Itchy Rectum and Anus – Causes and Treatment

Itchy Rectum and Anus – Introduction

Anal canal is the last, 2-4 cm long part of the large intestine that ends with the anal opening (anus). Rectum is about 12 cm long part of large intestine between sygmoid colon and anal canal.

Picture of Rectum and Anal Canal

Rectum lesions actually doesn’t itch (but may be painful), since there are no itch receptors (special nerve endings) in rectal mucosa. However, changes may extend from rectum to anal mucosa or groin skin, and these may itch.

Poor Hygiene

Dried feces, dust, scaled skin cells, and sweat, one by one, or all together may cause itchy skin around the anus. Washing with warm or lukewarm water without soap is recommended. Moistened tissues may be used when anus is sensitive.

Dry Skin

Dry skin may cause anal itch, especially in old people and in those who frequently use hot showers or baths. Solution is in avoiding hot showers, and using moisturizing creams like glycerine (but not petroleum jelly like Vaseline).

Spicy Food

Certain foods such as hot spices, caffeine, beer, wine, carbonated beverages, prunes, figs, milk products, nuts, pop-corn, chocolate, tomatoes and citrus fruits cause anal itch, they should be avoided. In some cases irritation is caused by food allergy.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is skin inflammation due to excessive excretion of oil by sebaceus (oil) glands and subsequent infection with Malassezia yeasts. Itchy, scaly yellowish patches of skin appear in groin, armpits, around the nose or ears, and on the scalp. Treatment includes ointments and shampoos containing selenium sulfide, pyrithione zinc, ketoconazole, terbinafine, sodium sulfacetamide, and corticosteroids.

Scratching

Scratching is one of main reasons for itchy anus. Scratching aggravates existing itch, so – do not scratch.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are varicose veins in anal region. They are located either inside the anus (internal hemorrhoids) or under the skin around the anus (internal hemorrhoids).

Internal hemorrhoids usually can’t be felt, but they may bleed. If they become big, they may protrude out from the anus. If hemorrhoidal veins get thrombosed (clotted), itching and sometimes severe pain may appear.

External hemorrhoids appear as bluish, tender, soft lump, bulging out from anal circumference. They may itch or burn, especially after prolonged sitting, or straining.

Hemorrhoids may develop in obesity, repeated prolonged sitting, constipation, repeated straining at bowel movements, and in pregnancy. Lack of dietary fibers and fluid, lack of activity (physical and/or psychical), and several medications also contribute to constipation. Further reading about chronic constipation.

Mild to moderate hemorrhoids resolve by their own in few days. Over-the-counter hemorrhoidal cream can be obtained in pharmacies. Chronic, non-resolving hemorrhoids can be treated with different non-surgical (rubber banding, arterial ligation, freezing) or surgical methods.

Diarrhea and Bowel Incontinence

Diarrhea or bowel incontinence with frequent flow of bowel contents over anal mucosa, and frequent wiping may cause anal itch. The cause has to be removed (food poisoning, intestinal parasites, etc).

Fungal Infection

Fungal infection with Candida albicans (picture) tends to appear in moist skin areas, like in the groin. Long term antibiotics, steroids, chemotherapy, and disorders with low immunity promote candida growth. Tinea cruris causes jock itch, mostly in people who constantly have moist groin, typically in athletes.

Fungal infection appears as red or brown, scaly, itchy rash that may affect extensive areas of inner thighs, groin, and buttocks.

Treatment is with over-the-counter antifungal ointments, or in severe cases with prescribed medications by mouth. Low sugar diet is recommended.

Bacterial Infection

In perianal streptococal dermatitis, bright red, itchy rash appears in the groin area, in children between 6 months and 10 years of age. Blood streaks may appear on the stool. The cause is infection with group A beta-hemolytic streptococci. Treatment with antibiotics is effective, but re-occurrence is common.

Erythrasma is a rash, appearing in skin folds (armpits, groin), caused by Corynebacteria minutissimum. It mostly affects people in hot climates, and those with diabetes. Rash may itch, but usually there’s no symptoms. Treatment is with antibacterial ointments.

