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Anal itching

The causes of anal itching are numerous

  • Hemorrhoids, fissures, fistulae
  • Infections (bacteria, fungus, worms)
  • Skin diseases (eczema, psoriasis, etc.)
  • Metabolic disorders (diabetes, kidney diseases)

Certain foods are related to anal itching

  • Coffee, tea, coke and beer
  • Chocolate and nuts
  • Tomatoes and tomato ketchup
  • Hot spices

Hygiene

  • Poor hygiene is usually never the cause.
  • Persistent humidity and chronically wet skin (sweat production between the buttocks and secretion of fluid from the anus is often a contributing factor.)
  • Excessive hygiene is a frequent cause. Soap and wet-wipes will usually aggravate itching, especially body lotion and fragrance products. Excessive use of water and soap removes the protective layer of fat from the skin.

Examination

It is important to be properly examined by a gastroenterologist and maybe also a dermatologist.

Treatment

The gastroenterologist can usually devise a treatment to correct the problem. Treatment will always include keeping the skin clean, dry and intact.

Avoid moist skin:

  • Dust the skin with a thin layer of talcum powder or corn starch. Alternatively you can use a small cotton cloth or gauze pad, which is changed periodically.
  • Avoid wet-wipes and fragrance products (deodorant and perfume).

Avoid further irritation:

  • Don’t use soap.
  • Don’t scrub the area and be cautious with toilet paper. Consider using moistened toilet paper.
  • Rinse with shower and pad the area dry.
  • Do not scratch the area.

Medical treatment:

  • Your doctor or specialist can usually prescribe topical creams or ointments.
  • Prolonged use of common hemorrhoid ointments or suppositories containing corticosteroid (steroid) will eventually worsen the situation, as the skin becomes thinner and thus more vulnerable.

Surgical treatment:

  • Is rarely considered. In some cases it is appropriate to remove small skin lesions or hemorrhoids.