Preparation H - how long to work?

And other hemorrhoid questions...

I've had a mild but annoying case of hemorrhoids for the past 12 months.
Really, for a long time, I thought it was just some kind of a jock itch
type situation. But this past week I was scratching them something
awful in the shower, and they flared up, and now, from the blood in the
toilet paper, there's no doubt it's hemorrhoids.

I've been applying Preparation H the past few days, after a bowel
movement and before bed, and it is soothing, but I am not sure how long
it takes before it "works" and I'm not even sure if it actually does
"work" ("work" defined as make the hemorrhoids go away!).

What recommendations/suggestions could people offer to me, in terms of
actions to pursue and time to get better, based on:

1. As I said, I've had them (or at least the itching symptom) for 12-13

2. They're both internal (bleeding on toilet paper) and external (bad

3. At the worst, wiping after a bowel movement feels like I'm rubbing
glass shards across the area.

4. I eat a lot of fiber - constipation is not an issue.

5. I'm a bit overweight - 6'2" and 240 pounds.

6. At home at least, for many years, I've wiped with moistened wipes
intended for babies - so it's not like I'm hard on the bottom.

7. I've always been careful to wash and rinse thoroughly in the shower,
and dry thoroughly afterwards.

Last question: I saw a web site for a product called Avatrol. If you've
used it or know someone who has, please share your experiences.