Intestinal Parasites

Pinworm (Threadworm)

Pinworms are intestinal parasites, often living in colon or rectum in children worldwide. They are 1-2 cm long and they may leave the rectum at night and deposit eggs on surrounding skin, and cause anal itch. Diagnosis is with the stool test for ova and parasites (O&P).Treatment is with prescribed, or over-the-counter anti-parasite medications.

Blastocysis Hominis

Blastocystis hominis is microscopic parasite, that may cause diarrhea, nausea, fatigue and anal itching, but is often present without any symptoms.

STDs

Common symptoms of sexual transmitted diseases (STDs) are burning at urination, uretheral discharge or bleeding, and sometimes fever. The following STDs may also cause anal itch:

Chlamidia trachomatis may cause rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding 1-3 weeks after anal intercourse. Burning at urination and discharge from urethra may appear. Low back pain and bleeding between periods may appear in women. Treatment is with antibiotics. Chlamidia may affect reproductive organs and cause infertility in women.

Gonorrhea is infection caused by bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Anal, vaginal, or urethral discharge, bleeding, pain and itchiness may appear 2-5 days (or even 30 days) after infection. Treatment is with antibiotics.

Genital herpes caused by Herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 or HSV-2) may be extremely painful and itchy. Small translucent blisters appear on reddened skin around anus (or on mucosa of vulva or penis) within 2 weeks after infection, they may persist for 2-4 weeks, and leave tender ulcers. A person infected with HSV for the first time may expect reactivation of virus for 4-5 times within the year. Treatment of severe cases is with antiviral pills.

Anal warts (condyloma) are small flat growths of skin around the anus, appearing weeks or months after sexual contact. These are actually genital warts, appearing on or around genitals and anus. They are caused by Human papilloma virus (HPV), and transmitted by direct skin to skin contact. They may itch or bleed, and may go off, or increase in size with time. They don’t develop into cancer. They can be frozen or surgically removed. Picture of anal warts (Condyloma acuminatum).

Moluscum contagiosum is another type of warts, caused by a virus that may be transmitted by sexual contact. They appear as small, red or brown, waxy, dome-shaped, umbilicated bumps. They can be removed by various “small-surgery” methods like freezing, electrocautering, etc.

In children, molluscum contagiosum may appear anywhere on the skin. It is spread by skin-to-skin contact. Warts disappear within a year.

Pubic lice (crabs) cause itch in the groin area. Eggs or adult lice may be found. Transmission is via sexual contact. Treatment is with over-the-counter lice-killing lotions.

Pubic lice - Pediculosis pubis

Picture 2. Pediculosis pubis
(source: Samuel Freire da Silva, M.D., atlasdermatologico)

Syphilis is caused by bacterium Treponema pallidum, and transmitted by contact with a sore (chankre) that may appear on genital mucosa, anus, lips or in the mouth. A small, red, firm, painless sore(s) appears at the site of bacterial entry 10-90 days after infection, persists for 3-6 weeks, and then heals on its own. If there is no treatment, in following weeks, non-itchy red rash may appear on the skin.

Syphilis in the early stage can be easily cured with antibiotic penicillin.

Eczema

Eczema in the groin appear as itchy, reddened flaky area, and may be due to irritation by diapers, new unwashed underwear, constant irritation by clothes, soap, allergies, etc. Prevention is by avoiding irritant substances, and keeping groin area dry (wearing comfortable and airy cotton underwear and pants) and clean.

Treatment is with ointments prescribed by the doctor.

Inverse Psoriasis

Inverse psoriasis occurs in skin folds, including the groin, armpits, and skin under breasts. It appears as smooth, red, itchy, non-scaly patches. Psoriasis is genetic disease, it is not contagious, and treating of the cause is not known to the date. Treatment of symptoms is with topical moisturizing creams and immunosuppressants like Protopic and Elidel.

