Home remedies for anal itching include using petroleum jelly and damp toilet paper, avoiding scented soaps, and managing your diet. Intense itching problems primarily centered around the anus is termed “anal itching”. The itching sensation is accompanied by an almost undeniable desire to scratch the affected area.
Anal itching might seem like a small problem in terms of overall health, but at the same time, it’s very annoying. It mostly occurs in men, and the concrete reasons behind anal itching have not been completely identified yet.
Anal itching is also known as Pruritus ani. Some of the basic causes of anal itching are excess moisture, pressure created due to sitting for long hours, and abrasions produced by clothing and activity. Since anal itching is one of the most common disorders faced by a huge portion of the population, there are a large number of home remedies and possible treatments that can provide you with some relief.
Symptoms of Anal Itching
According to the Mayo Clinic, the main symptoms of anal itching are as follows:
Itchiness and Inflammation
Anal itching is caused due to a variety of factors, including…
Dry skin, which is prone to happen due to the natural aging of the skin
Excessive moisture due to loose stools and sweating
Fissures and abrasions
Regular treatment of anal itching differs from person to person depending on the fundamental cause of the problem. Some of the most common treatments include adopting self care measures, changing your diet and treatment of any underlying infections or conditions. According to CNN and the mainstream medical world, specific medication is also a vital component of the treatment plan. OTC ointment containing Preparation H and Cortaid can be used to reduce anal itching and inflammation. Ointments which contain zinc oxide are also great ways to relieve the itching and irritation.
However, various home remedies can actually help people obtain relief from anal itching in a very short time. Remedies for anal itching includes using petroleum jelly, regularly wiping the affected area, using damp toilet paper, not using scented soaps or steroid creams, controlling your stress and managing your diet.
Home Remedies for Anal Itching
Petroleum Jelly: This is the quickest way to pacify itching, and is widely accepted by leading gastroenterologists. However, this is not reliable for a permanent relief. When you have a flare up of irritation, apply the petroleum jelly carefully to the area and experience almost immediate relief. This will create a lubricated layer between the cheeks of your buttocks, which will reduce friction and irritation, and will create a cooling sensation for the feeling of burning that often accompanies anal itching.
Wipe Yourself Cleanly: If you only wipe your anus after bowel movements, the skin can become delicate and it may lead to irritation, so regularly wipe the area to build up tougher skin. After a bowel movement, make sure that there are traces of stool on the toilet paper. If you don’t wipe yourself well, it may lead to severe itching and reddening of the anus. Also, leaving any fecal matter on the skin can result in infection or bad odor. A good tip is to wipe yourself after showering as well as after bowel movements, to build up the toughness or durability of that sensitive skin so it is less prone to inflammation.
Diet Control: If you are suffering from anal itching, you should avoid soda, liquor, beer, and beverages rich in Vitamin-C. You should also skip over spicy foods and those also high in vitamin-C content. Avoid them for at least two weeks, and then reintroduce these food items gradually. If and when you start consuming those foods again, pay attention to what may cause any new itching according to what you’ve recently eaten or drunk. If you find that one specific food seems to result in a flare up, you may have a slight allergy to it, and you can be aware in the future of eating that food, or at least take precautions against it when you do consume it.
Stress Control: Relieving or managing your stress is one of the best and easiest ways to overcome anal itching. It not only relieves you from itching, but also gives you mental rest. Stress and chronic anxiety can affect the hormones all over your body, which can impact your nerve endings in a variety of ways. Although the exact mechanism of stress in terms of anal itching is not necessarily known, the two have been indirectly associated.
Use Damp Toilet Paper: It is not possible to clean off all of the stool after a bowel movement with dry toilet paper. Dampen it slightly before you use it to clean your anal area. Many times, there will be some sticky stool residue remaining in the area that may not get cleaned off, even though you have wiped it multiple times. In such cases, damp toilet paper is far better and effectively reduces the chances of developing anal itching. After using damp toilet paper, however, be sure to wipe a final time with dry paper to reduce excess moisture in the area that will remain behind, since that can be another cause of anal itching.
Dry your Bottom Well: Always make sure that you dry your bottom well. A wet bottom can also irritate the anus. You can also use baby powder to keep it dry, or even dry it with a throwaway cotton ball. A wet bottom may lead to skin irritation, which will soon result in anal itching.
Wear Underclothes: The layer of fabric between the harsher material of your pants and your anal area is important. Underwear is designed to be soft and non-irritating, so be sure to always wear this item of clothing to reduce the chances of developing anal itching.
Avoid Scratching: Itching and scratching will only exacerbate the condition, so avoid this at all costs, despite the temporary relief that this can cause. Sitting on a cold compress or taking a cold shower to rinse the area thoroughly is often a good way to relieve the inflammation that leads to that undeniable itchy sensation.
Keep Moving: Constant pressure on the area can result in a natural build-up of moisture or sweat in the anal area, and when combined with the pressure of sitting for hours at a time, it can cause clothes to stick to the area and the skin can become inflamed or irritated. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, get up every few hours to walk around, move the area around so the skin near the anal area can get more blood flow to it, and also take this opportunity to wipe yourself dry in the bathroom.
No Scented Soaps: Soaps that are perfumed or deodorized should not be used. In most cases, they directly cause irritation of sensitive skin. To have an itch-free rectum, unscented soaps are always a good choice. The sensitive skin of that area is much more susceptible to adverse reactions for the processed and chemically altered soaps that result in the good scent.
No Steroid Cream: Steroids cream should not be used on sensitive areas of skin, because it can actually do damage to the skin. These creams thin out the skin, which can lead to breakage. Without a doctor’s recommendation, Hydrocortisone cream should not be used for more than seven to ten days. Never apply steroid creams to young children under two years of age without a doctor’s prescription. It may be hazardous for the child’s health. Broken skin or open wounds near the anal area are prime locations for infections and additional, severe inflammation that can be very irritating and itchy. If the issue becomes more serious, be sure to consult a doctor in order to keep yourself healthy.
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References: Mayo Clinic and CNN.