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Vicks Is Controversial Remedy for Hemorrhoids

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Q. I have had hemorrhoids for 40 years. About 35 years ago, while living in England, I was able to treat them with an ointment I found there. I brought some back to the U.S. when I returned, but could never find it here.

The two principal ingredients listed on the tube were camphor and menthol. I now use Vicks VapoRub as a substitute. Regular use relieves the itching as well as the swelling for me.

A. You are not the first to tell us that Vicks VapoRub eases hemorrhoidal discomfort. Others tell us that the burning sensation is unbearable and liken it to napalm on sensitive skin. This is clearly not an FDA "approved" use. Vicks should only be used externally.

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Regarding remedies for hemorrhoids

My colon doctor has me using OTC Calmoseptine Ointment. My hemorrhoids are external and internal. I use a light coating of this on the external ones. It certainly takes away the burning and pain. The main ingredients are menthol and zinc oxide. I have found that most drug stores have to order it and it is inexpensive for a large 4 oz. tube.

Oh, for crying out loud!! The burning sensation is fairly intense but VERY brief and is replaced by a soothing, cooling sensation and immediate relief from the pain. (You choose: brief discomfort or prolonged pain.) It seems to literally draw the pain away and heal the area. I used Vicks in this way to survive the horrible burning pain from the trauma to the tender anal-area tissue during the purging process leading up to my colonoscopy. Vicks also works in the same way to relieve tender tissue when I have diarrhea. The menthol and eucalyptus cool and soothe and the petrolatum provides a layer of protection.

Just a little on a piece of toilet tissue does the job. (Be sure to use fresh tissue each time - no double-dipping or you'll contaminate the jar.) I have never suffered any ill-effects and I have been using Vicks this way most of my adult life (I'm a 70-year-old female). Just keep in mind it is intended for external use only.

I also suffered periodically from hemorrhoids for many years along with the worst itch in the genital area. These were both a "sometimes" condition and every doctor I went to would prescribe an ointment to treat the symptoms... mostly hydrocortisone. I was referred by a friend to a naturopath and he said he was sure it was a food allergy. He drew blood and sent it off for allergy testing.

Sure enough, I'm allergic to all parts of eggs. Yolk & white. Since I've found that out the only time I have either problem is when I inadvertently eat something that contains eggs. What a wonderful relief! Why do doctors just look for a treatment for symptoms and not look for the cause?

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