Anal itching (Pruritus ani) is a common dermatological condition that causes itching in the anal area, which may become worse at night or after a bowel movement. This itching results in further irritation and makes the condition worse instead of relieving it.

Causes:

  • Hygiene: washing too much or too little can cause irritation.
  • Skin condition: Dermatitis and psoriasis can cause itching.
  • Infections: Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) can lead to itching.
  • Incontinence: This condition can make it hard to control moisture and bacteria.
  • Foods: Dietary irritants which include chilli peppers, alcohol, chocolate and caffeinated drinks.
  • Drugs: Anal itching can be a side effect of chemotherapy and steroids.
  • System conditions: such as anemia, diabetes, jaundice and thyroid diseases.

Symptoms:

In addition to anal itching, you may experience:

  • Burning
  • Soreness
  • Visible redness
  • Swelling
  • Ulcers
  • Rash

Prevention:

  • Keep the perianal area clean and dry using clean water.
  • Apply a small amount of piece of cotton to the area to keep it dry during the day.
  • Do not scrub vigorously with toilet paper when cleansing.
  • Avoid using perfumed creams, lotions, bubble baths that may irritate the area.
  • Eat foods high in fiber, such as vegetables.

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