Your body uses many signals to let you know something’s wrong, including sensations like pain, burning, and itching. Though not always a serious health issue, anal itchiness isn’t normal. It’s a symptom your body uses to let you know something is off.
Like many, you may find any discomfort that affects your sensitive, private area a bit too embarrassing to talk about. But you shouldn’t ignore your anal itchiness, especially if it’s an ongoing problem that’s affecting your daily life.
At Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center, we specialize in conditions that involve the highly sensitive anorectal area. Our compassionate board-certified family physician, Dr. Betsy Clemens, can help you get relief from your anal itch.
Here, we want to let you know why your anal itchiness isn’t normal and what you can do to get relief.
About your anal itch
The rectum and anus form the final portions of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Their primary function is to hold and eliminate stool from your body.
Your anal itch, medically known as pruritus ani, is an irritating sensation that affects the anus, which is the more sensitive portion of the anorectal area. Anal itchiness itself isn’t a disease, but rather a symptom of something else.
Though your symptom may not be a serious medical issue, anal itchiness isn’t normal. Additionally, the irritating sensation can be persistent and cause a great deal of discomfort and a constant urge to scratch.
Finding the root cause of the discomfort
Your anal itchiness may be as simple as an allergy to your scented toilet paper, or it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
In any case, finding the root cause of your anal itchiness can help you get relief. Typical causes include:
- Improper cleaning after a bowel movement
- Vigorous cleaning after a bowel movement
- Diet filled with foods that irritate the anal tissue (spicy foods, caffeine, citrus)
- Antibiotics that alter the healthy flora in your gut
- Dyes or perfumes in your toilet paper (skin irritants)
- Infection (pinworm, scabies, yeast)
- Chronic skin condition (eczema, psoriasis)
Anal itchiness is also one of the common symptoms of external hemorrhoids, which are hemorrhoids that form near the anus, right under the highly sensitive tissue.
Getting relief from anal itchiness
Once we know what’s causing your anal itchiness, we can develop a treatment plan that alleviates the maddening symptom. In many cases, a few lifestyle adjustments can provide relief, like changing your toilet paper, modifying your diet, or altering your wiping habits.
For hemorrhoids, we may recommend a number of treatments to clear up the common anorectal condition and stop the itch. For example, you can up your fiber and fluid intake, use over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams or wipes, or soak in a sitz bath a few times a day.
Once we find the source of your itch and implement a treatment plan, you should feel a lot better within a week. We may even be able to completely eliminate the problem within a month.
Anal itchiness may go away on its own, but the irritating symptom isn’t normal. When your anal itch is severe or persistent, we can help. Call our office at 636-228-3136 to schedule an appointment, or contact us online today.