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What causes anal itching?

Anal itching is a common but embarrassing condition that might be temporary or chronic depending the cause of it. The skin lining of the anus and around the anus is very sensitive and can easily be irritated by conditions such as poor hygiene. This might be caused by improper wiping and leads to folding of the anal skin. It can also be caused by repeated wiping of using the same tissue paper.

Diarrhea fluid and excessive wiping is another cause of irritation to the anal skin. This is also paired with elderly people who lost some or all control of their bodily functions causing persistent irritation of the anal skin. Hemorrhoids are dilated veins under the surface of the anus which are easily irritated and sensitive part of the anus.

Sexual relations are also considered a cause of irritation and itching due to sexual transmitted diseases on the lining of the anus. This may also cause secondary infections such as yeast infection and/or bacterial infections which make the symptoms worse.

In the U.S., this is more prone to happen to children, which will need close care and attention if the itching proceeds for a few days. Some skin conditions such as Cirrhosis, can occur on any parts of the body including the anus which can cause easily torn skin. Soaps, laundry detergents, and lotions can also be a cause of irritation to the skin.

What to do about it?

Usually the condition goes away and cures on its own in a couple of days. The best way to help it cure and make it go away is to cleanse the area after bowel movements, wear loose clothing. If the symptoms persist you will need to visit your family doctor. Prepare yourself by writing a list of symptoms for your doctor such as: When it started, is it an interment or continuous condition, is there any change in your bowel habits. The most important symptom you should mention to your doctor is if there is any presence of bleeding. Although bleeding is not necessarily life threatening or a serious condition, it should always be treated with respect because of the possibility of more serious conditions such as: tumors/cancer. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist called a gastroenterologist, whom specializes in these cases.

Contact The Writers

Dr Paul M.

Senior Medical Staff Columnist


Dr Paul M. is a board certified surgeon with over 35 years of experience. He has held the title Chief of Staff at several hospitals and maintained a private practice for many years.