The itching in the anus is irritation of the skin at the end of the rectum (anus) that causes the desire to itch. 
Even if the itching can be a reaction to the chemicals contained in the stool, it often means there is an inflammation of the anal area.

The intensity of anal itching and the severity of inflammation increase if:

  1. The individual scratching the anus,
  2. The anus is moist or wet (for example, when wearing a wet bikini after it has entered the sea).

Symptoms may be worse:

  • In the evening,
  • Right after the evacuation.



Who suffers from anal itching?

Ankle itching is a frequent problem, but the exact number of people suffering from this disorder 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 can also affect children of any age.



Causes of itchy anus

Skin diseases

Skin diseases that can affect the skin around the anus and cause itching. 
For example:

Dermatitis means inflammation of the skin. 
This disease can be caused by:

  • Excessive sweating and fluid around the anus. It can occur mainly in young children who can not clean properly or in adults who perspire at work or with many hairs around the anus.
  • Excessive cleaning of the anal area.
  • Some soaps, perfumes, creams, ointments or toilet paper can sensitize (irritate) the skin around the anus in some people. The individual may be allergic or sensitive to one or more ingredients of these products.
  • Synthetic or tight underwear .

Infections that cause anal itching

  • The fungal infections are caused by bacteria that live best in moist, warm areas and poorly ventilated as the anus. The thrush is more common in people with diabetes  and people taking antibiotics. 
    Other infections, such as:

  • Genital warts caused by the human papillomavirus (on the vulva or penis) thrive in hot, moist conditions such as the skin near the anus and can be very itchy.
  • The genital herpes (caused by herpes virus ) can infect the anus and cause itching during the healing phase.
  • It is also possible to have other symptoms, such as rashes , a lump or secretions.
  • Some other infections and sexually transmitted diseases are the main concern of many people, but they are not usually the cause of itching.

Intestinal parasites, such as giardia, worms and roundworms

  • The pinworms are a common cause of itching in children. Oxyuria are small worms that live in the lower part of the intestine and have a length of about 10 mm. 
    This infection is very common: an estimated 40 million cases in the United States each year. 
    The female leaves the anus at night and puts millions of eggs into the skin of the anus. 
    Eggs cause unbearable itching:

    • In the evening
    • Early in the morning.

When the child itches, pick the eggs with the nails. This way it is easier to transfer the eggs to the mouth and then infect the intestine if the child puts their hands in their mouths and swallows accidentally. 
If several people in the family have anal itching, oxyurea may be the cause.  Mebendazole (Pantelmin) is 
among the most commonly prescribed antiparasitic medicines . 
Among the home remedies for oxyuriums are garlic and onion , which should be included in the diet.

  • The giardia is a parasite which adheres to the inner wall of the small intestine. 
    It is transmitted through contaminated water. It can also cause itching and diarrhea .
  • The tapeworm (or solitary) is a parasitic worm that can live in the intestine of man. An individual may become ill if he or she eats raw or undercooked pork or meat. 
    Loneliness can cause:

Non-cutaneous diseases that cause anal itching

Some diseases can cause generalized itching that may seem more intense around the anus. 
Among the diseases that cause this symptom are:


Feeding that causes anal itching

Some foods are not fully digestible and can sensitize the skin around the anus after bowel movement. 
They include:

  • Citrus,
  • tomatoes,
  • Spices,
  • Peppers,
  • Large quantities of beer, milk, tea or coffee.

Medications  that cause anal itching

  • Some antibiotics can cause diarrhea . Having too much diarrhea can irritate the skin of the anus and can cause anal itching. Antibiotics can modify the intestinal flora and promote infections, such as Candida .
  • Medications with  cortisone or other remedies that may weaken the immune system increase the risk of developing skin infections that can affect the skin around the anus.
  • Medications that are applied to the skin of the anus to treat certain diseases, such as hemorrhoids , can irritate anal skin and cause dermatitis.


Anal itching in pregnancy

A pregnant woman may have anal pruritus from the third trimester until the child is born. 
The predisposing factors are: 
A) Stretching of the skin, 
B) Hormonal changes , 
C) Pregnancy cholestasis is an itchy disease:

  • On the soles of the feet,
  • On the palms of the hands.

Successively this symptom:

  • It spreads to the whole body,
  • It gets worse at night.

The cause is a hepatic congestion of bile salts. 
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (or jaundice of pregnancy) passes spontaneously after delivery. 
D) Candida and intimate itching .


Signs and symptoms that accompany anal itching

Anal itching may occur along with other similar symptoms around the anus, including:

  • Anal burning,
  • Pain.

The itching and irritation inside or outside the anus can be:

  • A temporary condition,
  • A persistent and irritating problem.

For some people, the irritation is so intense that the urge to itch is irresistible and causes embarrassment.



