The urge to scratch is intense. But because the itch is in such a sensitive location, you may try your hardest to ignore your anal itchiness.
But you shouldn’t ignore your discomfort. Anal itching is common and usually not a symptom of a serious illness.
At Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center in Creve Coeur, Missouri, our board-certified family medicine physician, Dr. Betsy Clemens, is an expert in anorectal conditions and truly understands your apprehension of seeking care when experiencing anal discomfort.
Here, we want to share with you the possible causes of your anal itching and why you shouldn’t ignore it.
What’s causing the itch?
Though rarely the symptom of a serious medical issue, there are a number of conditions that cause anal itching. The following are some of the common causes of this uncomfortable sensation:
- Yeast infection
- Fecal or urinary incontinence
- Atopic dermatitis
- Anal fissures
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) — Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
For many, the cause of anal itchiness is too much wiping and cleaning. Yes, it’s important to clean after going to the bathroom, but scrubbing or overwiping may irritate the sensitive skin and cause the area to itch.
Easing the discomfort
Anal itchiness is intense, and the urge is hard to ignore. But there are things you can do at home to ease your discomfort.
We recommend gentle washing of the area after going to the bathroom, wearing loose-fitted clothing, and avoiding foods that might irritate the sensitive tissue like spicy food and citrus fruits. You can also try over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications or hemorrhoid creams or wipes.
Adding more fiber and fluid to your diet may also ease the itching. Constipation is a common cause of hemorrhoids and anal fissures. Eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and drinking more water may improve bowel movements and the discomfort.
Getting the right care
If you continue to have anal discomfort after a week of at-home care, it’s time to get professional help. Continuing to apply hemorrhoid cream isn’t going to make your itch go away, especially if your discomfort has nothing to do with hemorrhoids.
We also recommend you schedule an appointment for your anal itch if you have other concerning symptoms such as blood in stool, pus drainage, or protruding hemorrhoids.
After reviewing your symptoms and performing a physical exam we can determine the cause of your itch and provide the appropriate care to stop it. This might include lifestyle modifications or disease-specific treatments such as infrared coagulation (IRC) for uncomfortable hemorrhoids.
Ignoring your anal itching won’t make it go away. We can help stop the itch. Call our office at 636-228-3136 to schedule an appointment today.