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By Deni Hui, The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy

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As you may have already noticed, there are several over-the-counter (OTC) options to choose from when it comes to treating hemorrhoids. In this article, we will be looking at the 5 most commonly used OTC witch hazel wipes indicated for relieving hemorrhoid symptoms, and discuss their similarities and differences.

What is Witch Hazel? What are Witch Hazel Wipes Used For?

Witch hazel is a plant, and the leaf, bark, and twigs of this plant are used to make medicine. Witch hazel is an astringent with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It is widely used as a natural topical remedy to treat a variety of conditions ranging from acne and eczema to hemorrhoids.

Topical witch hazel is available in different formulations, such as liquid, gel, soap, or topical pads (also known as wipes). Witch hazel wipes and witch hazel pads are convenient to use and are often used to relieve itching, burning, and irritation caused by hemorrhoids. They can also be used to clean the outer vaginal area after childbirth or the rectal area following rectal surgery.

How Do You Use Witch Hazel Wipes for Hemorrhoids? How Often Can I Apply Witch Hazel Wipes for Hemorrhoids?

Witch hazel wipes for hemorrhoids are meant for use in adults and children 12 years of age and older. The application directions may vary for each specific product, so be sure to check the specific product label first prior to use. In general, upon unsealing the pouch, unfold one wipe and cleanse the irritated area by gently wiping, patting, or blotting. One wipe should be enough, but you may repeat until all matter is removed from the area if necessary. You can apply witch hazel wipes up to 6 times daily or after each bowel movement. The witch hazel hemorrhoids can also be used before applying other topical hemorrhoid treatments. After use, discard the wipe. 

If you do not experience symptom relief or if your hemorrhoid symptoms get worse while using the medicated witch hazel wipes, make sure to consult your doctor or local pharmacist.

Are Prep H vs Tucks vs T.N. Dickinson vs Frida Mom vs Dude Hemorrhoid Wipes the Same Thing?

Yes, there is a wide range of products formulated with witch hazel for treating your hemorrhoids: including Preparation H® Medicated Wipes, Tucks® Medicated Cooling Pads, T.N. Dickinson®’s Witch Hazel Pads with Aloe, Frida Mom®’s Witch Hazel Perineal Cooling Pad Liners, and DUDE® Medicated Wipes. These wipes and pads are made with witch hazel 50% to provide medicated relief that soothes irritation, hemorrhoids, and burning. 

Each of the pads in these brand products has witch hazel to soothe and protect irritated skin so you can use them daily to cleanse your outer rectal and vaginal areas or as a moist compress to use on any inflamed tissues. These are meant to be applied externally up to 6 times daily or after each bowel movement.

What is the Difference: Prep H vs Tucks vs T.N. Dickinson vs Frida Mom vs DUDE?

The main difference among these brands of medicated hemorrhoid wipes is their size. DUDE® Medicated Wipes are 35% larger in size than average flushable wipes and contain both Aloe and Vitamin E. Tucks® Medicated Cooling Pads, on the other hand, are small in size and may sometimes be hard to apply.

Which Wipe Works Best for Hemorrhoids: Prep H vs Tucks vs T.N. Dickinson vs Frida Mom vs Dude?

We recommend that the best hemorrhoid wipes are medicated witch hazel wipes. Medicated witch hazel wipes from Preparation H, Tucks, T.N. Dickinson and DUDE all contain the maximum strength witch hazel (50%) that helps soothe and protect your irritated areas. Most of these wipes and pads are also pH balanced, hypo-allergenic, dye-free and can be particularly helpful in treating minor bleeding, skin irritation and relieving discomfort following rectal or vaginal surgery. Thus, using any of these products can be equally effective in treating hemorrhoids and it may eventually come down to your own personal preference.

Frida Mom witch hazel products are designed for people who are pregnant or in postpartum recovery. Hemorrhoids are very common in pregnancy and during the postpartum period. This can be due to the physical and hormonal changes that can occur during pregnancy or by the strain of pushing during labor which can either develop new hemorrhoids or also worsen existing ones.

Can Hemorrhoid Wipes with Witch Hazel Cause Irritation?

Witch hazel is broadly safe and effective to use for most adults when applied directly to the skin. However, vigorous wiping may sometimes cause irritation of the superficial layers of the skin, repeatedly causing itching and burning.

It is important to keep in mind that a very serious allergic reaction to witch hazel is rare, though possible. If you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction such as rash, itching or swelling of the face, tongue or throat, severe dizziness or trouble breathing, seek medical attention right away.

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This content is for informational use only and does not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for and should not be relied upon for specific medical recommendations. Please talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns.