Anal itching, also known as pruritus, is a common condition. The itching is located in the anus or on the skin around the anus. The itching is usually intense causing a strong urge to scratch, which can be very uncomfortable.
Anal itching can occur from skin problems, excessive washing or hemorrhoids.
Appropriate treatment and home remedies can provide complete relief from anal itching.
In addition to intense itching, burning and soreness can also be experienced as symptoms of anal itching. The irritation may be temporary or persistent.
Symptoms of a more severe or persistent anal itching:
- Severe or long lasting itching (longer than one or two months)
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Unidentified cause of a persistent itch (persistent itching may be associated to a skin condition or other health problem)
The potential causes of anal itching are:
- Skin irritation: Skin abrasion and moisture may irritate the skin near the anal area causing anal itching. Dyes, scents, and softening agents used in soap and toilet paper can also cause anal itching.
- Skin disease: Certain skin diseases such as psoriasis or contact dermatitis can cause anal itching
- Digestive problems: Recurrent episodes of diarrhea where there is accidental leakage of feces can cause anal itching.
- Hemorrhoids: Anal itching could be a sign of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are engorged veins that occur as a result of straining during bowel movements. The veins are situated under the membrane that lines the lowest part of the rectum and anus.
- Infections: Sexually transmitted infections involving the anus can be the cause of anal itching. Yeast infections often cause anal itching in women. On the other hand, parasites can also cause anal itching. For instance, the parasite that produces pinworms can cause persistent itching in children and adults.
- Anal tumors: In rare cases both benign or cancerous anal tumors can cause anal itching.