Anal itching refers to the irritation of the skin around the anus. It brings discomfort and may affect a person’s activities of daily living. If the itch is due to an infection, it may spread if the person does not perform proper handwashing. The following are the causes, signs and symptoms, and home remedies for anal itching.
Anal itching has several causes. According to EMedicine Health, these include moisture from sweat or diarrhea, allergic reaction from perfumes or chemicals, and hemorrhoids, which result to painful swelling of the anal blood vessels. Food irritants like caffeine, chocolate, beer, nuts, dairy products, and spicy food may also lead to the irritation of the anus. Also, infections from organisms like yeast, pinworms, and genital warts may lead to itching. In rare circumstances, as per the publication, cancer may also cause anal itching. It may be related to the immunosuppressive nature of the disease.
Signs and Symptoms
While anal itching may already be a symptom of a disease or condition, additional symptoms are associated with it. According to Medicine Net, presence of moisture and the direct trauma due to scratching, promotes the intensity of the itch, as well as the amount of inflammation. As per the publication, anal itching may also cause grave discomfort felt as soreness and burning during and after bowel movement. Bleeding can also be noted at times.
While antipruritic or anti-itch medications and colorectal evaluation are part of the treatment options for anal itching, home remedies can also be accessed to manage the condition.
Since lack of hygiene is one of the contributing factors for anal itching, proper hygiene is one of the best remedies for the condition. According to Mayo Clinic, the area is cleaned with mild soap after bowel movement. It is important not to scrub to prevent further irritation or break in skin integrity. As per the publication, the area should be kept clean. Moreover, people who are traveling by air may take an empty squeeze bottle that can be filled with water in bathrooms.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Anal itching may be caused by skin infections, so apple cider vinegar also serves a good remedy for the condition. According to Top 10 Home Remedies, the vinegar helps control the infection, as well as alkalize the body. As per the publication, two tablespoons of raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar is mixed in a glass of water. Then, the mixture is drunken twice a day. An alternative is to add a cup of the vinegar to a hot bath and the person soaks in the water for 15 to 20 minutes per day. The remedies may be done for a number of days until resolution of the itch.
Petroleum jelly is another remedy for anal itching. According to Organic Facts, it serves as the fastest way to deal with the itch, not to mention that it is broadly accepted by lead gastroenterologists. As per the publication, the gel forms a lubricated layer between the buttocks surface, which minimizes friction and irritation.
In line with proper hygiene, the type of cloth used to clean the anal area should also be considered. According to EMedicine Health, the anus can be cleaned with unscented baby wiped or cotton moistened with mineral oil. These may serves as alternatives for toilet paper, which may feel too abrasive.
Anal itching gives discomfort to a person that it affects how that person does his daily activities. Thus, it is best to find ways to manage the condition, such as home remedies and medical consult for assessment, planning, intervention, education, and outcome.