therapeutic Endoscopy at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. Most of these, he adds, won’t need medical treatment unless they’re bleeding or causing intense pain. But it can also be hard for people to diagnose themselves with hemorrhoids, so it’s not a bad idea to see a provider if you think you have them to confirm before you treat them.

It’s also a good idea to make an appointment with a provider if you’re having anal bleeding, which could point to a more serious case of hemorrhoids (or something else entirely). Hemorrhoids that are severe enough to cause anal bleeding or intense pain and that don’t respond to typical interventions or procedures may require surgery, says Arturo Bravo, MD, a gastroenterologist at Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital.

Anusol Plus Hemorrhoidal Ointment



  • Quick pain relief that lasts longer than competitor products

  • Ingredients to heal and numb pain

  • Recommended by experts specifically for external hemorrhoids

Key Specs

Type: Ointment | Active Ingredients: Zinc sulfate, pramoxine hydrochloride | Dose: Apply as needed

Why We Recommend It

The ANUSOL Plus Hemorrhoidal Ointment is a little more expensive than the average hemorrhoid treatment, but you can apply it as often as needed. According to Dr. Kantsevoy, Anusol is the best treatment for external hemorrhoids and the one he recommends to his patients.

ANUSOL includes zinc oxide (sometimes formulated as zinc sulfate, depending on the product), which goes a long way toward healing and protecting sensitive, damaged skin. It also includes pramoxine, an analgesic, to numb the pain associated with hemorrhoids. 

If you’re experiencing uncontrollable itch in addition to significant pain from external hemorrhoids, you can also try Preparation H Soothing Relief Anti Itch Cream. This option is formulated with 1% hydrocortisone, a maximum-strength percentage you don’t need a prescription for. It reduces inflammation and quiets that intolerable itch with instant results and can be used up to four times per day. However, hydrocortisone hemorrhoid products should only be applied for one week unless otherwise instructed by a doctor.

Keep In Mind

ANUSOL Plus Hemorrhoidal Ointment is an investment, and if you want added itch relief you’ll have to ask your doctor for the prescription version that contains hydrocortisone.

Thena Natural Wellness Organic Sitz Bath Soak



  • Uses natural ingredients like aloe and coconut oil

  • Reduces inflammation and repairs damage

  • Also a great option for pregnancy and postpartum hemorrhoids

Key Specs

Type: Sitz bath salt | Active Ingredients: Epsom salt, aloe, witch hazel | Dose: 2 to 3 soaks per day

Why We Recommend It

A sitz bath can be an incredibly soothing treatment for hemorrhoids, working wonders for irritated, delicate skin. The Thena Natural Wellness Organic Sitz Bath Soak has both Epsom salt and sea salt, plus nourishing coconut and magnesium oils to soothe, heal, reduce inflammation, and repair tissue damage. We love the natural ingredients and its flexibility of use: You can dissolve the soak into a special sitz device or simply blend it into a warm bath within your tub. 

Dr. Bravo recommends using a sitz bath soak with warm water for 10 to 15 minutes, two to three times per day, to improve blood flow to the area and relax the muscle around the anus.

In addition to using a sitz bath, you can try suppositories to limit the worsening of internal hemorrhoids. The Fleet Laxative Glycerin Suppositories aren’t designed to provide hemorrhoid relief, but they can play an important role in keeping bowel movements soft, limiting exacerbation of symptoms, and preventing future hemorrhoids. According to Pratima Dibba, MD, gastroenterologist with Medical Offices of Manhattan, glycerin suppositories like Fleet can relieve constipation and effectively help hemorrhoids heal

Keep In Mind

This sitz bath isn’t an “on-the-go” product; you have to take time out of your day to sit in a tub for it to work.

Motherlove Rhoid Balm


Our Ratings

  • Effectiveness


  • Ease of Use


  • Results



  • Offers quick relief that left us feeling better after just one day

  • Includes herbal ingredients to reduce itching and inflammation

  • Works better than alternatives such as lidocaine ointments


  • Only comes in a large tub

  • Made for postpartum, not pregnancy (so check with your provider before use)

Key Specs

Type: Balm | Active Ingredients: Witch hazel, calendula, yarrow herb | Dose: Apply several times daily

Why We Recommend It

Pregnant women can use Motherlove Postpartum Rhoid Balm to treat their hemorrhoids. It’s a convenient, comforting way to apply witch hazel and a few other botanical ingredients to your hemorrhoids, reducing inflammation and banishing your frustrating hemorrhoid itch.

In testing, we appreciated how quickly the Rhoid Balm provided instant, soothing relief and our hemorrhoids felt better after just one day of use. In fact, it worked better than several other common hemorrhoid treatments (like witch hazel pads and lidocaine cream) in relieving our symptoms.

However, if you prefer pads or wipes to topical ointments, the TUCKS Medicated Cooling Pads are convenient, affordable, and provide instant cooling relief from pain and irritation. Our editor considered these an absolute staple for the postpartum period. We also noticed results within the first day of use, making these pads an easy choice for a postpartum alternative to the Motherlove Postpartum Rhoid Balm.

If you would like additional treatments for hemorrhoids experienced during pregnancy, many experts recommend a sitz bath. The Thena Natural Wellness Organic Sitz Bath Soak is recommended by our editors and can also be found on this list.

