Does Vaseline Help Hemorrhoids or Make It Worse?

Woman in a Bathtub

Medical practitioners often recommend natural treatments for hemorrhoids, primarily because they don’t have any side effects. There’s also no palpable discomfort that patients usually get after using unreliable medicines.

However, you need to be aware of your condition before going for natural and home-based treatments. In any case, natural remedies are a good idea, though it’s always better to discuss them with a physician beforehand. The state of your disease might require the intervention of a qualified medical practitioner.

Vaseline As a Treatment for Hemorrhoids

Were you born before the turn of the century? If so, you’re probably familiar with how Vaseline used to be a home remedy for just about anything. It was the parents’ go-to cure for so many things, including dry lips and dead skin.

Vaseline can be an effective home-based treatment for those of you dealing with hemorrhoids. In fact, older adults still believe in the near-magical healing power of this lubricating jelly. But, can it deliver the required result as a cure for hemorrhoids? This article will help clarify things.

Is It Okay to Put Vaseline on Your Hemorrhoids?

Since the idea is to rehydrate and lubricate the skin, Vaseline comprises mild ingredients. It is actually nothing more than just a form of petroleum jelly. This makes it suitable for external use on any part of your body, including the anus and rectum. Since these are sensitive areas (particularly the anus), you can apply Vaseline on them without worrying about any adverse reactions.

The likelihood of any side effects is very low. Moreover, it’s a hypoallergenic product. Even doctors may sometimes recommend using this petroleum jelly to heal the delicate skin around your anal and rectal area. It can help reduce irritation and itching during movement.
Vaseline can decrease the pain and soreness caused by those external lumps when it comes to hemorrhoids. It also keeps them from getting worse or giving you other painful symptoms.

Applying Vaseline to the Anal and Rectal Area

Start by cleaning your anal and rectal regions thoroughly. Pat them dry with a soft towel or paper napkins, ensuring that they graze the skin smoothly. Apply Vaseline after that. Repeat this process a few times a day, especially after a bowel movement.

If you have trouble passing stool and often have to strain, consider using Vaseline directly on your anus. It will help the stool pass through the rectum relatively easily, preventing anal fissures. This might even speed up the healing of your hemorrhoids.

Safety Concerns About Vaseline

Vaseline works on hemorrhoids in simple ways. You can use it to keep your skin around the sensitive anal area from getting dry and reduce itchiness. It also saves the skin around your anus from chaffing. As a result, your condition would not get worse.

One inconvenience of applying Vaseline on your hemorrhoids is the stains it’s likely to leave on your clothing. To minimize them, you’re recommended to use unbleached clothing to cover the Vaseline lining.

There’s a very low risk of side effects with this petroleum jelly with regard to safety. It’s not a definitive cure for hemorrhoids (you may still have to get your lumps treated by a qualified medical practitioner), but there’s usually no harm in using it to ease your pain and discomfort.

Vaseline is equally effective for children and adults. In fact, doctors often suggest applying it to the rectal area of toddlers to prevent diaper rashes. For adults, it has long been used as a lubricant on patients dealing with anal fissures, itching and redness in the anus, external hemorrhoids, and cracks in the delicate anorectal skin caused by pregnancy and subsequent childbirth.

The purification procedure (known as a “triple purification setup” according to the company website) that Vaseline is put through during the manufacturing process makes it completely safe for use on the anorectal area. All harmful impurities are taken care of during this stage. The result is a fully hypoallergenic and non-irritating product made of nourishing waxes, essential mineral oils, and hydrocarbons. It’s marketed as 100% petroleum jelly.

There is, however, one thing to be mindful of. While Vaseline is totally safe and considerably effective for external skin application, it’s better not to use it for internal hemorrhoids. This is because it might adversely affect the internal veins and muscles. Such concerns aren’t there for external use. Hence, you should avoid using Vaseline or other petroleum jelly as a home remedy for internal hemorrhoids.

Can Vaseline Stop or Reduce Hemorrhoid Bleeding?

Vaseline comes with multiple skin-repairing qualities. These include rehydrating the skin and nurturing the skin cells, among others. It has also been used over the years to treat minor burns, shallow cuts, and wounds of the non-extreme variety.

So, you can undoubtedly think of Vaseline as a helpful tool when dealing with hemorrhoid bleeding. However, before adopting any self-medication practices to treat the bleeding, your first port of call should always be your doctor.

Bleeding hemorrhoids occur when a blood clot forms and bursts inside external hemorrhoids. They also bring the risk of infection with them. And if the skin around your anal or rectal area is broken or exposed, the bleeding makes it vulnerable to harmful germs and bacteria.

It’s essential to clean and disinfect this sensitive region first. You can then apply Vaseline to prevent further skin damage from irritation and itchiness. But, as stated previously, you should report hemorrhoidal bleeding to your doctor first.

Final Verdict

On its own, Vaseline isn’t a cure for hemorrhoids. However, it can speed up the healing process while also easing the pain and discomfort in some cases.

Hemorrhoids are usually a result of an individual’s lifestyle choices and eating habits. A lack of fiber intake through food means you’re at risk of constipation. This may lead to excessive straining during bowel movements.

Both constipation and straining put a lot of pressure on the rectal veins, which can cause hemorrhoid flare-ups. Other factors that can result in rectal and anal vein inflammation include dehydration, obesity, prolonged sitting, lack of exercise or physical activity of any kind, and a generally sedentary lifestyle.

Lastly, if you need to use Vaseline on your external hemorrhoids for longer than a week, it’s better to get in touch with a doctor and undergo a different treatment procedure.