Anal Skin Tags

Anal tags are small soft fleshy bumps of the mucosa, hanging from anus like drops. They are common, and beside itch they rarely cause any problems. They result from chronic irritation or inflammation of anal mucosa. They can be surgically removed.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Hidradenitis suppurativa is inflammation and infection of hair follicles, oil and sweat glands. Itchy, painful lumps that may break and drain fluid bulge out from the skin between buttocks. They also often appear in inner thighs, armpits, or on the nape of the neck, and they may leave scars. Treatment is with corticosteroids, antibiotics, and surgery.

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases of uncertain cause, mostly affecting young adults between 20-30 years of age. Ulcers and fissures affecting anal mucosa may be itchy or painful and may bleed. Diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pains, fatigue, and low grade fever can appear. Treating is with anti-inflammatory drugs like sulfasalazine, or with surgery, if necessary.

Anal Fissure, Abscess and Fistula

Anal fissure is painful, linear crack of anal mucosa and skin near the anus that may result from straining at defecation, injury, or inflammation like Crohn’s disease. Treatment is with avoiding straining, appropriate diet that gives soft stools, corticosteroid creams or suppositories, nitroglycerin ointments, analgesics, or, if fissure doesn’t close on its own in several weeks, with surgery.

Peri-anal abscess is accumulation of pus in the anal wall or in the tissues that surround anus. It is usually a result of chronic bowel inflammation or infection with parasites, inflammation of prostate, or rarely a complication of surgery. Sometimes peri-anal abscess may be seen as a bulge (few cm in size) from the skin near the anus, or may be felt during rectal examination. Treatment is with antibiotics by mouth or surgical drainage.

Anal fistula is a tinny tunnel that starts in anal or rectal mucosa, flows through tissues that surround anal canal, and opens in the skin beside anus. It may itch, and bowel contents may exit through it. Surgical excision is usually needed.

Details about anal fissure, abscess and fistula

Anal Carcinoma

Anal carcinoma may be painful, itchy, and may bleed. It rarely occurs before 50 years of age. Treatment is surgical removal. Non-cancerous polyps may be removed during rectoscopy (or colonoscopy).

Common Anorectal Conditions – Pictures and Treatment

Prevention of Anal Itch

General measures to prevent anal itch:

  • Gentle but thorough wiping after bowel movements is essential. Moistened tissues may be used.
  • Wash anal region with lukewarm water, and without soap.
  • Never scratch the anus.
  • Avoid all perfumes, deodorants and medical powders.

Treatment of Anal Itch

The following can be done:

  • Find and treat the underlying cause if possible.
  • Topical moisturizing creams can help to soothe affected area. Only weak topical steroids (1% hydrocortisone cream) should be used to avoid thinning of sensible skin around the anus, but only for few days, never for long periods.
  • Suppositories and home remedies should be avoided.
  • Avoid constipation and straining.

Further Reading:

Types of Skin Rashes
Itchy Skin – Prevention and Treatment
Itchy Skin – Causes
Itchy Armpits
Itchy Legs

About Jan Modric (249 Articles)
Health writer
  • My Itchy Anus

    Thanks for all the information. I’ve found that natural remedies work best.

  • Save me

    Recently my anus started itching. At first I thought it was just a minor itch and nothing serious, or maybe I didn’t clean it enough. So I started cleaning it religiously. When it itched, I scratched. It made the itching worse and the skin super-tender. After reading some online articles, I kept it dry and treated it gently.

    This morning I went to see my doctor. After the examination, he prescribed Zaricort, an anti-fungal cream with Miconazole Nitrate, Hydrocotisol and Benzoi Acid (as preservative). Is this okay? I read about the steroid creams which can worsen the situation with prolonged use… I’m afraid even using it a few times could cause my problem to worsen.

  • Jan Modric

    Prolonged use of corticosteroids can thin the skin, but months of continuous use would be needed for this to occur.

    I guess you got instruction to use the cream for two weeks. Be sure to use it for full prescribed time to eradicate fungi completely, even, if itch will go away after few days. It’s not likely that corticosteroids will harm you in any way in this time.

