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29 Feb 2016

Ask the Pharmacist: Treatment for Piles

 Dear Rowlands Pharmacy,

Recently I have started to have some discomfort when going to the loo; my friend suggested I might have piles. I’m too embarrassed to go to the doctor, is there anything I can use to get this sorted out asap?

Uncomfortable, London

Dear Uncomfortable,

Whilst piles (haemorrhoids) can be an embarrassing problem for many people it is important to discuss your symptoms with a health care professional such as your pharmacist. They can make sure your symptoms are as a result of piles and rule out any other possibilities.

Piles often occur as a result of straining when going to the toilet, which may be caused by constipation. Increasing fruit, vegetables and cereals in your diet and drinking plenty of fluids should help prevent this constipation. To relieve the discomfort associated with piles you could try taking paracetamol or using a topical preparation such as Anusol (this is available as both cream and suppositories depending on the site of discomfort). The product should be applied morning and evening and after emptying your bowels.

Using moist toilet tissue may prevent additional discomfort that can occur when wiping with toilet paper. Piles generally resolve spontaneously within a few days but if you have any bleeding, severe pain or the symptoms continue for more than a few days it would be advisable to see your GP.

For a full list of piles treatments and remedies, visit our piles department.

Visit our Piles Advice Centre page for more information and guidance about treating piles and easing the day to day discomfort of the condition.