Well, this time around mines lasted about a week exactly. I still have occasional itching because they aren't totally gone but no more discomfort, thankfully.
Your right, they are the most painful experience ever. During my really bad flare up about a year ago, they literally had me crying. I could hardly take it and I deal with pain pretty well. I don't wish them on my worst enemy.
I actually used hemm wipes with witch hazel and it seemed to work pretty well. I think that's why the flare up didn't last longer or felt worst. The package says you can use it as a prevention. Other than avoiding constipation, you also can keep the hemms at bay by not sitting on any hard surface. A very hard office chair was what caused my flare up last year. A perfect sitting surface is firm but flexible, not hard like a rock. Also if your on your feet for a prolonged period of time, you can experience a flare up. That's what caused my flare up this time. I was on my feet all day last weekend practically.
And of course stress can cause them, which is something I had no clue about. That means that people like us, with anxiety, will experience them more often. Anxiety is the hardest to prevent so I guess my hemms will eventually return.