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Anal itch is characterized by the irritating, itchy feeling around the anus. The anus is the opening through which a person passes feces or stool out of his/her body. There are many first aid providers that you can refer to when you would like to ask for help.
In most cases, anal itch is not a cause for concern and is not associated with an anal or rectal disease. Anal itch is usually a sign indicating that the following may have irritated the skin around the anus:
- Improper cleaning and stool depositing around the anus. If the anal region is not cleaned properly after bowel movements, there may be stool left behind in this area of the skin, thereby causing it to itch. Occasionally, water stools can leak out causing itching as well, which normally occurs in healthy people who have plenty of fluids in their diets.
- Consumption of foods and drinks that irritate the anus. There are many foods that can result in irritation of the anus, including spicy food, spices, caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, tea, milk, cola, alcoholic beverages, especially wime and beer, citrus fruits, tomatoes, vitamin C supplements and chocolates. If a person consumes an item that irritates the anus, it may take about 24 to 36 hours until the itching starts.
- Antibiotic treatments. There are certain antibiotic treatments targeting many different bacterial specified that can bring rise to anal itching by tampering with the normal ecology in the human intestines. These are called broad-spectrum antibiotics, such as erythromycin and tetracycline
- Intense cleaning of the anus after bowel movement. Even though it is important that you clean the anal are properly after making a bowel movement, you must do it gently. Scrubbing and rubbing the region aggressively with irritating soaps can trigger itch
- Chemical irritation or skin allergy. People with sensitive skin may react to medications and chemicals applied to the anal region, thus causing an allergic response or a localized irritation. Common items that may result in irritation include toilet paper treated with dyes and perfumes, hygiene sprays and deodorants, medicated soaps and skin cleaners and perfumed cleansers. Anal itch can also occur with the use of over-the0coutner medications and ointments that are used to treat anal conditions.
Sometimes anal itch may be a symptom of an underlying health condition that may affect the anal area only or the digestive system or skin, at a larger scale. Examples of such health problems may include:
- Diseases involving the lower portion of the digestive system such as skin tags, hemorrhoids, rectal fistulas, rectal fissures and occasionally, anorectal cancer
- Parasitic infections such as pinworms (most commonly in children), pediculosis, scabies, condyloma acuminta or infections of the skin from candida or tinea fungi
- Skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and sebbohea cause itching around many regions of the body, including the anus
People, who are overweight, wear tight-fitting clothes, underwear or hosiery and people who perspire heavily are also likely to experience anal itch. Read more first aid FAQs about anal itch and treat it by yourself.
Anal itch can be treated with the following methods:
- Gently but thoroughly clean the anal area after making bowel movement each time, using clean, unscented toilet paper (avoid dyed paper as well), a clean towel, or if necessary, a blow dryer
- Dust the anal region suing non-medicated talcum powder in between bowel movements. You can also press a sterile cotton gauze square against the anal region t absorb the excess moisture
- Avoiding scratching. This may be difficult but resisting scratching may allow the itch to disappear with time or reduce in intensity in a shorter period of time. Scratching may aggravate symptoms and increase the duration of the itch
- Wear soft cotton gloves if you feel that you will scratch at night. Trimming your nails short is important too
- Apply topical ointments such as 1 percent hydrocortisone or zinc oxide regularly or as needed may prevent you from scratching