Anal itching is also called as pruritus ani. It is characterized by a need to scratch your bottom especially the anal area from where one defecates. Anal itching is a common problem and acutely embarrassing. Severe itching can cause you to become a social recluse.
The itching can be vicious, making the skin around the anus red, irritated and swollen. There are many reasons why anal itching occurs. Drinking tea, coffee and carbonated beverages may irritate your anal area. Fissures and haemorrhoids may cause severe constipation, thus causing the area to itch. Certain parasites like ringworm, tapeworm and other forms of bacteria may also lead to severe anal itching. Tight clothing and leaking stools are some of the other reasons.
Symptoms Of Anal Itching
The common symptoms of anal itching are a burning and stinging sensation, bleeding around the anal site and scaly, rough and inflamed skin that becomes painful and swollen. Here are some ways to prevent anal itching.
Ways To Prevent Anal Itching
Wearing Loose Clothing
Do not wear synthetic underwear or tight jeans especially during the harsh summer months when they may rub and irritate your skin. Wear loose, comfortable cotton underwear that allows your anus to breathe.
Practice Good Hygiene
It is very important to practice good anal hygiene. Gently wash your anal area front to back after every bowel movement. Wash thoroughly. Pat your anus dry with a soft tissue to ensure that no water or moisture remains. Also, wash your anus once at night before you go to bed.
Regular and thorough washing will keep your anus clean and free from infection. It is also very important to take a shower and clean your anal area after an intense workout as sweat and grime tends to accumulate.
Avoid The Use Of Perfumed Products
Restrict the use of perfumed products like vaginal sprays, gels and perfumes. These may irritate the delicate anal skin and cause it to itch and burn.
Eat low fat yoghurt to maintain the levels of good and healthy bacteria in your gut. Yoghurt helps to keep your bowels free of infection by raising the levels of friendly bacteria. These bacteria fight the potentially harmful parasites and worms.
Ensure Hand Washing
Small children are prone to developing anal itching due to pinworms. This generally spreads due to improper hand washing. Pets may also spread the pinworms. In such cases, make sure that your children always wash their hands after they come in from outside. Also, make sure that they trim their nails regularly.
Avoid Eating Spicy Food
Spicy food like peppers and jalapenos may also cause anal itching. Switch to fibrous foods like fruits and vegetables, which may ease constipation and thus reduce anal itching.
Check Your Medicines
Some medicines like antibiotics may be causing the itch as they destroy the healthy bacteria. In such cases speak to your doctor who may prescribe safer medicinal options. Severe cases of anal itching may also be caused due to a loose anal sphincter. In such cases, a colonoscopy may be carried out to determine the cause and a surgery may be performed to repair the damage.