    Benzoic acid may cause some initial burning lasting few minutes after applying.

  • tenai k

    Thanks for the coments,i think cleanliness is the best remedy ,esspecially the inner pants should be exchanged most of the time.

  • Mehr_javdan

    Suffering from chronic asthma, being prescribed corticostroids and many antibiotics for more than a three decade period have brought me depression,errecting dysfunctiong, itchy anus, groin irritations. What shall I do?

  • Jan Modric

    Mehr_javdan
    You should ask your doctor why exactly are you getting antibiotics. Antibiotics destroy normal bacteria in the intestines, and when this happens, fungi may start to overgrow. So, one possibility is that you have fungal infection in or around the anus. If fungi are only around the anus, you can treat them with anti-fungal creams that you can get in any pharmacy.

    Other symptoms are likely due to corticosteroids. You should check with the doctor, if you need them, and if you can lower the dose.

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  • jackson2

    I have suffered from anal itching for the past 6 months with little relief. Steroid creams were intially helpful but after a month the problem became worse. I have tried everything including methylene Blue injections, and treatment with a Grenz x-ray. I am currently taking Difflucan in hopes it is a stubborn yeast infection. I have been on it for 2 weeks with no significant improvement. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. It is driving me crazy. Thanks

  • Jan Modric

    To jackson2

    Hi, do you have any other skin problems, like dandruff? This may be then due to seborrheic dermatitis. Yeast – you would probably have them in the groin and maybe on inner thighs – Jock itch. Moist groin is what yeasts like. Anal itch may be simply from dry skin – moisturizering cream helps, but the one without any preservatives or dyes.

    Intestinal parasites (either worms or small one-cell parasites like giardia can be detected with a stool ova and parasites (O&P) test.

    Hemorrhoids may itch, not necessary that they are big.

    It would help, if you can find out if you have any kind of rash in the groin.

    Also think of spices you eat…

    Food allergy may appear as anal itch, but you’d probably notice runny nose, tingling mouth or itch on other skin parts…

    Some fish, wines, and cheeses contain histamine that may cause allergy-like itch.

    Dropping all suspicious foods from the diet at once for few days would tell you, if it’s food-related. Beside above mentioned ones you can drop all canned (packaged) foods.

    If you’re considering visit to the doctor, think about
    - stool test for parasites, and for celiac or Crohn’s disease
    - examination by dermatologist
    - rectal examination or even colonoscopy

    It would help to find the cause, if you can think about any other symptom you have, when exactly itch started, and what would be the likely cause.

  • Big R

    I have a six year old daughter that complains of itching shortly after having a bm. If I apply any sort of cream she experiences intense burning.
    No rashes,bumps, worms…Nothing ?
    Any ideas as to what could cause this ?

  • Jan Modric

    To Big R.

    Maybe there’s a small crack (fissure) from an injury or from straining (or from some sort of inflammation)?

    Food allergy, intestinal parasites (worms or one-cell organisms), spicy food, herpes, or fungal infection (candida?) crossed my mind, but I can’t imagine how this could cause burning pain after applying a cream.

  • jackiejoy

    My daughter (8) has been suffering from anal itching for almost a year. We tried “Dove” type soap as recommended by family who suffered the same. Recently a dermatologist perscribed antibiotic cream. It worked a little but the last two nights she scratched so badly that it bled considerably. What can I do to help her? Feeling desperate-

  • Jan Modric

    To jackiejoy.

    Antibiotics? The groin region should be examined carefully by a dermatologist to find any type of rash. Infection in the groin is usually from fungi (candida or other) that require anti-fungal medicines – these are not the same as antibiotics.

    It can also be a viral infection – from Papilloma virus.

    Intestinal parasites (giardia, or intestinal worms) also may cause anal itching. She would probably have some bowel irregularity or bloating in this case.
    So:
    Careful groin check for any rash
    Stool test for intestinal parasites

  • corford

    First it started with anus itching for about 4 days which I have never got before, but there was no visible signs of anything, then my vagina was really itchy too, and then my ears were itching really bad and now Im itchy from head to toe but theres no visible rash anywhere. Do you have any ideas? I havnt switched soap or anything so I have no clue.

