Anal itch, also called pruritus ani, is an irritating, itchy sensation round the anus (the opening by which stool passes from the body). Anal itch is a symptom, not an illness, also it can have numerous causes. Usually, a man with anal itch will not have a disease of the anus or rectum. The itchy sensation is an indication that even more of the following has irritated the skin in the region:

A diet containing foods or beverages that irritate the anus -- A variety of foods and drinks can irritate the anus, including spices and hot foods, coffee (both caffeinated and decaffeinated), tea, cola, milk, alcoholic beverages (especially beer and wine), chocolate, citrus fruits, vitamin C pills and tomatoes. Once somebody drinks or eats something that will irritate the anus, it typically takes 24 to 36 hours before anal itching starts. That is the time it takes the food to go during the digestive tract.

Fecal Matter on your skin across the anal opening -- A modest number of feces may be left behind causing the region to itch, in the event the anal region is not cleaned properly after a bowel movement. Less frequently, watery feces may leak out from cause itching and the anal opening. This occasionally occurs in otherwise healthy people whose diets contain quite considerable amounts of liquids.

Treatment with antibiotics -- By touching the normal ecology of the intestines, some strong antibiotics that work against many different bacterial species can activate anal itch. These drugs are called broad-spectrum antibiotics, and comprise tetracyclines and erythromycin (both sold under several brand names).

Extreme cleaning following a bowel movement -- This cleaning have to be mild even though the anal region needs to be cleaned after each bowel movement. Competitive rubbing and scrubbing, especially with soaps or skin cleansers that are other, can irritate your skin and activate anal itch.

Skin allergy or a localized substance discomfort in the anal region -- In sensitive people, compounds and drugs which can be put on the anal region could cause localized discomfort or allergy symptoms. Some important offenders contain dyes and perfumes found in toilet paper (particularly scented toilet paper), feminine hygiene sprays and also other deodorants for the region throughout the anus or genitals, medicated talcum powders, and medicated skin cleansers and soaps, notably perfumed soaps. Anal itch may also be activated by over the counter drugs (suppositories, creams, ointments) thought to treat anal difficulties.

Less frequently, anal itch is a symptom of some sickness or impacts the anal region alone, or includes bigger places of the digestive tract or skin. Some examples include:

Diseases and parasites -- Included in these are pinworms (particularly in children), scabies, pediculosis, condyloma acuminata and skin infections as a result of Candida or tinea fungi.

Afflictions and local diseases including lower parts of the digestive tract -- These comprise skin tags hemorrhoids, rectal fistulas, rectal fissures and, infrequently, anorectal cancer.

Skin problems -- Included in these are eczema psoriasis and seborrhea. Most of the time, these conditions cause symptoms in many different aspects of the skin surface, not only across the anus.

Global, anal itch is a really common problem occurring in up to 45 percent of people at some point in their lives. Men are really affected two to four times more frequently than women. People that are normally, perspire heavily or heavy wear tight fitting underwear or hosiery are far more prone to get anal itch.

The way you can help yourself

  1. Dab lightly using a soft towel to dry - tend not to rub. If drying is not easy, work with a hairdryer.
  2. Wash the anal region once you have had your bowels but not more than three times per day, using an unperfumed soap or only water. Some physicians recommend using aqueous lotion (available from drugstores) as a cleanser. Put on the lotion, massage it lightly on the region and rinse off. In the event you are someplace where you CAn't wash, clean the area with wet tissues (but not with pre-moistened wipes comprising perfume, alcohol or alternative irritants). Be sure you rinse it off quite thoroughly so that none stays between the buttocks should you employ shower gel to clean your system. So that any faecal stuff involving the buttocks is washed away, it's best to wash in a squatting posture by means of a shower head or bidet.
  3. Don't set on your skin or in the bath water - this can irritate your skin. Don't use bubble bath - the cologne can irritate. Instead, place of kitchen salt in your bath.
  4. Wear loose cotton panties. rubber band 'shapewear' knickers, since they support moistness and perspiration in the anal region. Prevent whatever keeps the buttocks close.
  5. Keep a cotton wool ball, dusted with powder, inside your underpants or knickers, against the anus. Use baby powder (not perfumed talcum powder) to dust it. Shift it each time you wash.
  6. Don't use biological (enzyme) washing powders for your own panties, or perfumed fabric softeners. Instead, work with a detergent tagged 'for sensitive skin'.
  7. Don't use any oily lotions (for example Vaseline) around the location. Creme that are oily make the issue worse and keep your skin soggy. Zinc oxide cream (from drugstores) can be soothing when the skin was damaged by scraping.
  8. Don't scrape. In case you scrape, you damage then and the skin more you itch more. Try pinching your skin close to the anus between your thumb and forefinger during your garments in the event you believe you really must scrape; this is less harmful than real scraping. People do not understand they're doing and frequently scrape during the night. In case you believe you may be scratching during the night, talk to your own doctor about taking an antihistamine, keep your fingernails short, wear cotton gloves at night for a time and get your doctor to test for threadworms.
  9. Be very careful about anesthetic creams or ointments. Occasionally they could surely help by relieving the itch/scratch cycle, but use them just to get a brief interval (about a week).
  10. Attempt witch hazel - an old fashioned treatment available from drugstores. Dab it on two times a day, if it appears to be making the problem worse instead of better, but cease instantly.
  11. Likewise, be really careful about steroid creams. In the united kingdom, it really is likely to get poor steroid cream (including hydrocortisone 1% or less) from drugstores. In the short-term, inflammation is reduced by the steroid and for that reason alleviates itching but, in the long-term, it may make the skin thinner and worsen the problem. Resist the lure to keep on employing a cream that is steroid. Use it for only 1 week, then throw the tube away.
  12. Avoid foods that cause excessive flatulence (wind).
  13. Feel round the anus for lumps. As the skin round the anus is usually puckered this might not be simple. A lump may be a a skin tag, a heap or a wart alongside an anal fissure.

