Forget the Embarrassment
It's kind of embarrassing to say to your doctor, "I have an itchy anus," but if you have one, it can drive you to distraction, so your best bet is to forget the modesty and tell your physician exactly what ails you. Doctors have seen and heard it all. Pruritus ani, the official name for itchy anus, is not all that uncommon.
What Makes It Worse
When you have a persistent itch around your anus, it is very difficult to resist the urge to scratch. You may get the urge to itch while you are sleeping at night, and aren't even aware that you are digging at your anus, or you may feel the need to itch after you have had a bowel movement. The itch can worsen if your butt is exposed to wool or moisture, if it is hot, if you are anxious or stressed or have leaked or soiled your pants, according to Patient.co.uk.
You are not alone when it comes to pruritus ani, according to the Mayo Clinic, although men seemed to be plagued by this condition more than women. Older people are more likely to be affected, although children sometimes have itchy anuses. When a cause for this itch is identified, the condition is referred to as secondary pruritus ani. When it is not clear why this is happening, it is called itchy anus of unknown cause or idiopathic pruritus ani.
Identifiable causes of itchy anus are numerous and include irritant dermatitis--an allergy--which is inflammation of the skin that occurs if you sweat a lot or haven't wiped yourself well after going to the bathroom. On the other hand, if you clean your anal area too excessively, this can also result in an itch. If you have a lot of hair around the anus, this can also contribute to the problem, according to Dermnetnz.org. Some ointments, creams, soaps and perfumes or even the dye in toilet paper can irritate the skin. If you have eczema or psoriasis, this can cause you to itch incessantly. Fungal and thrust infections that are the result of germs that multiply and thrive in moist areas can cause you to itch. Herpes, anal warts, STDs, bacterial infections and scabies can also result in this condition. Children sometimes get threadworms, which lay eggs around the anus. If this is the case, you will see a lump, rash or discharge.
Consider that you might have a fissure or small crack in the anal skin. This will hurt in addition to being itchy. Hemorrhoids can cause itching as can food that is not fully digested. When you pass the feces, this can irritate your anus and cause itching. Culprits include tomatoes, spices, citrus fruits, grapes, milk, tea, coffee or beer. If you have diarrhea, this can cause itching.
Constant itching of your anus may cause an infection, damaging the skin. You need to deal with this as soon as possible, because scratching incessantly will make the itch worse. Consider cutting your fingernails or even wearing gloves to bed because that is when you may scratch the most ferociously, doing the worst damage to the skin in the anal area, and you may not even be aware of it because you are asleep. Antihistamine medication may help reduce the itch.
Make an effort to keep your anus clean. Make sure that all feces are gone. Do not use soap on your anus. Using moistened wipes will keep the area clean and free of bacteria. Change your underwear daily. Use nonscented soap if you feel you need to wash that area with soap. Don't put your underwear on until your bottom is completely dry. Wear cotton, not nylon, underwear. Avoid tight pants, try not to get too hot or sit for too long. Your anus needs some air now and then.