Perianal Care

Treatment of Anal Discomfort or Pain due to hemorrhoids, anal fissures, pruritus ani and other conditions:

  1. Sitz Bath: Soak in warm water several times a day, especially after having a bowel movement, to keep the perianal area scrupulously clean. Pat dry afterward. If you cannot do sitz baths after a bowel movement, then gently clean yourself with a wet tissue, baby wipe, or washcloth. This is less irritating than dry toilet tissue.
  2. After cleansing, apply a thin film of Vaseline or A&D Ointment. This acts as a moisture barrier to protect skin and allows it to heal. An anesthetic cream or foam (Proctofoam, Preparation H, Anusol) may be used for a few days to alleviate the pain. Prolonged use may result in sensitivity and can cause worsening of irritation and itching.
  3. Avoid constipation. A high fiber diet is essential. The easiest way to increase your fiber intake is to consume a high fiber cereal every day. You can also take a fiber supplement such as Citrucel or Metamucil once or twice a day in eight ounces of water. Drink plenty of fluids. A stool softener such as Colace or Surfak may also be helpful taken once or twice a day if you have hard stools.
  4. If you are having problems with bleeding from hemorrhoids, you should avoid straining at the stool, and avoid sitting on the toilet for prolonged periods of time. Sitting for too long causes the hemorrhoids to pop out or prolapse, and will worsen pain and bleeding. Don't stay in the bathroom for more than about five minutes.