Complications of backside

Should you often scrape your backside, you rip or could damage skin all around your anus.

This could sometimes cause problems for example:

  1. sore and broken skin (ulceration)
  2. thick and leathery skin (lichenification)
  3. Disease
  4. top layer of skin being worn away (excoriation)

The previously these complications are diagnosed and treated, the faster you will recuperate. See with your GP in the event the skin feels or all around your anus changes debilitating.

Long term itching

You might feel depressed, nervous or embarrassed when you have acute or continual itchy backside. Your sleep can also be disquieted, leaving you feeling tired throughout the day, as the impulse to scratch is frequently worse at night.

Your GP might not manage to recognize the reason for your backside that is itchy. In case the cause can not be identified and treated, your backside may be itchy for long intervals of time (known as persistent itchy backside).

Talk to your own GP in case your itchy backside is making you depressed or nervous, or if it is appreciably changing your sleep.


The doctor might request that you explain your present diet and drugs, your bowel habits, and also the way in which you habitually clean your anal area after a bowel movement, to help identify the reason for your anal itch. The doctor will review your medical history, including any history of rectal difficulties (hemorrhoids, fissures or fistulas) or skin problems (psoriasis, eczema or seborrhea). Your doctor's questions will likely be followed with a digital rectal examination and occasionally, by a physical examination of your anal region. Your doctor will desire to analyze these skin regions at the same time for those who own a history of skin symptoms affecting other areas of your own body.

In case your anal itch is because of localized discomfort in the anal region, the doctor usually can diagnose the issue based on your own history, diet and personal hygiene routine, and also the outcomes of your physical examination. Occasionally, a stool sample will be requested by the doctor if he/she imagines a parasite or worm disease. Infrequently, might have to analyze the location by adding a unique viewing device called anoscope. It will help your doctor determine if will be caused by means of a problem within your rectum.


In many instances, it is possible to prevent anal itch by taking these measures:

Use water to wash the anal region, never soap.

Practice good anal hygiene -- When possible, gently cleanse the anal region after each bowel movement through the use of wet toilet paper (unscented and dye-free) or a wet washcloth. Wipe lightly or blot the region. Never rub or scrub. If you're in a public toilet, use dry toilet paper briefly, then when you return home, complete your cleansing regimen.

Avoid using medicated powders, deodorants or perfumed sprays on the anal region.

Wear cotton panties which is not overly tight.

Eat a sensible diet that's low in drinks proven to cause anal irritation.

In case you're taking oral antibiotics, eat yogurt to help re-establish the standard ecology of your colon.


Some foods may make your itchy backside worse. When the urge to scratch your underside is greater after eating particular foods, try reducing the quantity you consume or cutting them entirely.

Foods that will make your underside that is itchy worse comprise:

  1. Foods that are hot
  2. tomatoes
  3. citrus fruits, like oranges
  4. chocolate
  5. nuts
  6. dairy products
  7. Excessive levels of liquids, like wine, beer or milk
  8. Java


This implies your feces will not be loose (runny), but you will not need to strain when you have a bowel movement.

Your GP may advise that you follow an eating plan which keeps your feces routine and well formed.

Loose stools can irritate your anus. Endeavoring to pass hard stools may cause piles (haemorrhoids) to grow. Hemorrhoid are swellings which contain distended and enlarged blood vessels in the vicinity of your anus.

Including more fibre in your daily diet can make your stools softer and simpler to pass. Fibre is found in:

  1. Legumes - edible seeds that grow in a pod, like lentils, beans and peas
  2. grains - such as wholegrain bread
  3. fruit and vegetables
  4. oats - found in certain breakfast cereals