anal itching

Summary on anal itching

Anal pruritus, as its name implies, is an itchy sensation in the anal and perianal area. The anus is the final portion of the digestive tract, where feces are eliminated. There are many causes of anal pruritus, and about half of them are not known, being called essential or idiopathic anal pruritus.

Among the known causes are general allergies, infections by viruses, bacteria and parasites, lack of proper hygiene, wearing clothing that causes irritation, etc. The symptom is usually itching and burning in the anal area.

The diagnosis is made by the proctologist through several questions and clinical examination. Other tests such as biopsy, blood test, stool test, etc. may be necessary. The constant itching can cause fissures to become infected and lead to complications.

Treatment can be done with medications that control itching, such as antihistamines. Changes in lifestyle and hygiene habits are also important and prevent recurrences.

Some recommended medicinal plants include witch hazel , chamomile , and mullein . Some tips are: avoid scratching, use neutral soaps, change your underwear constantly, clean the anal area well, eat well with fruits and vegetables and avoid smoking and drinking excessively.


Anal itching is an unpleasant sensation felt in the skin around the anus. This condition, also called anal itching, is one of the five signs of diseases of the anus and rectum, that is, diseases treated by the proctologist.


The causes of half of the cases are not found. These are called essential or idiopathic anal pruritus. The other half is usually the result of a skin condition. This type of itch is classified as gynecological or proctological.

To understand this condition, you must know that the anus is the external opening of the digestive tract, which follows the anal canal and through which our body eliminates feces.

Constant exposure to the environment, sweating, humidity and insufficient aeration in this part of the body favor the multiplication of germs in this place. As a result, bacterial infections are the frequent causes of anal itching. Viruses and parasites (including worms) and sexually transmitted infections (for example, gonorrhea ) can also infect the anus. The patient is more susceptible to these germs if immunity is poor.

In addition, rectal or anal prolapse, ulcers, fissures, hemorrhoids , irritable bowel syndrome , eczema and anal and perianal tumors are parts that cause itching.

The use of drugs and consumption of certain foods such as coffee, tannins, tomato sauce, alcohol or tobacco affect the anus. This also happens for the use of cosmetics, clothes poorly tolerated by the body, and the lack or excesses of hygiene.

In addition, factors such as diabetes , stress , gout , kidney failure , thyroid problems and blood disorders increase the risk of anal itching.

Pruritus is also favored by menopause , pregnancy, dry or too wet skin.


The main symptom is itching or burning in the anus itself, which usually occurs at night. It is accompanied by an irresistible urge to scratch and sleeplessness.

It is also associated with injuries due to scratches, such as ulcers and abrasions.

When there are small genital vesicles, this can be an indication of viral diseases, while candidiasis produces erythema around it. In addition, anal swelling, bloody stools with or without mucus, digestive disorders and other unusual symptoms due to infections may also appear.


To confirm the diagnosis of anal itching, the doctor will ask questions about symptoms, onset, duration of illness, eating habits, clothing or drugs. He also asks if one or more family members have special problems that could be causing the illness. The doctor will perform a complete examination, from head to toe.

Other tests such as biopsy, colonoscopy, blood and stool tests are used to identify the cause of itching.


The perianal region is continuously exposed to feces and scratching only keeps itching. In fact, the itch can cause sores on the skin that increase the risk of infection and perpetuate the itch. In this way, a chronic vicious circle is created that lasts even when the cause is treated. Thus, fistulas form between the rectum, the perianal region and the skin around the anus. In this case, feces and pus are transmitted.

Eventually, depression may accompany the patient.

Never forget that the disease itself that causes anal itching can get worse, especially if not treated properly.


Medications such as antihistamines only serve to relieve the itch. For treating the cause, the doctor may prescribe wound care medication, or electrocoagulation. Sometimes surgery, infrared, heat treatments, cryotherapy, acupuncture, psychotherapy or relaxation are needed. These techniques may be used alone or in combination, at the discretion of the healthcare professional.

For idiopathic anal itching, you should essentially clean and dry the anal area.

Changing bad lifestyle habits, changes in medication or types of clothing help to eliminate anal itching and prevent recurrence.

Herbal medicine

Some herbs, especially those also used to treat hemorrhoids, can be a good addition to conventional treatment for itching and anal fissures:

Natural remedies are:

– Hamamelis .

– Calendula (cream, apply twice a day).

– Chestnut of India .

– Mullein (as mullein leaf poultice ).

Anal itching tips

Note the following tips:

– Eat fruits and vegetables regularly.

– Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water.

– Consult a doctor if you intend to take any medication or topical application.

– Get used to having short nails.

– Take a bath twice a day without excessive cleaning.

– Prefer soft soaps.

– Do not “assault” the anus with dry paper or rough objects.

– After each bowel movement, clean the anus and wash it with a soft, damp cloth.

– Wear cotton underwear that fits your size, and change them frequently.


Prevention tips:

– Apply preventive measures against worm infestation.

– Refrain from irritating substances such as chocolate, alcohol, tobacco, tannins and spices.

If you have anal itching:

-Refrain from scratching.

– Observe hygiene rules.

Simple anal itching can reflect a serious underlying condition. So see your doctor immediately if:

– Symptoms persist or intensify.

– The bowel movements are painful.

– Ulcers, sores, bleeding or other unusual signs appear.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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