Keep In Mind

We would have loved to see Motherlove Postpartum Rhoid Balm available for purchase in a small tube versus a large tub for maximum portability and ease of use. Because it contains natural ingredients and was formulated for postpartum use, you may still need to check with your provider that the Rhoid Balm is safe for use during pregnancy. “Even though it’s unlikely that the ingredients in topical hemorrhoidal agents will harm the third-trimester infant, a discussion needs to be had between you and your obstetrician regarding therapy,” says Dr. Bechtold.

How We Tested and Selected the Hemorrhoid Treatments

We tested hemorrhoid products at home, evaluating each product’s effectiveness, ease of use, and overall value. We also asked our editors to share any side effects they experienced, if any. The products we tested were selected based on advice from our experts and an anonymous survey of 15 people who have experienced hemorrhoids and utilized OTC treatments. In testing, we considered each product in the scope of the following categories:

  • Effectiveness: We rated how well each product reduced symptoms of burning, itching, and pain, as well as how long (in number of days) it took to feel symptom relief.
  • Ease of use: We rated how easy each product was to use or apply, depending on its form, from very easy to very difficult. We also considered things like how messy the product was and if its packaging or overall application process was wasteful or ineffective.
  • Value: We asked our editors to share if they would purchase this product again or recommend it to others, along with what they liked and disliked most about it.

How to Prevent and Treat Hemorrhoids

Since hemorrhoids usually develop as a result of constipation and straining to have bowel movements, there are ways to prevent them from forming. Likewise, you can make lifestyle changes as a first-line treatment when they start popping up. Experts recommend the following tips to prevent hemorrhoids

  • Avoid straining with stool softeners: Dr. Bravo says one of the most important steps in treating hemorrhoids is avoiding constipation (hard or infrequent stools), which may include taking stool softeners. You can try an over-the-counter stool softener like Colace (docusate), which doesn’t force you to have a bowel movement but simply makes it easier to pass stool. Another alternative is a natural stool softener with soluble fiber ingredients like psyllium. It’s worth noting that stool softeners are different from medications that cause diarrhea or constipation, which should be avoided, says Dr. Bechtold
  • Add fiber to your diet: Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet is also a good way to prevent and treat hemorrhoids. Dr. Bechtold suggests eating plenty of fruits and vegetables to increase your daily dietary fiber to the recommended 20 to 35 grams. If you struggle to meet the recommended amount of fiber through natural food sources, adding fiber supplements to your diet can help.
  • Increase fluid intake: Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can soften stool, making it easier to pass bowel movements. Experts recommend drinking at least 8 to 10 cups of water per day and more if you’re active or in a hot climate.
  • Use bulking agents: If increasing your fiber and fluid intake doesn’t work well enough to eliminate constipation, Dr. Kantsevoy says you should start taking bulking agents like Metamucil and Miralax to help keep your bowel movements regular. 
  • Don’t linger on the toilet: If you’re struggling to pass a bowel movement, don’t sit there and try to force it. Sitting for prolonged periods of time can exacerbate hemorrhoids.

Our Experts

We speak to experts at every stage of testing products and reporting and writing this story. They advise us on subjects like what ingredients to look for in products, how to treat hemorrhoids, and what kind of changes you should expect to see with treatment. Here are a few of the people we spoke to.

  • Henry Govekar, MD, colon and rectal surgeon at Rush University Medical Group in Chicago
  • Matthew Bechtold, MD, a University of Missouri Health Care gastroenterologist
  • Sergey V. Kantsevoy, MD, director of The Center for Therapeutic Endoscopy at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore
  • Arturo Bravo, MD, a gastroenterologist at Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital
  • Heather Viola, DO, primary care physician at Mount Sinai
  • Randall Cooper, MD, colorectal and general surgeon at Summit Health
  • Pratima Dibba, MD, gastroenterologist with Medical Offices of Manhattan

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are OTC hemorrhoid treatments effective?

    According to Dr. Dibba, OTC hemorrhoid treatments don’t “cure” hemorrhoids—and there’s not enough research data to support their long-term use—research does show they can reduce the symptoms associated with hemorrhoids. Many cases of hemorrhoids will heal on their own with lifestyle changes (i.e. regular bowel movements), but if your symptoms are persistent, you’ll need in-office intervention with a specialist.

  • What OTC hemorrhoid treatments are safe for pregnancy?

    Warm sitz baths and dietary and lifestyle modifications (like eating more fiber, limiting fatty foods, and getting regular exercise) are safe in pregnancy and should be tried first, says Dr. Bechtold. If that doesn’t work, you can try medicated wipes containing witch hazel, which are a treatment recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

  • Can an internal hemorrhoid be cured by home treatments?

    In some cases, yes. Dr. Bravo says internal hemorrhoids can be treated at home if they’re not large, don’t have fissures or tears in the skin, and are not thrombosed (i.e. they don’t contain any blood clots). Otherwise, you should avoid treating an internal hemorrhoid at home.

  • What’s the difference between hemorrhoids and fissures?

    There’s a big difference between hemorrhoids and fissures, though you can have both types of issues at the same time. According to Dr. Kantsevoy, hemorrhoids are enlarged or engorged veins that can be inside or outside the rectum; fissures, meanwhile, are vertical splits or tears in the lining of the anus.

Why Trust Verywell Health

Sarah Bradley has been a freelance writer since 2017, tackling health commerce articles, product reviews, and shopping guides on everything from dry skin moisturizers and wart removers to menstrual cups and toothbrushes for braces. She battled hemorrhoids during all three of her pregnancies, so she knows how important it is to find safe products that provide quick, healing relief.


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