When it comes to anal itching, it is generally caused due to irritation of the skin around the anus. To have a clear understanding of this skin condition, it is essential to know about the three different cases. Want to know more? Read on.
Before we start with the major information, firstly answer these questions;
- Are you suffering from intense itching in the anal area?
- Is amount of inflammation increasing with each passing day?
- Is it becoming intolerable due to burning and soreness?
- Have you recently seen small amounts of bleeding during and after bowel movements?
In case, the answer is YES, these symptoms are associated with anal itching.
As far as the definition is concerned, it is described as the irritation of the skin at the opening of the anal canal. So, it occurs around the skin surrounding the opening, anus. In the beginning, it might be limited itching. However, gradually it will turn intense, leading to a desire to scratch.
There is a lot available for the causes, treatments, and much more. But before you begin with any medications, it is vital to know the three different cases, which might affect one during his/ her lifetime.
Start reading here;
Itching and Burning in Children
The tiny toddlers can develop itchy bottoms too! When this happens, it can be quite problematic for the parents. Reason being, sometimes anal itching in children can make them restless and the innocent creatures won’t be able to identify anything themselves. At most times, it can be simply due to excessive sweating and poor hygiene. Therefore, washing children in lukewarm, soapy water, might be helpful temporarily. But you seriously need to look for some other efficient way out.
Another common cause is pinworms. These are little worms that infect the intestines and are most prevalent in school-aged children. Being highly contagious, these can be easily transferred from one child to another. Hence, children who don’t wash their hands after playing, or who suck their thumbs, are at greater risk.
Chronic Anal Itching
Is there a persistent itch in the rectum? Then it can be chronic anal itching which can be due to majorly two reasons, i.e. yeast infections and diet. As far as the fungal infection which leads to the chronic itch is concerned, it is the fungi, Candida. This makes a home in warm, moist places. Now when a person scratches the area where the Candida is living, this causes more damaged skin. In such a case, keeping the anus dry is the most important remedy. You can use particular powders and wear clean dry underwear to ensure a dry anal area.
Secondly, there are certain foods which can cause irritation during a bowel movement. These include curry, peppers, jalapenos and anything spicy. If you wish to avoid the chronic condition, you must avoid these and some other food items such as citrus fruits like tomatoes, grapes, lemons, and oranges. When eaten in excess or on a daily basis, it can lead to severe itch.
The solution is in cutting out these foods and changing to a more fibrous meal plan. It will help to quell itching after defecation.
Itching During and After Pregnancy
It is the most common case. No, it doesn’t mean that anal itch is specifically related to pregnancy. However, it turns out to be is still a major complaint in pregnant women. Basically, pregnant women feel symptoms of pruritus ani due to the development of unwanted hemorrhoids. These are defined as wollen pouches formed underneath the mucous membranes inside or outside the rectum. There are several other uncomfortable symptoms associated such as itching, burning, and pain.
And it is more common among women with constipation during their pregnancy. While they are at a higher risk of hemorrhoids due to the straining during bowel movements, the increased pressure on the rectal veins can make problem worst. These generally develop in the third trimester and go away after delivery. To treat, you can go for soaking in a warm sitz bath or applying cold compresses.
How to treat?
Whatever the case is, the next step is to start with the treatment. Here’s something helpful;
- The first and simple rule to control itching is directed toward relieving the burning and soreness. So, clean and dry the anus thoroughly. Make sure there is no soap left in the anal area.
- Ensure that the cleaning efforts are gentle. You can consider showering without direct rubbing; else it will cause irritation to the skin. Use a washcloth or a soft towel.
- After every bowel movement, use moist pads like flushable moist wipes, baby wipes, or flushable anal cleansing wipes to clean the anus. Ditch your toilet paper!
- If you find constant moisture occurring near the anus or stool incontinence, use moist pads between bowel movements.
- Control your diet. Have more of fiber and increase your water intake.
- To avoid scratching, you can switch to any over-the-counter (OTC) products like Dr.Numb®. Being an FDA approved product, it comes with 5% lidocaine. Basically, it acts as a numbing agent, which makes your skin numb for a particular period.
Lastly, if you find the problem getting out of control, don’t hesitate to consult your physician. Don’t delay and discuss with your family doctor at the earliest!