Hemorrhoid cream contains chemicals that reduce the size of blood vessels, which can ease pain and other symptoms of hemorrhoids. Reducing blood flow and making blood vessels smaller can also reduce the size of undereye bags and wrinkles.
Beauty professionals and makeup artists have touted hemorrhoid cream around the eyes as a way to make yourself look better for photos or in professional settings. However, using cream this way can be dangerous.
Understanding the causes of undereye bags or wrinkles can help you manage them, but you still might be tempted to use hemorrhoid cream as a short-term solution. While some people say it’s safe to do this very occasionally, regular use will damage your skin, increase the risk of pimples or dermatitis, and can harm the cell layers on top of your eyes, like your sclera and cornea.
To reduce undereye bags and wrinkles, do your best to manage your health by getting enough sleep, water, and healthy food and exercise. You can also use undereye creams and concealer to specifically manage the appearance under your eyes for special occasions.
Warnings on hemorrhoid creams state that you should not put these products on your face or near your eyes. Do not use hemorrhoid creams under your eyes.
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Hemorrhoid Cream Might Damage Your Eyes
Hemorrhoid cream is designed for the temporary relief of hemorrhoids, a medical condition that can lead to physical discomfort. Because over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams have a numbing agent and can reduce inflammation, some makeup artists have used these products to reduce eye puffiness and improve the sight of wrinkles around the eyes.
These creams are not designed to be used in or around the eyes, although they are used in other sensitive areas. They are intended to alleviate specific symptoms, and they are not even designed as a medical treatment for hemorrhoids. Using these creams in ways that are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can lead to damage to your eyes and vision.
Although some dermatologists say that using hemorrhoid cream as an undereye treatment can have benefits, you must be careful not to get this cream in your eyes, which can be difficult. While there may be cosmetic benefits, it is best to avoid using these products in this way.
Avoid Using Hemorrhoid Cream Under Your Eyes Regularly
Hemorrhoid creams like Preparation H are vasoconstrictors, meaning they reduce the size of blood vessels to constrict blood flow, thus reducing puffiness or swollen tissues. With hemorrhoids, this can help to reduce pain and symptoms temporarily. With other tissue like the delicate skin under your eyes, it can reduce the look of being tired, sick, or “old” due to wrinkles or dark skin.
Common causes of puffiness, dark circles, or undereye bags and wrinkles include:
- Lack of sleep.
- Allergies or sinus problems.
- Alcohol use.
- Eating a lot of salty foods.
- Too much sunlight.
- Not removing makeup or cleaning your face often enough.
- Genetics, as this problem can be hereditary.
Using a small amount of hemorrhoid cream occasionally, like before a speaking engagement or party, may improve appearance and how you look in photos, but it’s not worth the risk.
Using the cream every day can be very harmful in the long term. Hemorrhoid cream is not intended as a long-term, consistent treatment, even for its intended use.
If you use too much of these creams, you are at risk of clogging your pores, leading to breakouts around your skin, which is worse for your skin’s health in the long run. Some types of cream containing lanolin can cause contact dermatitis.
This issue can cause problems around the very sensitive skin near your eyes. If you develop contact dermatitis or skin irritation on your face, your eyes can suffer.
Some chemicals in these creams are known to cause skin fragility and thinning, which may make puffiness or bags under your eyes worse. They can also cause problems with your corneas and sclera, the outer layers on the surface of your eye. Your tear ducts may become damaged, leading to chronic dry eye, which can increase the risk of other problems.
Taking Care of Your Health Leads to Better Skin & Fewer Wrinkles
Many people struggle with having puffy eyes, either because they have not slept well, they are sick or dehydrated, or they simply have a genetic inclination to this common beauty concern. Instead of using hemorrhoid cream around your eyes, you can try other treatment options.
- Drink enough water, which can improve the elasticity of your skin.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Get enough rest.
- Use specific undereye creams, which are safe enough to put around your eyes.
- Wear sunscreen to reduce sun damage.
- Get checked for allergies, which might cause puffiness and redness around your eyes.
- Add more undereye makeup to your routine for special events.
Hemorrhoid creams are labeled with warnings to keep them off your face. They are not safe for many mucous membranes, including your lips, tongue, and around your eyes.
Staying generally healthy, taking care of your skin, and getting regular eye exams are the best ways to reduce bags or wrinkles under your eyes. Avoid using hemorrhoid cream in ways it is not approved for, especially since the labels clearly state that you should not put them on your face.
Even though some “beauty professionals” use these creams once in a while, it is not considered safe. Using them to reduce bags routinely does not work and can cause damage to your skin and eyes.
Hemorrhoids and What to Do About Them. (February 2019). Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School.
Should You Put Hemorrhoid Cream on Your Face? Why Some Experts Say Yes. (November 2017). Today.
Does Preparation H Actually Help Treat Puffy Eyes? (December 2018). Self.