An itchy anus is the most embarrassing condition for anyone who suffers from it. Anal itching is itching in and around the anal region with an irresistible urge to scratch. The condition is also known as pruritus ani or itchy bottom. Anal itching is more common in men and children. The severity of itching varies from person to person; it may depend on the moisture around your anus, hot weather and sweating, tight clothes that compress the buttocks or non absorbent nylon panty and underpants.
Itching around the anus is not a disease but a symptom of underlying systemic or local cause. However, many times anal itching may be idiopathic, meaning people are not able to find the reason. Among numerous causes for an itchy anus, the commonest are:
- Presence of constant moisture around the anal region is a predisposing factor for itching in the anus. Leakage of stools, diarrhea and liquid stool, sweat creates moisture around the anus. This increases risk of yeast infection especially if you are a diabetic patient or if your immune system is compromised.
- A hot and spicy dinner at night may cause itching in the anal region when you get up in the morning.
- As we grow old the skin around the anus becomes hard and you may find difficulty in cleaning it nicely.
- Abuse of laxatives: excess use of laxatives may cause chronic diarrhea, this may lead to irritation and itching in the anal region.
- Ano rectal diseases: fistula, fissures, hemorrhoids and skin tags are leading cause for itching in anus.
- Skin disorders: psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis are other leading causes of pruritus ani.
- To prevent itching in anus, it is important to maintain personal hygiene. And this applies to everyone, for a child as well as adult. If you do not wipe properly there is always risk of developing itchy anus. However, overzealousness by rubbing vigorously is also not good.
- If you are experiencing itchy anus, especially during sleep most often the cause is pin worms. The condition is common in children.
- Stress and depression are also blamed to cause anal itching according to experts.
Home Remedies for Treating Itchy Anus
Anal itching is not a serious condition and it can be alleviated with home remedies or taking certain precautions. However, it is very important to eliminate the underlying cause to cure itchy anus completely.
- Avoid scratching your bottom even if there is an intense urge, as scratching invites additional irritation and infection.
- Clean your anus gently after defecation, you can also wipe your anus with water or with a pre-moistened wipes. While taking bath always remember to clean the anal area and thoroughly dry it by gentle patting with a dry towel.
- Petroleum jelly effectively works to control anus itch temporarily. It soothes the area. Petroleum jelly is especially useful in fissures in anal region.
- Applying castor oil or coconut oil in and around the anus, it is effective in relieving itching.
- Wear cotton panties and underwear. Avoid wearing undergarments while you sleep. And above all you have to change your undergarments daily and do not wear soiled undergarments.
- Avoid eating foods that become a cause for itchy anus. Avoid spicy when the symptoms are acute. Try to avoid it for few weeks until the symptoms are improved. Then gradually reintroduce slight spicy food.
- Ensure that your nails are cut since the eggs of pin worms may get embedded in the overgrown nails and pass the infection to others. This is very important step for children. A doctors advice may become necessary in such situation.