What are the main causes of anal itching?

Anyone experiencing this condition will feel an itching of the anus or the skin around it.

There are many causes of this condition. Among these, the most common include:

  • Faeces that get stuck in the skin around the anus (a possibility if you’re experiencing diarrhoea or soft bowel movements)
  • Hemorrhoids (swollen veins in the rectum)
  • Certain foods and beverages - coffee, tea, beer, cola, chocolate, tomato, and other citrus fruits
  • Anal abscess (a lump that occurs when there’s an infected gland in the anus)
  • Anal fistula (the tunnel that forms between a gland and the abscess on the skin)
  • Cancer - anal, rectal or colon cancer
  • Psoriasis
  • Dermatitis
  • Diseases caused by infection from bacteria or fungus

What kind of tests might I have to undergo? 

Apart from a physical exam, you might have to undergo a colonoscopy. Here, your doctor will insert a tube with a camera to take a look inside the lining of your large intestine, where your colon can be found.

What kind of treatment can I expect?

Usually, if some kind of medical condition is causing these symptoms, doctors can prescribe medication to treat this.

If your symptoms are worse at night, you might be prescribed antihistamines.

However, the best treatment is usually the steps you can take to avoid the outbreak of this condition in the first place.

One of the best things you can do, therefore, is to keep your anus and the skin around it clean and dry. Make it a habit to wipe yourself gently after a bowel movement with a moist tissue. It is also important to stay away from cleaning lotions which can exacerbate your symptoms.

It is also advised that you shower after a bowel movement and use unscented soap. Make sure you dry yourself completely afterwards. You can even use unscented talcum powder on the skin around your anus, as well as an anti-itch ointment. However, make sure you do not use these for more than 2 weeks.

Further, it is also advised that you avoid food or drinks that can cause or worsen anal itching or diarrhoea.

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