Anal itching

2022-02-18 05:12 PM

Anal itching has many causes. Many factors can cause anal itching including moisture, rubbing of clothing, and contact with foreign objects.

Define

Anal itching is itching around the anus, which is where the rectum exits. The itch is located in the anus or on the skin around the anus and is usually intense. Anal itching can cause embarrassment and discomfort.

Anal itching

Anal itching

Anal itching has many causes. Many factors can cause anal itching including moisture, rubbing of clothing, and contact with foreign objects.

Don't be embarrassed to talk to your doctor about this condition. With proper treatment and self-care measures, most people with anal itching can achieve complete improvement.

Symptoms

Anal itching is associated with other similar symptoms in and around the anus, including:

- Hot anal.

- Soreness or pain

Itching and irritation in and around the anus may be a temporary condition, or it may be more persistent and bothersome. For some people, such a stimulus is strong and the demands for relief are irresistible.

Most anal itching does not require medical attention. However, see your doctor if:

- Anal itching is severe or lasts longer than a few weeks.

- There is bleeding from the rectum.

- Can't figure out what's causing the itch.

Persistent anal itching may be related to a skin condition or other health problem that requires medical treatment.

Causes

Most cases of anal itching are caused by a harmless problem. Occasionally, however, an itchy anus can be a sign of more serious medical problems.

Possible causes of anal itching include:

- Dry skin. As we age, the skin in and around the anus is prone to dryness. Dry skin can cause persistent, intense itching of the anus.

- Too much moisture. Moisture around the anus from excessive sweating or other causes of wet, sticky stools can also cause irritation.

- Faeces cannot be kept. Anal itching can also be caused by frequent diarrhea or the inability to hold back small amounts of stool.

- Washing too much. Wiping too much with dry cloths, toilet paper, or scrubbing too hard with soap can cause or worsen anal itching. Not rinsing off the soap completely can also cause irritation.

- Abuse of laxatives. Overuse or improper use of laxatives can lead to chronic diarrhea and the risk of anal irritation and itching.

- Chemical irritant. Some laundry soaps, perfumes, shower gels, and birth control products contain chemicals that can irritate the skin in and around the anus. Fragrance or color of toilet paper can be irritating for people with sensitive skin.

- Skin disorders. Common skin problems like psoriasis, seborrhea, and eczema can join and irritate the area in and around the anus.

- Yeast infection. This is a common infection, which usually affects women, and can cause irritation of the genital and anal areas.

- Hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids cause varicose veins located just below the lower part of the rectum and anus. It often occurs as a result of straining during bowel movements. An itchy anus can be a symptom of hemorrhoids.

- Skin abrasions, cracks, and crevices. An anal abrasion is a small scratch in the anus, usually caused by constipation during a bowel movement. An anal fissure is a deeper one. An anal fistula is a small tunnel through which subcutaneous tissues and a previously infected circulation route pass through the anus to the skin on the buttocks outside the anus. All three of the above can cause anal itching, as well as painful and bleeding bowel movements.

- Irritant foods. An itchy anus can be the result of irritating chemicals in certain foods, such as in spices and hot sauces. Similarly, certain foods can directly or indirectly irritate the anus as it passes through the large intestine. Common culprits include chocolate, alcohol, tomatoes and citrus fruits, drinks that include milk or caffeinated beverages, which can cause diarrhea followed by anal itching.

- Medicine. An itchy anus can be a side effect of certain medications, including some antibiotics, which can cause frequent diarrhea.

- Infection. STDs can also involve the anus and can cause anal itching. In children, parasites (pinworms) can cause persistent anal itching. Adults in the same household can also be infected. Other parasites can cause similar itching.

- Tumor. Rarely, benign or cancerous growths in or around the anus can be a cause of anal itching.

- Other causes. Anal itching can be related to anxiety or stress. Sometimes the cause is unknown.

Contribute to the problem

Although an itchy anus is almost never a matter of cleanliness, one's own actions can contribute to the problem.

- Scratch. Whatever the cause of anal itching, the natural response is to scratch the itchy area. But the problem of scratching worsens the situation by removing the outer layers of the skin.

