Anal itching, also known as pruritus ani, is an uncomfortable and often embarrassing condition that causes a lot of discomforts. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available that can help one find relief from the itching and prevent its reoccurrence. This article will help one know how to find relief from pruritus ani and stop the uncomfortable itch to make one’s life easier and better. Let’s dive in!
What is anal itching?
Anal itching affects both men and women. It is characterized by a strong urge to scratch the skin around the anus, resulting in irritation and discomfort. The condition can range from mildly annoying to severe, as it can cause distress and embarrassment if not appropriately treated in time.
Causes of anal itching
Anal itching is an uncomfortable condition caused by several factors, including poor hygiene, skin conditions, or irritants. There are several causes why you may experience anal itching, but here are a few of them:
- Poor hygiene
An unclean anus can cause itching due to the accumulation of sweat, bacteria, and other substances.
- Skin conditions
Skin conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis can cause itching in the anus.
Irritants such as soaps, detergents, lotions, or even toilet paper can cause irritation and itching.
Eating certain foods, such as spicy food, citrus fruits, and dairy can cause irritation and lead to itching in the anus.
- Yeast infections
An overgrowth of yeast in the anus can cause intense itching and burning.
Pinworms are tiny parasites that can live in the intestine and cause intense itching.
They are swollen veins in the anus and rectum, and they can cause itching, pain, and bleeding. They can occur due to excess pressure during bowel movements, chronic constipation, or pregnancy.
- HPV and warts
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can cause genital warts and anal warts. These warts can cause itching, pain, and irritation.
- Anal fissures
They are small tears in the lining of the anus and rectum. They are often caused by constipation or straining during bowel movements, which can be painful and itchy.
Symptoms of anal itching
Symptoms of the condition may include itching, burning, swelling, and discomfort in the anal area. In some cases, anal itching can be accompanied by other symptoms such as bleeding, discharge, and pain when passing a stool. Common symptoms of anal itching include:
- Intense itching in the anal area
- Burning or stinging sensation
- Redness or swelling in the area
- Unpleasant odor from the anus
- Pain when passing stool
- Itching that is worse at night
- Discomfort during intercourse
- Light bleeding from the anus
Diagnosis of anal itching
When diagnosing anal itching, a doctor will likely ask about the symptoms and health history. They may also perform a physical examination, including the area around the anus. The doctor may order additional tests to help identify the cause of the itching. These tests may include the following:
- Stool tests to check for infections or other abnormalities
- A skin biopsy is to check for fungal or bacterial infections
- A culture of the area to check for infections.
Treatment of anal itching
The primary obligations of treatment are to relieve the itching and reduce skin irritation. Treatment will vary depending on the severity and cause of your condition, so it is important to discuss treatment options with your doctor. Here are some of the treatment options available for anal itching:
- Cleaning the anal area
Gentle cleaning of the anal area after bowel movements with lukewarm water and mild soap can lessen itching and irritation. Avoid using scented or deodorant soaps and other harsh products.
The doctor may recommend topical supplements such as antifungals and antibiotics to treat the underlying cause of the condition. Hydrocortisone creams, anti-itch creams, and antifungal creams can also help relieve symptoms associated with anal itching.
- Food regimen changes
Eating a balanced meal low in sugar, caffeine, and spicy foods can help reduce symptoms. Increasing the fiber intake may also help reduce itching.