Itchy Anus or Anal Itching: Causes and Treatment

The persistent urge to reach out to scratch your butt is known as pruritus ani or anal itching.

Man scratching on his buttocks

The persistent urge to reach out to scratch your butt is known as pruritus ani or anal itching. This is a quite common and affects people from different walks of life. The reasons for having an itchy anus are varied. Fortunately, most causes are easy to address.

What is Anal Itching?

The term pruritus ani is the official medical terminology for an itchy anus or anal itching. It is characterized by extreme itching in the anal area.

The anus is the body’s exit point found at the end of the digestive system. This exit point allows the human body to excrete or take out solid waste mainly composed of digested food matter. The itching of the anus or anal itching is not a disease but rather a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

The breaking of skin

The main problem with anal itching or pruritus ani is the almost never-ending cycle of itching and scratching. These may lead to breaks in the skin in and around the anus. resulting in tiny cuts. These tiny cuts can be worsened by its location, which is prone to humidity and moisture.

This cycle can be addressed by strict banning of scratching the skin. Doing this allows the skin time to recuperate. Patients are still advised, however, to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis.

What Are Some of the Causes of Anal Itching?

Among the causes of pruritus ani or anal itching is lack of hygiene. Ither reasons include the consumption of certain drinks and foods that trigger itching, skin conditions, infection.

Hygiene. Excessive or lack of hygiene can result in anal itching

Skin irritants. Soaps can lead  to skin irritation and result in anal itching

Skin condition. Skin conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis can lead to an itchy anus.

Certain anal disorders or rectal disorders. Anal fistulas, fissures, and piles can all contribute to having an itchy anus

Infections. Pruritus ani may be the result of sexually transmitted or parasitic infections

Whole-body or systemic health conditions. These conditions include thyroid disease, lymphoma, leukemia, jaundice, bowel disease, type 2 diabetes, and aplastic anemia.

Certain food items. Chili peppers and other food items that can irritate or cause allergies may cause pruritus ani.

Certain types of drugs. Certain medications can lead to anal itchings such as quinidine, neomycin, colchicine, and chemotherapy.

How is Anal Itching Diagnosed?

Once the patient presents his or her symptoms to the doctor, the consultation will usually start with an interview from the healthcare professional. The doctor may ask or inquire about the pattern or duration of the itching, check on the patient’s diet and hygiene habits particularly in the use of soaps, lotions or other dermatological products, and possibly evaluate the severity of the anal itching of the patient.

The healthcare professional may also inquire about the patient’s family and medical history, the possibility of incontinence, the presence of hemorrhoids as evidenced by lumps or some blood on tissue paper after wiping, and the occurrence of cramping and bloody diarrhea.

Once all of these questions have been asked by the doctor and answered by the patient, the consultation may then move on to a physical exam and a visual inspection of the affected area. An internal examination may also be conducted by the doctor by checking the anal cavity of the patient using a lubricated and gloved hand to do the said exam.

How is Anal Itching Treated?

Anal itching can be treated using home remedies such as wearing loose clothing, avoiding scratching the affected portion, using toilet papers that are moist and by avoiding spicy foods. Some medications may also be prescribed such as antihistamines, ointments, corticosteroids, local anesthetics, and astringents.

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