How to Use Epsom Salt to Relieve Hemorrhoids Hemorrhoids, or piles, are swollen veins thatdevelop in the lower rectum or under the skin.
They are usually caused by straining duringbowel movements or related to increased pressure on the veins in the rectal area.
Symptoms include itching, pain, irritation,and bleeding during or after bowel movements.
Home treatment involves increasing dietaryfiber and fluids, to keep stools soft and easy to pass, avoiding straining during bowelmovements, and managing pain and discomfort.
Soaking in Epsom salt, a magnesium sulfatecompound may be a helpful way to relieve the discomfort associated with hemorrhoids.
Step 1Fill a clean bathtub with at least 6 inches of warm water.
Alternatively, you can use a sitz bath kit,which is a plastic basin that fits over the toilet, or a warm compress applied to theanal area.
Step 2If filling a bathtub, add 1 cup Epsom salt for every 6 inches of water.
If you are using a sitz bath or a compress,use a solution of 1/4 cup Epsom salt per 4 cups of warm water.
Mix the water until all of the salt is dissolved.
Step 3Comfortably sit in the bathtub, or use the sitz bath, for 15 to 20 minutes.
Or soak a washcloth in the salt solution,remove excess water, and apply to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes.
Repeat every few hours or as needed if thishelps with symptom relief.
Step 4After your soak or compress, allow your rectal area to air dry, or gently pat the area witha soft towel.
Another option is to use a hair dryer — ona low setting — to quickly dry the area.
Be careful not to rub with a towel, or allowthe rectal area to stay moist, as this can worsen the irritation.
Step 5If your doctor has recommended a medication or cream, apply this after drying your rectalarea.
Follow the package or prescription directionsfor application.
Step 6Stop using Epsom salt if you have any worsening of itching, inflammation or pain, or if youexperience any hives or swelling.
Epsom salt soaks are generally safe to use,and may improve your symptoms.
If you are experiencing hemorrhoids for thefirst time, see your doctor for an evaluation and treatment plan.
If you have a history of hemorrhoids, andexperience an increase in pain, swelling, bleeding or discomfort, see your doctor.
Your doctor may recommend topical medications,and in some cases, a procedure is needed to shrink or remove large or painful hemorrhoids.