Anal itching happens when the skin around your anus (the exit end of the rectum) has been irritated by something. The feeling is commonly described as an uncomfortable sensation accompanied by soreness or even burning. This irritation, sometimes accompanied by swelling, can actually be made worse by scratching it. As you can imagine, the cycle of scratching the itch making the itch worse can present quite a problem.
Causes of anal itching
- Food irritants
Certain foods such as milk and caffeinated beverages like energy drinks can cause diarrhea and anal itching. Other foods, typically spicy foods or very processed foods, contain irritants which will bother the skin upon exiting from the body.
- Excessive Washing
Washing too frequently, especially if you use harsh soaps or other cleaning products, can create anal irritation. Rinsing the skin very roughly is key in lowering the chances of irritation. Rough toilet paper can also irritate the skin.
- Excessive moisture
Built up sweat and moisture let over from stools both can cause irritation.
One of the most common symptoms of hemorrhoids happens to be anal itching.
- Skin disorders or Infections
Common skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis can cause itching as well. Infections of the anus due to STDs or other diseases may also cause anal itching.
- Anal tumors
Tumors in or around the anus can cause persistent itching.
Getting Rid of Anal Itching
1. wash and cleanse the area gently
Leftover soap, sweat, and stool all can leads to irritation. Cleanse every morning, night and after each bowel movement with clean water and a wash cloth, unscented tissue, or baby wipes.
2. Dry the area thoroughly
Use clean, unscented wipes or a hair dryer on low to thoroughly dry the skin. Unmediated baby powder or gauze can be used to keep things dry.
3. Do not scratch!
No matter how bad things may itch, scratching will only make it worse. Do not scratch! A cold compress and keeping yourself occupied can help things out.
4. Properly use medications
Over the counter medications can be a great help, but use them only as directed or you may be simply covering up the problem instead of fixing it.
5. Wear loose cotton underwear and clothing
Cotton is great for wicking away moisture, so wearing cotton undergarments is a must. Also, avoid man-made materials as they will just make things worse.