itching is a skin irritation at the end of the rectum (also called the anus) that causes the desire to scratch.
Even though the itching can be a reaction to chemical substances in the stool, it often means that there is inflammation in the zone.
The severity of itching and the intensity of inflammation increase when:
- the person concerned scratches himself,
- the area is damp or wet (for example, if swimming trunks are kept on after swimming in the sea).
Symptoms may increase:
- at night
- immediately after bowel movements.
Who suffers from itching?
itching is a common problem, but the exact number of those who suffer from it is unknown.
However, it seems to be more common in men than in women.
It usually affects people between the ages of 40 and 60, but it can also affect children and people of all ages.
Causes of itching
Skin diseases can develop around the area and cause itching.
- lichen sclerosus,
- seborrheic dermatitis,
- allergic or irritating dermatitis.
Dermatitis means inflammation of the skin.
This disorder may be caused by:
- Heavy sweating and moisture in the area. This can occur especially with:
- small children who do not clean themselves thoroughly,
- in adults who sweat at work ,
- in adults with abundant hair in the area.
- Too frequent cleaning of the area.
Some soaps, fragrances, creams, ointments or toilet paper prints can sensitize (irritate) the skin in the area in some people. You may be ‘allergic’ or sensitive to any of the ingredients in the products.
- Synthetic or tight underwear.
Infections that provoke itching
- Fungal infections are caused by germs that prefer to live in a moist, warm and stuffy environment such as the anus. Candida is most common in people with diabetes and in people on antibiotic treatment.
- Other infections such as:
- bacterial infections,
- some sexually transmitted diseases.
- Genital warts caused by the papillomavirus (on the vulva or penis) thrive in warm and humid conditions such as on the skin near the anus and can be severely itchy.
- Genital herpes (caused by herpes viruses) can infect the anus and also cause itching during the healing phase.
- There may also be other symptoms such as a rash, a pressure point or secretion.
- STDs and some other infections are the main concerns of many people, but usually this is not the cause.
Intestinal parasites such as giardia, bovine tapeworm and oxyures
- Oxyures are a common cause of itching in children. Oxyures are small worms that live in the lower part of the intestine and reach a length of about 10 mm.
This infection is very common, there are an estimated 40 million cases a year in the US.
The female worm crawls out of the anus at night, depositing thousands of eggs on the skin around the anus.
The eggs cause unbearable itching:
- during the night,
- early in the morning.
- If the child scratches himself, he picks up the eggs with his fingernails. In this way, transmission of the eggs into the mouth and infection of the intestine by swallowing is easily done when the child touches the mouth with his hands.
If different people in the family suffer from itching, oxyures could be the cause.
The drug against parasites most often prescribed by the doctor is mebendazole (Vermox).
Home remedies for oxyures are garlic and onion, which should be integrated into the diet.
- Giardia are parasites that attach themselves to the inner wall of the small intestine. The infection occurs via polluted water.
Giardia can cause itching and diarrhea.
- Teniae (tapeworm) is a parasitic worm that can live in the human intestine. You can become infected by eating infected, raw or undercooked pork or beef. The tapeworm can provoke the following symptoms:
- Stomach ache
- Weight loss
Non-skin diseases that provoke itching
Some diseases can cause itching all over the body, which is particularly pronounced around the area.
Pathologies that cause this symptom include:
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Liver disease, iron deficiency
- Thyroid disorders (especially hyperthyroidism)
- Kidney disease (chronic kidney failure)
- Anorectal diseases:
- rhagades. This disease consists of small skin tears on the anus.
As a rule, they are painful and cause itching.
- Hemorrhoids, in this case, itching is accompanied by blood deposits in the stool.
- Abscess and fistula
- Fecal incontinence
- rhagades. This disease consists of small skin tears on the anus.
- Bowel disease: Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, can cause itching or burning of the anus, even when walking.
- A tumor on the anus or rectum is a rare cause of itching.
- Infections and diseases of the skin are probably the cause of secondary itching in more than half of the cases.
Diet that provokes itching
Some foods are not completely digestible and can sensitize the skin around the anus after bowel movements.
- Citrus fruits
- large quantities of beer, milk, tea or coffee
Medications that provoke itching
- Some antibiotics can cause diarrhea. Massive diarrhea can irritate the skin and cause itching.
Antibiotics can alter the intestinal flora and promote infections, such as candidiasis.
- Taking corticosteroids or other medications that weaken the immune system increases the risk of skin infection, which can also affect the skin.
- Medicines applied to the skin on the anus to treat disorders such as hemorrhoids can irritate the skin and cause dermatitis.
itching in pregnancy
A pregnant woman may suffer from itching from the last trimester of pregnancy until the birth of her child.
The favouring factors are:
A) Skin stretching.