  • Jan Modric

    To corford.

    Do you have any chronic disease like kidney or liver disease?

    What happened last week – have you eaten some new food – it could be food allergy.

  • corford

    I don’t have any kidney or liver disease that I know of. The only thing I ate different would be corn. The doctor gave me pills for itchy skin that he said is probably from weather change.

  • Jan Modric

    Weather can cause itching, if it makes your skin (or mucosa, as it started in your case) dry. There are several other causes of dry skin…including hypothyroidism, dehydration, stress, etc.

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  • matt

    Hi, I’ve had an anal itch/rash for years now. It comes and goes. I went to my doctor, he gave me lotriderm to use. It helped the itch but the rash always came back. But now it came back the worst it’s ever been. Lots of redness and red bumps. It seemed to spread between my legs and now my groin is starting to get a bit of a minor rash. It might be heat rash, I don’t know. But I went back to the doctors and he gave me 2 meds. Clotrimaderm/clotrimazole and valisone g cream. He told me to use each on different areas and after a week use the one that worked only. I’m concerned because I’ve had this problem for so long that all this cream is doing more harm than good. Should I be concerned? If it does’t go away what should my next step be? Thanks..

  • Jan Modric

    To matt.

    Clotrimaderm/clotrimazole is an antifungal medication – it treats fungi like in jock itch.

    Lotriderm also contains clotrimazole.

    http://www.healthhype.com/jock-itch-pictures-causes-and-treatment.html

    Valison G is a corticosteroid medication. It helps in dermatitis and allergies.

    Doctor obviously gave you two medications since he’s not sure is it allergy or fungal infection. Continue with one that will treat the rash. Use it for as long as prescribed (important). Change your underwear and trousers daily during the treatment.

    If you have jock itch it’s extremely important that you keep your groin dry (wearing airy pants and wiping with a towel after the shower) otherwise infection will come back.

    If clotrimazole will help, you can assume you have fungi. If it won’t help, I suggest you to visit dermatologist.

  • livvy

    Hoping you can help….I have had anal itch for 4 years, and vaginal and groin itch for 3 1/2 years. At the same time I developed what I now know was a staph infection which I was given antibiotics for 2 years ago-but from time to time I get raised pussy pimples on the top of my legs when my immune system is low. FOr my itch I have been given every ointment under the sun- including cortisone creams and fungal creams. My bathroom cabinet looks like a pharmacy! Mostly the creams burn incredibly and irritate me more. Some of the creams helped for a week but then the itch grew worse. One dermo said I had psoriasis but then I when I had follow up appointment and saw her fill in he said I didn’t have psoriasis! The main itch is 2 small pin head red raised bumps near the start of anus. The back of my scalp is also itchy. I am currently trialling a restricted diet for 3 weeks no acids, no processed foods, but the itching seems to have gotten worse. Any ideas? Much appreciated
    Liv

  • Jan Modric

    To livvy.

    Pus-filled, red, pin-sized bumps may be folliculitis – staph infection of the hair follicles. Read about it:
    http://www.healthhype.com/folliculitis-pictures.html

    Infected acne look just like folliculitis but acne are usually not so itchy.

    Additionally you can have fungal infection – that looks like reddish/brownish/yellowish scally patches on the skin. Read about jock itch:
    http://www.healthhype.com/jock-itch-pictures-causes-and-treatment.html

    Treatment for folliculitis are antibiotic ointments or oral antibiotics.

    Antifungals are for jock itch.

    You’ll need to treat lower immunity you’re mentioning otherwise it’s not likely you’ll treat this rash.

    Keeping groin dry is essential – comfortable airy clothes that don’t irritate the groin and thighs may help – in addition to treatment.

