How long does Anusol cream take to work?

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Mohamed Imran Lakhi Content Administrator Published on: 06/08/2019 Updated on: 06/07/2020

Haemorrhoids, more commonly referred to as piles, are swollen veins in the rectum or anus that can cause pain, discomfort and sometimes bleeding. While internal haemorrhoids can be difficult to see, external haemorrhoids often appear as a lump of tissue protruding from the anus which can be soft or firm to touch. For some people, a haemorrhoid will clear up naturally within a few days, while for others an over-the-counter treatment may need to be administered.

Typically, piles are not a serious condition and can be easily treated.

The most common symptoms of both internal and external piles according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) include:

  • Bright red, painless rectal bleeding, typically occurring after bowel movements
  • Anal itching or irritation
  • A feeling of rectal fullness, discomfort, or of incomplete evacuation when passing stools

While you may find experiencing piles embarrassing, it is important to note that it is in fact a very common condition. According to the makers of Anusol, the UK’s number one haemorrhoid treatment, as many as one in two people in the UK will deal with piles at some point in their lives.

  • Straining while passing stools
  • Heavy lifting
  • Ageing
  • Pregnancy and childbirth (due to raised intra-abdominal pressure)
  • Chronic cough
  • A low-fibre diet

Hereditary factors can also contribute to the occurrence of piles, due to possible genetic weaknesses in the anal cavity.

What is Anusol Cream and How Does it Work?

Anusol is a medicinal brand specialising in the treatment of piles. The cream is just one of three options from the brand, with an ointment available for those suffering with dry and irritated skin alongside the haemorrhoid, and a suppository option for the treatment of internal piles.

Anusol Cream works by applying a thin layer to the affected area at night, in the morning, and after each bowel movement. The cream contains three active ingredients which work in the following ways:

  • Zinc Oxide – A mild antiseptic which helps shrink and tighten the affected tissue while simultaneously helping with moisture absorption. This is particularly useful if anal suppositories are being used in conjunction with the cream. Zinc oxide also discourages the growth of certain bacteria.
  • Bismuth Oxide – Contains further antiseptic and tissue-shrinking properties, as well as the ability to form a protective membrane over raw surfaces.
  • Balsam Peru – A mild antiseptic believed to promote the growth of epithelial cells, helping to re-heal the affected area.

How Long Does it Take for Anusol Cream to Work?

Once using Anusol, it usually takes between 5-7 days for the haemorrhoid to shrink and become less painful. However, variables such as the size of the haemorrhoid and the individual application process can affect results, therefore healing time can deviate from this time frame.

If you miss an application, do not counter this by applying more the next time you use it as this can increase the chance of irritation and possible side effects.

How often can I use Anusol?

You should apply a small amount of Anusol ointment to the affected area in the morning, evening, and after every bowel movement.

You should refrain from using the cream for any longer than 7 days as this may lead to irritation.

What Should You Do if Your Haemorrhoid Persists?

If after a week there has been no noticeable change in the size or appearance of the haemorrhoid, or if your symptoms have worsened, seek medical advice.

For more serious cases of piles, your doctor may be able to prescribe banding or a haemorrhoidectomy, both of which involve the physical removal of the haemorrhoid. During banding, blood flow to the haemorrhoid is restricted, leaving it to ‘slough off’ and allowing the underlying tissue to heal. If physical treatment is required, banding is the most common option. Haemorrhoidectomy is the surgical removal of piles, though this is reserved for more serious cases of piles.

Although it is possible for a haemorrhoid to burst, this is a rare occurrence and will only result in mild bleeding and discomfort.

How to Ease Piles Symptoms and Prevent them from Reoccurring

To aid the treatment of piles and prevent them from reoccurring, dietary and lifestyle changes such as drinking plenty of water, eating high-fibre foods, avoiding perfumed personal cleaning products and using soft toilet paper are highly recommended. Make sure that you avoid straining when passing stools and do not withhold bowel movements for prolonged periods of time.

Although tempting, do not scratch the affected area during the healing process and make sure to use gentle dabbing motions when drying yourself to avoid any further irritation and soreness.

If your piles are particularly painful, using a cushion to sit on can help ease this sensation. However, it is also advisable to take regular standing or walking breaks at work, as sitting for prolonged periods can weaken muscles around the anus and result in increased discomfort.

To find out more about how Anusol can treat your heamorrhoids, and to buy Anusol online from our online prescription service, click here.


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  • Treats internal and external haemorrhoids
  • Available as ointment or suppositories
  • Dispensed from UK registered pharmacy
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