Preparation H is a brand name owned by Wyeth Consumer Healthcare. Six products designed to treat hemorrhoid symptoms are branded under this name including an ointment, a cooling gel, a cream with maximum strength pain relief, an anti-itch cream with 1% hydrocortisone, suppositories and medicated and portable wipes. When someone says Preparation-H, they generally are referring to the cream.
Hemorrhoid creams, like Preparation-H, are designed as a temporary solution for symptoms associated with both internal and external hemorrhoids. They accomplish this by topically delivering active ingredients via a binder. In the case of Preparation-H, this binder is a combination of mineral oil and other inactive ingredients combined with glycerin, one of the active ingredients. When applied to the skin, the binders can partially be absorbed and partially evaporated, leaving little greasy residue. The other ingredients are simultaneously absorbed into the tissue. The mineral oil acts not only as a binder, but also as a lubricant, reducing friction and thus irritation.
Four active ingredients make up this product including glycerin, a protectant, phynylephrine HCL 0.25%, a vasoconstrictor, pramoxine HCL 1%, a local anesthetic and white petrolatum 15%, another protectant. Protectants are designed to provide a barrier between the sensitive perianal skin surrounding the anus and moisture and fecal matter which can get lodged in this area. When this occurs, pruritus ani, or anal itching can result. The protectants help prevent this.
The vasoconstrictor acts to narrow the blood vessels resulting in a reduction or restriction of blood flow. Since inflamed venous structures within hemorrhoids are partly responsible for inflammation and pain associated with hemorrhoids, reducing this inflammation with vasoconstrictors is one way to immediately see a reduction in pain and inflammation. Doing so will also provide a better environment for the tissue to heal.
Finally, the local anesthetic causes a temporary loss of sensation, resulting in a blocking of pain signals to the brain.
Like nearly all over the counter symptoms relief products for hemorrhoids, this product is for external use only. The reason has to do with the fact that tissue internally absorbs active ingredients at very different rates than external tissue. Applying medication to internal tissue that is designed for external use can result in overdosing.
Individuals with heart disease, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, diabetes or urination difficulties associated with an enlarged prostate are advised to consult a doctor before use, as are pregnant and nursing women. So is this the best hemorrhoid cream?
All hemorrhoid creams use various combinations of local anesthetics, analgesics, vasoconstrictors, protectants, astringents and possibly corticosteroids to provide symptom relief. They use different binders and combinations of active ingredients. What works well for one person may not work for another. It truly is a situation of trial and error. In the case of Preparation-H Cream with Maximum Strength Pain Relief, this is one of the stronger products designed to aggressively attack hemorrhoidal symptoms.
If the symptoms are minor, it is always advisable to use the least amount of medication necessary to achieve the desired results. This is because the body tends to adjust to medication, making it less effective over time, or adjusting its way of operating as a result of repeated exposure to these medical crutches. Long term, this can result in a worsening of the general condition as the body will no longer function optimally in the repair of its tissues when the medication is removed.
Hemorrhoids are a chronic condition. There are many hemorrhoid treatments available to treat them on a long term permanent basis. Educating yourself about the condition, its causes and the available treatment options is the best way to rid yourself of them.
Our Top Hemorrhoid Treatment Recommendations
- Western Herbal Hem Miracle