Pruritis ani, the medical term for anal itching, can be caused by a variety of conditions, but what matters most is how to resolve this very embarrassing and unpleasant condition. You can do several things to help relieve the itching without making the condition worse down the road.
Match Treatment to Cause
Determine the cause of your anal itching. This may require a trip to the doctor, but some causes can be determined without a trip. Dietary causes, prolonged sitting, dry skin or rough toilet paper are all potential causes that can be isolated without seeing your doctor.
Change your diet. If the itching occurred after eating spicy food, then consider either changing your diet to something less spicy, or prepare ahead of time for the risk of itching.
Apply ointment. If you determine the cause to be excessive dryness, excessive moisture, or irritation, an ointment or diaper cream may be your best option. Look for one with hydrocortisone. Apply sparingly, and only to the itchy areas. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe an antihistamine to help with the itching until the topical ointments have a chance to work.
Use wet wipes. If the irritation is caused by your toilet paper, opt for wet wipes temporarily, and look into a different, softer brand of toilet paper. Also, consider whether you might be rubbing too hard, removing the natural oils and top layer of skin.
See your doctor. In extreme cases, medical intervention may be the only solution. Medical procedures such as surgery to remove hemorrhoids—which can cause anal itching—will address the issue, but should only be considered when other steps are exhausted.