Anal itching

4 Min Read

What is it

Anal itching known medically as pruritus ani is generally regarded by physicians as a simple problem that home remedies can alleviate.


  • Itching, often intense, that may be persistent or may occur only after a bowel movement.
  • Redness and irritation around anal skin

What causes it

The majority of cases are caused by skin irritation from fecal soilage. In older people, or in anybody with a touch of diarrhea, seepage of fecal matter may occur. Also, as people grow older, anal skin becomes more irregular and harder to clean. People with hemorrhoids (which may trap small fecal particles) are more prone to itching.

At any age, not taking the time to wipe thoroughly may contribute to poor hygiene, which causes itching and irritation. Then, too, being overzealously hygienic, such as rubbing energetically with dry toilet paper, can injure the skin. Another precipitating factor may be the hard stools of constipation, which can irritate the anal area.

Once the itch starts, many factors can worsen it. Hot weather and perspiring, tight under clothes that compress the buttocks, and non-absorbent nylon panty hose and underpants may make matters worse, as can activities such as walking, sitting particularly prolonged sitting on a plastic seat, which hampers the evaporation of any sweat—and bike riding. Some experts think stress may also be a factor in anal itching.

What if you do nothing

Until the cause of anal itching is eliminated, the condition may persist indefinitely.

Home remedies

Clean carefully

Meticulous, gentle cleaning provides relief. One option is to regularly use premoistened wipes. You can also wash the anal area gently in a shower or bath or over the toilet with soap and water Take care to rinse thoroughly, then gently pat the area dry with a towel or cotton ball.

Control the itch

Corticoid lotions or creams can be effective if used for a short time. Avoid the “-caine” creams sold for topical relief, since they can further inflame sensitive skin.

Don’t scratch

It only causes additional irritation and invites infection.

Consider changing your toilet tissue

Use plain, unscented, non-colored tissues.

Be prepared

When away from home, carry a few premoistened, individually packaged wipes— the kind you use for a baby.

Manage leakage

If you are bothered by leak- age, wear a small cotton pad against the anal opening and change it frequently. Wear undergarments with cotton crotches and generally avoid tight clothing.

Don’t schedule long bike rides

At least until the problem is resolved. Also, avoid other activities that may cause excessive perspiration.


Bathe regularly

Clean anal area along with soap and water and dry it completely.

Use dampened tissue

After  bowel movement, clean cautiously with tissues moistened with mineral oil or vegetable. Different brands of premoistened varieties are now available in stores. Make use of toilet tissue that are moistened and lightly soaped, then clean with plain wet tissue and dry the area.

Avoid tight underclothes

Choose sizeable, breathable underclothing made from cotton instead of synthetics. It will keep the anal area aerated and comparatively dry.

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