Anal itching is a condition manifested by an intense feeling of itching or burning sensation of the skin surrounding the rectal opening (anus). The anal itching may be more or less intense and more or less persistent depending on the underlying cause, is often accompanied by pain and irritation, especially at the time of stool defecation. Spicy foods can especially aggravate the discomfort.

There are several causes that can trigger itching, ranging from the presence of conditions affecting the rectum or the mucosa surrounding the rectum (abscess, warts, fissures, proctitis, fistulas, haemorrhoids), presence of pathologies related to the digestive tract (Crohn's disease, constipation) up to neoplastic problems (cancer).


What kind of diseases can be associated with anal itching?

The following diseases may be associated with anal burning:

  • Perianal abscess
  • Colon cancer
  • Chlamydia
  • Warts
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Fistulas
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Proctitis
  • Anal fissures
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Constipation
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Anal cancer

Remember that this is not an exhaustive list and it is highly recommended to consult your doctor, in case of symptom’s persistence.


What is the therapy for anal itching?

Anal itching is not treated directly or through a special treatment, rather it is treated indirectly, that is, by solving the underlying medical condition.

There are several medications, often in the form of ointment that can be applied locally. The medications that can be used for the resolution of this condition include: anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, antihistamines and anaesthetics. The patient has to avoid "do it yourself" type of remedies as they may risk aggravating the problem, rather than solving it. A change in the patient’s diet can be regarded helpful (avoid spicy foods, moderate coffee, alcohol, drink plenty of water and increase of fiber intake).


When is most likely to contact your doctor in case of anal itching?

If the condition does not subside within a few days or in the presence of associated diseases (see list of associated diseases).