Preparation H is a well known over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream. It shrinks and protects hemorrhoid tissue and relieves discomfort. It has also been used for other purposes, such as relief from bed sores, dry hands, burns and the inflammation and itch of surgical scars. Preparation H ointment has also been rumored to minimize wrinkles.

Original Formula

The original formula for Preparation H contained shark liver oil and a live yeast cell derivative (LYCD). These ingredients appeared to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Rumors were widely circulated about Hollywood stars using the cream to maintain a youthful appearance.

Reformulated Product

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested a reformulation of Preparation H that required the removal of LYCD. Research did not support the fact that LYCD effectively treated hemorrhoids. Phenylephrine, a vasoconstrictor, was added to the formula. Phenylephrine works by constricting blood vessels and squeezing out excess fluid.

The revised formula still contains shark liver oil, however, it does not appear that this new formula minimizes wrinkles.

Canadian Formula

The original Preparation H with LYCD and shark oil is currently available through Canadian stores and websites. It has the active ingredient Bio-Dyne, which is a live yeast cell derivative.

The Canadian variety of Preparation H is touted as being an efficient and economical wrinkle cream. It continues to be primarily sold as a hemorrhoid cream and does not come in fancy face cream packaging. It smells slightly medicinal.


This formula should not be used by people with heart disease, or high blood pressure, as the use of phenylephrine may increase blood pressure.

Also speak to your doctor before using Preparation H if you are pregnant or breast feeding or if you have thyroid problems, diabetes or an enlarged prostate.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns consumers against purchasing products, for medical purposes, online.

Care should be taken that it does not get into your eyes as the ingredients in Preparation H can irritate, or potentially damage, your eyes.

When purchasing online confirm the website is a secure site and be familar with website purchase, shipping and return policies.