Haemorrhoids (piles) is a very painful and uncomfortable condition, often caused by straining, a low fibre diet or as a result of childbirth. Unfortunately, there is very little available at the local chemist to cure the condition.
The anesthetic creams such as Lignocaine and Benzocaine can, at best, relieve the pain. These creams should be applied only to the outside of the rectum and for only two weeks as they can cause skin sensitivity.
The vasoconstrictors, such as adrenaline and ephedrine, constrict the small blood vessels but they can cause anxiety, rapid heartbeat and breathlessness if absorbed into the bloodstream.
Other approaches include the hyaluronidase heparinoid preparations such as Lasonil, but these may cause local swelling around the rectum.
The best remedy is a diet high in fibre, or soaked dry fruit. Alternative remedies include salt baths, white soft paraffin and zinc and castor oil, although a sensitivity reaction to zinc preparations is common.