Anal Itching - Health Center

Anal Itching

By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Anal Itching: Basic Overview

Anal Itching is a very common condition which can be characterized by an itching sensation around the anus or the skin around the anus. This itching is often intense and is accompanied with a strong urge to scratch. This condition is also known as Pruritus Ani and is caused due to underlying conditions such as skin problems, excessive washing or haemorrhoids.

In case the anal itching is persistent, it is recommended to talk with your doctor. With a proper treatment and self care measures, it is possible to get complete relief from the condition. 

Causes of Anal Itching:

The following are the major causes of Anal Itching:

  1. Irritation of the skin: Friction and moisture are the major irritants around the sensitive anal skin. Therefore, irritation can result in anal itching. Use of scents, dyes and softening products can elevate the irritation and anal itching around the affected regions.
  2. Digestive Problems: Repeated bouts of diarrhoea can result in itching or irritation. Faecal soiling or incontinence is some of the other contributing factors towards the condition.
  3. Haemorrhoids: Haemorrhoids are the engorged veins which are found under the membrane of the lower part of the rectum. They tend to occur due to a straining around the bowel movement.
  4. Infections: Sexually transmitted infections involving the anal region can also cause Anal Itching. Among children, pinworm infection can cause Anal Region. Yeast infections amongst women too are one of the major contributing factors towards the condition.
  5. Skin Disease: Specific skin diseases such as Psoriasis and contact Dermatitis are major causes of Anal Itching.
  6. Anal Tumours: Cancerous or benign tumours around the anal regions also cause Anal Itching. 

Signs and Symptoms of Anal Itching:

Anal Itching has often been associated with burning sensation and soreness of the affected region. The itching can either be temporary or persistent, depending on the cause of the itching.

In most cases, the condition does not require any medical care. However, it is recommended to visit your doctor if:

  1.  The Anal Itching is severe and lasts for a period of more than two months.
  2.  Is accompanied by bleeding from the rectum
  3.  Has no major cause for the itch

Anal Itching could be related to a skin condition or any other underlying health problem. Therefore, proper diagnoses and treatment is crucial. 

Tests and Diagnosis of Anal Itching:

Anal Itching can be diagnosed by the doctor by asking a few questions regarding the symptoms of the condition.

The doctor may also refer the patient to the skin specialist or a dermatologist for further evaluation. Rectal Examination could be required in some of the cases.

Certain other tests such as Proctoscopy or Colonoscopy can be done in order to gain a better view of the digestive tract. This is required to help the doctors identify the underlying cause of anal itching. 

Treatment and Drugs for Anal Itching:

The treatment for anal itching is greatly dependent upon the cause of the problem. In most cases, self care measures, change in the diet plan and treatment of infections can correct the problem permanently.

Medications such as over the counter drugs containing Hydrocortisone can be applied to the affected region in order to reduce signs of inflammation or itching.

Protective ointments containing zinc oxide such as Desitin and Balmex can be applied to the affected region for relief. Antihistamines can be prescribed by the doctors in order to reduce the itching.

Anti Parasitic Treatment can be used in case of Pinworm infections. A single dose of this medication can cure the infection. However, a second dose may be required after one or two weeks.

With the help of a proper treatment, people can gain relief from anal itching in less than a week. 

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