Hydrocortisone Cream for Hemorrhoids(Piles): How to use     

Hydrocortisone Cream for Hemorrhoids
Medically reviewed by Dr. Marsha Dunkely


Hydrocortisone, a corticosteroid, is a class of medications known for their anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces inflammation and eases discomfort associated with conditions such as hemorrhoids. Hydrocortisone is effective in addressing internal and external hemorrhoids. 

Most products have a seven-day maximum recommended use period; going beyond this should only be done with your doctor’s approval. Prolonged use without medical supervision may lead to potential side effects or complications. See medical advice if side effects or allergic reactions occur while using hydrocortisone.

Hydrocortisone should only be combined with other medications or herbs after getting proper medical advice. Interactions with various substances, including medications like amlodipine and aspirin, have been reported. To ensure the safety and effectiveness of the treatment plan, it is important to inform your doctor about all concurrent medications, vitamins, or herbs being used.

Can we ease hemorrhoids (piles) with hydrocortisone?

Yes, hydrocortisone can help ease the discomfort associated with hemorrhoids. The buildup of fluid in the rectal area’s tiny blood vessels causes hemorrhoids. Passing hard stools or constipation is a common cause of hemorrhoids.

Hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid medication. It works by reducing inflammation and alleviating pain. Applying hydrocortisone topically to the affected area can relieve the swelling of blood vessels and minimize discomfort. 

Get a Hydrocortisone prescription online for hemorrhoids. Our online doctors can help you.

How to use hydrocortisone cream for hemorrhoids

Using hydrocortisone cream for hemorrhoids involves different approaches for external and internal cases.

For external hemorrhoids:

  • Gently wash with soap and water. Gently wipe dry after rinsing.
  • Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
  • Outside of the anus, dab a little cream or ointment onto the affected region using your finger.
  • Gently rub in the medication.

For internal hemorrhoids:

  • Use the applicator provided, following the instructions in the product package or as directed by your doctor.
  • Fill the applicator with the medication as directed.
  • Insert the applicator tip into the anus gently, measuring 1/2 to 1 inch or 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters.
  • Take the medicine exactly as prescribed and place it in and around the anal opening.
  • You shouldn’t touch the anus with your finger or anything on the inside of the container.
  • Never put the applicator tip deeper than half an inch to an inch into the anus.
  • After only one use, dispose of a single-use tube and applicator.
  • Use it twice or thrice a day or after you go to the bathroom. Use it for up to seven days unless your doctor tells you to.
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Who can use hydrocortisone for hemorrhoids?

Hydrocortisone cream is generally considered safe for everyone when used as directed. It is available over the counter. However, children may absorb more hydrocortisone through the skin, potentially leading to side effects. For people younger than 18, discussing with a doctor before use is advised.

Please let your doctor or pharmacist know if you have any allergies. This also includes any type of allergy, including those to hydrocortisone and other corticosteroids (like prednisone or triamcinolone).

You should also inform your doctor of any preexisting conditions you may have before taking this drug. If you suffer from diabetes, eye issues, infections (particularly rectal sores or infections), liver disease, or gastrointestinal issues, make sure you tell your doctor about it before taking the medication.

Is hydrocortisone safe to use for hemorrhoids?

Yes, hydrocortisone is generally safe for treating hemorrhoids when used as directed. If used for a short duration, the likelihood of side effects is very low. You may experience a brief increase in burning upon initial application, but this typically diminishes after a few minutes, ceasing altogether within days.

However, prolonged use can lead to thinning of the skin around the anus.  You should not exceed seven days of use without your doctor’s advice. Avoid frequent repetitions of treatment.

Can we use hydrocortisone for hemorrhoids (Piles) in pregnancy?

Yes, hydrocortisone for piles can typically be used during pregnancy. While the safety of hydrocortisone in pregnancy has not been widely established, it is regarded as acceptable. This is due to the low absorption of hydrocortisone into the bloodstream as a cream. 

The tiny amount poses negligible risk to the baby. Hydrocortisone can effectively treat hemorrhoids, which are commonly exacerbated by bowel changes during pregnancy. Hydrocortisone can provide quick symptom relief. However, for caution, you can discuss this with your doctor.

Getting a hydrocortisone prescription online is easy. Get a consultation from our qualified professionals now!

Can hydrocortisone for piles be combined with other meds and herbs?

Combining hydrocortisone for piles with other medications, vitamins, or herbs requires caution due to potential interactions. Although applying hydrocortisone topically has less risk of interactions, you should be aware of these risks. Do not mix any herb or other medication in hydrocortisone cream.

As an example, hydrocortisone can raise the risk of ulcers and bleeding when taken with certain medications, such as blood thinners, anticoagulants, and NSAIDs. Phenytoin, rifampin, diabetic medication, macrolide antibiotics, and other drugs may also cause interactions. 

Although applying hydrocortisone topically has less risk of interactions, you should be aware of these risks. To avoid problems, ensure your doctor knows about all your vitamins, herbs, and medications.

When should I see a doctor?

You should see a doctor:

  • If your piles are not showing improvement after using hydrocortisone for a reasonable period.
  • If you’ve used hydrocortisone for the recommended seven days without experiencing relief.
  • If you face side effects or allergic reactions to hydrocortisone cream, such as persistent redness, swelling, itching, or any adverse symptoms.
  • If you have chronic piles or hemorrhoids that require more extensive or specialized treatment beyond hydrocortisone.

Other FAQs about hydrocortisone cream

How should I apply hydrocortisone cream for hemorrhoids?

Hydrocortisone cream should be applied gently with mild soap and water after washing the area. Internal hemorrhoids can be treated using the applicator.

Can hydrocortisone cream be used as a long-term solution for chronic hemorrhoids?

Hydrocortisone is typically recommended for short-term use. For chronic hemorrhoids, consult your doctor to establish a suitable and effective long-term management plan.

How long does it take for hydrocortisone cream to provide relief for hemorrhoids?

It may take a few days for some people to feel better after using the medication, while for others, it may come on quickly. Consistently follow the recommended guidelines for application to ensure optimal results.

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  • Lim SS, Yu CW, Aw LD. Comparing topical hydrocortisone cream with Hai’s Perianal Support in managing symptomatic hemorrhoids in pregnancy: a preliminary trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2015 Feb;41(2):238-47. doi: 10.1111/jog.12523. Epub 2014 Sep 26. PMID: 25256125.
  • https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/hydrocortisone-for-piles-and-itchy-bottom/
  • https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-6241-3245/hydrocortisone-rectal/hydrocortisone-cream-ointment-rectal/details
  • https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/hydrocortisone-for-piles-and-itchy-bottom/how-and-when-to-use-hydrocortisone-for-piles-and-itchy-bottom/

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