B) hormonal changes.
C) Intrahepatic gestational cholestasis is a disease that causes itching on:
As a result, this symptom spreads:
- on the whole body,
- worsens at night.
The cause is a congestion of bile salts in the liver. Intrahepatic gestational cholestasis passes by itself after birth.
D) Candida and intimate itching.
Signs and symptoms accompanying itching
itching can occur along with other similar symptoms on the anus, including:
- Sensation of pain.
Itching and irritation inside or outside the anus can be caused by:
- a temporary illness
- act a persistent and annoying problem.
For some people, the irritation is so strong that they feel an urge to scratch that is irresistible and embarrassing.
How is the diagnosis of itching made?
Based on the patient’s medical history, doctors make a diagnosis of itching.
You need to know what soap, cream and oil to use on the anus. In addition, it is important to find out if symptoms get worse after eating certain foods.
The doctor may ask:
- when the itching gets worse,
- how long it lasts,
- whether another family member has had or has itching.
The doctors can already arrive at the diagnosis on the basis of this information.
However, if the cause is not clear, the doctor may recommend the presentation to a specialist who will take care of the matter:
- Proctologist (specialist in rectum and anus)
- Dermatologist (dermatologist)
- Gynaecologist (gynaecologist)
For diagnosis, a rectal examination is sufficient.
This examination concerns the region to see if the skin:
- is inflamed,
- is injured,
The doctor examines the patient’s anus with his finger.
This can lead to the detection of the cause of the itching and rule out more serious conditions, such as rectal polyps.
Therapy for itching and prevention
- The area should be kept clean and dry, especially after bowel movements, to avoid this disorder.
- Care should be taken not to expose this area to moisture.
- After defecation, the zone must be carefully cleaned with a moistened cloth (no wet wipes), soft toilet paper or lukewarm water from the tap.
Rubbing with dry toilet paper can cause further irritation.
- After cleaning, the area must be dabbed with a soft cotton cloth without rubbing.
Medicines for itching
- There are various over-the-counter or prescription medicines in the form of cream, gel, ointment, tablets or suppositories to treat these ailments.
- Sometimes local anesthetics are used to temporarily provide relief, for example, Posterisan acute. These drugs should not be used for long periods of time.
Local anesthetics can cause allergic reactions in some people and cause itching as well as a burning sensation.
If symptoms get worse after using local anesthetics, they must be discontinued immediately.
- If swelling is present together with itching, vasoconstrictive drugs can be used.
These medications help reduce pain and itching.
- Many creams and ointments used to treat these symptoms contain protective substances that form a protective barrier on the skin in the area.
In this way, contact with substances that can cause the irritation is prevented.
For example, the following can be used:
- Zinc oxide.
- In addition, the following products can be used:
- Astringents such as calamine, witch hazel,
- analgesics such as menthol and camphor,
- local corticosteroids,
- Sulmycin® ointment with Celestan-V® is a drug containing an antibiotic (gentamicin) and cortisone (betamethasone).
- However, corticosteroids should not be used for long periods of time as they can cause various side effects.
Long use of local corticosteroids can damage the skin.
- It is always better to talk to the doctor before using medicines. This helps to reveal the disease that causes the itching.
Natural remedies and home remedies for itching
In addition to cleanliness and keeping the anus area dry, there are several ways to help keep itching under control.
- use soft toilet paper;
- daily bathing or showering;
- gently wash the affected areas with water and bicarbonate;
- apply a paste of bicarbonate and water to the area, leave on for a few minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.
- carefully and carefully clean the area after defecation;
- wear only soft cotton underwear and change underpants daily;
- do not put on the underwear until the area is completely dry;
- avoid wearing tight women’s trousers;
- Women should not wear tights to avoid too much heat in the area;
- use a light feather bed during the night so that it does not get too warm and you sweat;
- do not use perfumed soaps and bubble baths with fragrances or perfume in the area;
- cut fingernails short to avoid damage to the skin when scratching in the area;
- do not scratch, cracks in the skin can additionally irritate the area.
Nutrition for itching
Some foods can increase itching. If there is an urge to scratch after eating certain foods, it is necessary to limit or avoid these foods.
Foods that can make itching worse include:
- spicy food,
- citrus fruits such as oranges,
- Soup cube
- dairy and cheese products,
- large quantities of beverages such as tea, milk, beer or wine,
Vicious circle of scratching
Scratching can make itching worse. This increases the urge to scratch, etc. It is important to avoid scratching as much as possible.
This is difficult, especially at night, because the itching increases when falling asleep.
A person can also scratch himself in his sleep without being aware of it.
To avoid injury:
1. Wear cotton gloves to prevent scratching your nails.
2. Before bedtime, an antihistamine may be useful. The doctor may prescribe an appropriate medicine.