Many people do not think hemorrhoids sound like a serious medical condition, but they can cause serious issues, including severe pain. (Learn More) Mayo Clinic says that up to 75 percent of adults may get a hemorrhoid at one time or another.
It’s sometimes possible to take care of hemorrhoids on your own with simple home remedies. (Learn More) Other times, a doctor may have to prescribe treatments, including creams or other procedures. (Learn More)
You can often purchase these prescription hemorrhoid creams online from valid pharmacies. (Learn More) Make sure you purchase your medication from the right sources, as there are many illegitimate sites that advertise as pharmacies.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Harvard Medical School explains that hemorrhoids are caused by swollen veins located in the bottom part of the anus and rectum. One theory behind why they form is that the veins in this area have to push blood to the rest of the body while also dealing with gravity.
People who are pregnant or obese are more likely to develop hemorrhoids. This is also the case for people who overexert themselves during bowel movements.
Hemorrhoids can be classified into two types:
- Internal: Formed in the lower rectum, these are often less painful but can cause bleeding. It is common for patients to notice blood on toilet paper or for these hemorrhoids to cause you to see drops of blood in the toilet. In some cases, internal hemorrhoids may affect body parts besides the anus.
- External: These are veins that swell outside the skin of the anus. External hemorrhoids are more painful, and a blood clot might form in the affected area. Continuing to wipe may irritate the skin, and the pain can be quite sharp.
Common signs that you may have hemorrhoids are:
- Pain during bowel movements.
- A bump near the anus.
- Pain or itching in the anus, usually when bending or sitting down.
- Bleeding during bowel movements.
How Are Hemorrhoids Treated?
Hemorrhoids can often be treated at home, but you should consult with a doctor if you try any of the following and do not see any changes within a week:
- Soak in a warm bath for a few minutes.
- Eat foods with more fiber.
- Use an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream.
- Try over-the-counter pain medication, such as Tylenol or Advil.
If none of these remedies help you, it is time to see a doctor. At your appointment, the doctor will conduct a visual examination. Internal hemorrhoids will require:
- Visual examinations. In addition to looking at the area, your physician may use a sigmoidoscope, anoscope, or proctoscope to get a better look at your colon, anus, and rectum.
- Physical examination. For this examination, your doctor will use gloves and lubrication to check for abnormalities.
Once you have received a proper diagnosis, your doctor will decide which course of treatment might be best.
- Surgery: This only tends to be necessary if hemorrhoids do not respond to treatment or they are large. Hemorrhoids may be stapled or removed.
- Minimally invasive procedures: These may be an option if your hemorrhoids are serious, but do not yet warrant surgery. Your doctor conducts these procedures at their office, and they do not usually require anesthesia.
- Thrombectomy: This procedure is appropriate when hemorrhoids have resulted in the formation of a clot. Local anesthesia is used to make you more comfortable as the clot is removed.
- Hemorrhoid creams: If your case is not too serious, you can start using over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams. You may be prescribed a cream if an over-the-counter solution does not resolve the problem.
Some creams will be local anesthetics, while others will contain soothing ingredients. This depends on your needs.
Is It Possible to Buy Medications for Hemorrhoids Online?
Once you receive your prescription, you have to decide where you will buy your hemorrhoid cream. Most people choose to visit their local pharmacy. Patients are now also bombarded with ads from online pharmacies.
This can be a convenient choice as long as you are careful to purchase from a licensed pharmacy. You can usually tell an online pharmacy is licensed if:
- They require you to upload proof of a prescription from a doctor you visited in person.
- The address provided for the pharmacy is in the United States.
- Their prices are in line with market prices. Even though their prices may be slightly cheaper than at a traditional pharmacy, they will not be unbelievably low.
An online pharmacy that says they can prescribe something for you, even something as simple as a hemorrhoid cream, is most likely not a legitimate operation. If you purchase from a scam pharmacy, you may end up buying an ineffective cream, or you might end up with something that worsens your condition.
What if I Cannot Visit My Doctor in Person?
In most states, patients can access medical care through text, phone, and video communication as long as the doctors they talk to have a license to practice medicine in that state. Most state laws have limits on what a doctor can do for you.
For example, in Mississippi, doctors are permitted to diagnose, treat, educate, and provide other data to patients in telehealth appointments. Doctors can also prescribe medication through telemedicine.
Even though you can receive a prescription via a telemedicine appointment in many states, it’s often worth it to see a doctor in person. The in-person examination can often detect more widespread issues more easily than a video appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are veins that swell in the rectal and/or anal area. They can be uncomfortable and painful if they are not treated.
Pregnant women, people who are obese, or people who strain during bowel movements are more likely to develop hemorrhoids.
What does hemorrhoid cream do?
Whether prescription or over the counter, hemorrhoid creams are an effective treatment for cases that are not so serious. Some creams are local anesthetics, while others have ingredients that are known to soothe the skin.
The goal is to lessen pain, keep the area clean, and prevent hemorrhoids from becoming more difficult to treat.
Can I buy hemorrhoid cream online?
You can buy hemorrhoid cream online if you make sure to use an accredited U.S.-based pharmacy.
The majority of operational online “pharmacies” are actually unlawful. At best, they may sell you something that is ineffective. Using ineffective products for your hemorrhoids may irritate them further.
A licensed online pharmacy will always ask to see a prescription you have obtained from your doctor. Be wary of any site that doesn’t require a prescription to purchase a controlled medication.
Hemorrhoids. (July 2019). Mayo Clinic.
Hemorrhoids: Treatment, Recovery, and More. (July 2016). Healthline.
Hemorrhoids and What to Do About Them. (October 2013). Harvard Medical School.
Counseling Patients With Hemorrhoids. (December 2011). U.S. Pharmacist.
Online Pharmacies: Avoid the Frauds. Poison Control.
Issue Brief: Telemedicine in Mississippi. (January 2017). Center for Mississippi Health Policy.
Telemedicine Policies. Federation of State Medical Boards.
What Is Proctoscopy? WebMD.