- Washing too much. The natural tendency in response to irritation of an area is frequent washing with soap and washcloths. However, washing too much can aggravate the condition by stripping the skin of its natural protection.

Preparations for medical examination

The examination is done by a skin specialist (dermatologist) or doctor who specializes in treating rectal and anal problems (proctologist).

Here is some information to help prepare

- What can be done.

- Write down any symptoms you experience, including any that seem unrelated to the reason for your visit.

- Record key personal information, including any recent anomalies or life changes.

- List of all medications, vitamins, and supplements you are taking.

Preparing a list of questions for the doctor will help make the most of the time. List from most important to least important questions.

For anal itching, some basic questions to ask your doctor include

- What could be causing this symptom or condition?

- What other possible causes of these symptoms or conditions?

- What kind of check to do?

- Are there symptoms that can be temporary or chronic?

- What are the alternatives to the proposed method?

- Are there any brochures or other printed materials that I can take home?

Don't hesitate to ask another question at any time.

Your doctor will likely ask a number of questions, including

- When did the symptoms start?

- Are the symptoms constant or occasional?

- When did the symptoms get worse?

- Have there been a recent change in bowel movements, such as diarrhea or loose bowel movements?

- What kind of soap or detergent are you using on your body?

- What, if anything, like a change in diet, seems to improve symptoms?

- What, if anything, is the appearance of worsening symptoms?

- What can be done in the meantime

Gently clean the area immediately after a bowel movement and dry completely. Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing. And best not to scratch the skin.

Tests and diagnostics

Your doctor can diagnose the cause of your itching simply by asking questions about your symptoms.

If the cause of the itching isn't clear, your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist or a doctor who specializes in rectal and anal problems (proctologist) for further evaluation. A rectal exam may know all it takes to get an answer.

Tests, such as an anoscopy to see more of the digestive tract, are sometimes needed to determine an underlying cause of anal itching. However, the exact cause of itching can never be determined.

Treatments and drugs

Treatment for anal itching depends on the cause of the problem. It may include self-care measures, dietary changes, treatment for infections or, rarely, surgery to correct the problem.

Medications that may help may include:

- Prescription OTC creams or ointments containing hydrocortisone. Apply medication to the affected area to reduce inflammation and itching.

- An ointment containing zinc oxide. Apply to the affected areas, this can also help.

- Antihistamines. If your symptoms are worse at night, your doctor may also prescribe an antihistamine to relieve itching until the topical treatment takes effect.

With the right treatment, most people get rid of anal itching in less than a week. Anal itching that continues for more than a few weeks needs to be evaluated by a doctor.

Lifestyle and remedy

Prevention of anal itching mainly involves proper washing and avoiding irritation.

If anal itching is present, try these self-care measures:

- Gentle cleaning. Wash the area in the morning, at night, and immediately after a bowel movement. But don't scrub and avoid using soap. Instead, use wet wipes, wet toilet paper, clean the bathroom with fragrance-free cleaners, and colorless and fragrance-free wipes.

- Dry completely. After cleaning, pat dry with dry toilet tissue. Or dry completely with a hairdryer. Talc or cornstarch can also help keep the area dry.

- Use the correct treatment method. Apply creams. Do not use other treatments unless your doctor tells you to. For some people, the cream or ointment can be more irritating, and they end up with a nagging problem.

- Don't scratch. Scratching further irritates the skin and leads to persistent inflammation. If the itching is unbearable, apply a cold object to the area or take a warm bath to find some immediate relief. Keep yourself busy to distract yourself from getting scratched.

The skin around the anus can be sensitive to toilet paper containing dyes or perfumes. Use bleach, unscented toilet paper. You may want to use toilet paper that should be moistened or softened for comfort, bathroom wipes with odorless and colorless materials.

- Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing. This helps keep the area dry. Avoid wearing tight pants because the traps can trap moisture. Change underwear daily and whenever it's dirty.

- Avoid stimulants. Avoid bubble baths and genital deodorants. Cut back or avoid drinks or foods that are known to irritate the anal area. Avoid excessive use of laxatives that increase diarrhea and the risk of anal irritation and itching.