Anal itchiness causes an incessant need to scratch the anal tissue. And the more you scratch, the more you itch.
The uncomfortable sensation is a symptom of many anorectal disorders. At Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center in Creve Coeur, Missouri, our board-certified family medicine physician, Dr. Betsy Clemens, specializes in diagnosing and treating anorectal conditions.
Here, we want to share with you the five possible underlying causes of your anal itchiness, medically known as pruritis ani.
Many types of infections cause anal itchiness and discomfort, including bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections. Pinworms, a parasite common in children, also cause the uncomfortable sensation, as does scabies.
In addition, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) may cause anal itching.
2. Skin conditions
Chronic skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema may affect any area of your body, including your privates. If you have contact dermatitis, you may develop anal discomfort after using soaps or laundry detergent that contain skin irritants.
3. Food choices
It’s also possible that your food choices may lead to anal itchiness. Caffeinated beverages like coffee may weaken your anal muscle, allowing stool to leak and irritate the sensitive tissue.
Acidic foods, spicy foods, and dairy products may also play a role in the development of the irritating condition.
4. Anorectal disorders
Anal itchiness is a common side effect of many anorectal disorders, including hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and anal fistulas.
Anal itching is a classic symptom of external hemorrhoids. But both internal and external hemorrhoids may cause fecal soiling, exacerbating the uncomfortable itch.
5. Other medical conditions
Chronic medical conditions that affect the whole body, like diabetes, kidney disease, and liver disease, may also cause discomfort to the sensitive areas of your body, like your anal tissue. Anal itchiness may also be a symptom of Crohn’s disease, which is a serious chronic inflammatory bowel disease.
In addition, incontinence, urinary or bowel, may irritate the sensitive anal tissue, causing the uncomfortable sensation.
Though anal itchiness may develop from any number of causes, sometimes the underlying cause is unknown. Not knowing the cause of your anal itchiness can make finding an effective treatment more challenging.
However, for our patients, we always start with lifestyle changes to improve bowel habits and hygiene. We may also recommend topical creams or medicated wipes to ease symptoms.
Lifestyle changes are especially beneficial for our patients with anal itchness from hemorrhoids or anal fissures.
Don’t let embarrassment keep you from getting relief from your anal itchiness. We specialize in conditions that affect your sensitive body parts. Call our office ― 636-228-3136 ― to schedule an appointment today, or book online.