Piles (haemorrhoids) are swellings inside or around the bottom. They are common and often clear up on their own after a few days.
Check if you have piles
It might be piles if you have:
- lumps around the anus
- bright red blood after you poo
- pain or discomfort when pooing
- an itchy bottom
- mucus leaking from your bottom after you’ve been to the toilet
- soreness, redness and swelling around your anus
See what piles look like
How you can treat or prevent piles yourself
Piles often go away on their own after a few days.
To relieve any pain or discomfort when you go to the toilet:
- avoid straining when you’re on the toilet
- use moist toilet paper or baby wipes
- dab the area clean, rather than wiping it
To keep your poo soft, help you go to the toilet regularly and stop your piles getting bigger:
- drink plenty of fluid
- eat more fibre (fruit and vegetables, wholegrain bread, pasta and cereal)
- try to avoid drinking too much caffeine (in drinks like tea, coffee and cola)
Your pharmacist can help with piles
To relieve swelling, itching and pain you can buy:
- creams and ointments
- suppositories (which are inserted into your bottom)
Pharmacists can give you advice about which product is best for you. Ask your pharmacist if you can speak to them in a private area if you’re embarrassed.
You shouldn’t use piles medicines for longer than a week as they can irritate your skin. Don’t use more than one product at the same time.
Speak to your GP if:
- your piles don’t clear up with pharmacy medicines within a week
- you’re bleeding from your bottom
- you’re in a lot of pain
- your piles are persistent and you can’t get rid of them