Diagnosis of anal itching

Doctors diagnose anal itching based on the patient’s medical history . 
They need to know what soap, cream and oil the patient has applied to the anus, and it is also important to understand if the symptoms worsen after eating certain foods.

The doctor may also ask:

  • When the itching gets worse,
  • How long does it last,
  • If another family member has had or suffers from anal pruritus.

The doctor may be able to come to the diagnosis with these data. 
However, if the cause is not clear, your doctor may recommend a referral to a specialist for:

  • Proctology (a proctologist is the doctor who specializes in diseases of the rectum and anus),
  • Dermatology (a dermatologist is the skin specialist),
  • A gynecologist.

rectal examination may be sufficient for the diagnosis . 
This evaluation provides for checking the anal area to see if the skin:

  • It is inflamed,
  • Is injured
  • Bleeds.

For this purpose, the doctor inserts a finger into the patient’s anus. 
This can help determine the cause of anal itching and rule out more serious diseases such as rectum polyps .



Treatment for anal itching and prevention

  • The anal area should be clean and dry to avoid this disorder, especially after evacuation.
  • Care must be taken not to expose the area to excessive moisture.
  • After defecation, the perianal area should be gently wiped with a damp cloth (not industrial wipes), with soft toilet paper or running warm water. 
    Rubbing the area vigorously with dry toilet paper may cause more irritation.
  • After cleaning the area, it is necessary to dry it with a soft cotton cloth, wiping the area without rubbing.


Itchy anus

Medications for anal itching

  • There are several over-the-counter  or prescription medicinesavailable in the form of a gel, ointment, cream, tablet and suppository for the treatment of this disorder.
  • Sometimes local anesthetics are given to provide temporary relief. 
    These medicines can not be used for a long time.
  • If swelling is present along with itching, vasoconstricting medications may be used . 
    These medications help reduce pain, swelling and itching.
  • Many creams and ointments used to treat this symptom contain protective substances that form a barrier on the skin of the perianal region. 
    This prevents contact with substances that may cause irritation. 
    For example, you can use:

    • Lanolin,
    • Glycerin,
    • Kaolin,
    • Vaseline,
    • Zinc oxide.
  • In addition to these products, they may be used: 
    1. Astringents such as calamine  and witch hazel, 
    2. Analgesics such as menthol and camphor, 
    3. Antiseptics, 
    4. Topical cortisone . 
    5. Quadriderm ® is a medicine that contains an antibiotic ( gentamicin ) and cortisone (besometasone).
  • However, corticosteroids can not be given for a long time because they can cause some side effects . 
    Prolonged use of topical corticosteroids can damage the skin.
  • Local anesthetics may cause allergic reactions in some individuals and may cause itching and a burning sensation . 
    Local anesthetics should be discontinued immediately if symptoms worsen after application.
  • It is always best to talk to a doctor before using any medication. 
    This helps to discover and treat diseases that can cause anal itching.



Natural and home remedies for anal itching

In addition to keeping the anus dry and clean, there are several measures that can be taken to keep the anal itching under control.

It is necessary:

1. Use soft toilet paper; 
2. Take a shower every day; 
3. Wash area gently with warm water and baking soda ; 
4. Apply a paste of baking soda and water over the area, let it act for a few minutes and rinse with warm water; 
5. Carefully and gently wipe the area after defecation; 
6. Wear only soft cotton underwear and change panties / underwear every day; 
7. Wear underwear only when the anus is completely dry; 
8. Avoid wearing tight pants; 
9. Women should not wear pantyhose to avoid excessive heat in the perianal area; 
10. Wear a light night comforter so you do not get too hot and sweaty; 
11.Do not apply perfumed liquid soaps or perfumes or perfumes around the anus; 
12. Keep nails short to limit damage to the skin when scratching the anal region; 
13.  Avoid scratching the area; scratches may irritate the area even more.



Diet and feeding for anal itching

Some foods can make anal itching worse. If the urge to scratch increase after eating certain foods, the person should try to reduce or avoid these foods.

Foods that can make the itch worse are:

  • tomatoes,
  • Spicy foods,
  • Citrus fruits such as oranges,
  • Cubes,
  • Chocolate,
  • Dairy products,
  • Café,
  • Excessive amounts of beverages such as milk, tea, beer or wine,
  • Cold,
  • Nuts and almonds,
  • Spices.


Scratching and vicious circle

Scratching can make the itching worse, increasing the urge to itch and so on. 
It is important to avoid scratching as much as possible. 
This is difficult, especially at night, because the itching gets worse when the person is trying to sleep. 
A person may also scratch during sleep without realizing it.

To avoid injury: 
1. Wear cotton gloves to avoid cutting the skin with nails. 
2. An antihistamine medication may be helpful before bed. Your doctor can advise the most appropriate medicine.

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