Muscles of a stomach of the sports man
fotogray/iStock/Getty Images

Preparation-H was introduced to the US, by American Home Products, around 1935. Preparation-H originally started as a sunburn ointment before it was marketed as the, now popular, hemorrhoid treatment. When used as directed, Preparation-H helps shrink hemorrhoids and provides temporary relief from burning, itching and irritation. However, over the years people have found other uses for Preparation-H, beyond the manufacturer’s original intentions.

Preparation-H as a Beauty Cream

Preparation-H has been long used by Hollywood makeup artists and actors. This allowed actors to party all night but appear on screen without eye bags, wrinkles and other tell-tale signs of hard living. In its original formulation, Preparation-H had a yeast extract called BioDyne that increased oxygen intake in the skin and soothed inflamed tissue resulting in softer, smoother skin. However, when pressed by the US FDA to prove the efficacy of BioDyne, Wyeth opted, instead, to reformulate the product. In the US, Preparation-H no longer contains BioDyne. However, the formula is still available in Canada.

Preparation-H for Six Pack Abs

In 2008, ABC News reported an interesting trend in New York nightclubs. Male patrons covering their chests in Preparation-H to make themselves look ripped. But this trend didn’t start in the clubs, it was originally started by body builders to tighten the skin before a competition. Pageant contestants also use Preparation-H to diminish the appearance of cellulite on the thighs. Be warned, however, in its current formulation, Preparation-H contains an ingredient that constricts blood vessels. Use of Preparation-H on large areas of the body, such as the torso and thighs, may cause a dangerous increase in blood pressure.

Preparation-H for Wound Healing

In a 2005 study, researchers Kalyanam Subramanyam, Marcel Patterson and William K. Gourley created artificial ulcers in the rectums of 12 healthy males. Then, one group was given Preparation-H and the other a placebo. On day 15 of the study, all of the subjects in the Preparation-H group showed complete healing as compared to only half the subjects in the placebo group. Whether this means Preparation-H is effective for other wounds remains to be seen.