  • matt

    I have a rash that started on the back sides of my neck. It only itched at first but after a few days I noticed some very small red bumps appear. Just a few a first but they moved to my neck, top of shoulder and top of my chest. They are very bad. They itch alot but not all the time. they are in small clusters on a few other parts of my body, stomach,arms,forehead,etc. Is this heat rash? I have not changed anything in my daily routine so I don’t believe it’s an alergic reaction to anything. They get really bad when I scratch them. I know I’m shouldn’t do that and I try not to. I have cream for a rash on my rectum but I have not used that on this rash yet. Anybody know what it is and what I should do?? Thank you…Matt

  • Jan Modric

    Matt,
    do bumps have any white centers? At least few of them?

  • matt

    Not really any white spots, nothing to clear. It’s staring to get bad on my left side. It’s getting hot and humid where I live and I go to the gym 6 days a week so I sweat a lot. Could that have anything to do with it? I’ve never had this before. It almost looks scaley on my neck but nowhere else.
    Thanks Matt

  • Jan Modric

    Matt,
    heat rash or physical urticaria appear and disappear within hours…so, if it’s longer than that and you think it’s not folliculitis then a dermatologist can only say.

  • bill

    I’m confused about how to keep area dry and at the same time apply glycerine. And why not use of petroleum jelly?

  • Jan Modric

    To bill.

    Glycerine is a moisturizing ointment. It is used in dry skin. If you sweat a lot you probably don’t need glycerine. Honestly, for detailed information about this you should ask a dermatologist.

    Petroleum jelly commonly irritate the skin so we don’t recommend it in general.

  • Rob

    I did have a more severe case of anal itch and narrowed down my food consumption and found that beer was largely the reason. Less beer consumption led to less anal itch and irritation.

  • Jan Modric

    Rob,
    good info – this about beer. Would you say that you had yeast infection in the groin before?

  • Henry

    Hi, I am experiencing an almost irresistable anal itch. It probably started 2 weeks ago; but i had this same problem last summer. The butt itch last summer went away on its own when i went back to school, but it was also very itchy. Now its back. I think its hemorhoids but I’m not sure since I don’t see blood and I don’t see a bump, but it does itch and i do strain on the stool and sit a lot. I tried a sitz bath but it didn’t give me any relief. It usually itches in the morning and after pooping. Any help? Thanks (Last summer I went to the doctor and they just gave me Pinworm tablet even though I was positive i didn’t have pinworms)

  • Jan Modric

    To Henry.

    Hemorrhoids are external or internal, the later can not be seen from the outside. They bleed only if they are broken by hard stool passage or by wiping. Internal hemorrhoids may get thrombosed and this could cause itch but also pain during bowel movement.

    Another possibility is anal fissure – a crack on the site where anal mucosa continues to the surrounding skin. Straining itself could be the cause but fissures also often appear in Crohn’s colitis.

    So?
    Anal fissure – you could check this yourself, somehow. Fissure can be small.
    Pinworms – there’s a test with adhesive tape put on anal exit – small eggs, if there, attach to the tape. O&P test of the stool sample is next possibility.

    Hemorrhoids – this would probably require rectoscopy – gastrologist checks anal canal and rectum with an optical instrument.

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  • MHR

    Hi
    I have had anal itch for the past 7 months or so when i first started gyming. A dermatologist prescribed Terbinafine Tablets and cream initially. This did help clearing the fungal infection in the groin area but the itch persisted. The Dermatologist then prescribed Nuforce kit which has (1 cap of fluconazole 150 mg, 2 tabs tinidazole 1 each), Bandyplus tab (ivermectin + albendazole) and clotrimoxazole cream. It was blessed relief for 1 week and then i feel that the itch seems to hav started in the rectum. Should I repeat the tratment? It has been 2 weeks since i first took the treatmnt.

  • Jan Modric

    To MHR.

    Fungal infection of the groin may cause small tears (fissures) in anal mucosa that itch even after fungi themselves have healed. So check this first.

    If intestinal parasites were suspected, stool test for parasites should be done. You should ask your doctor about repeatinmg the treatment or having the stool test first.

  • Bnaderas

    I’ve had 3 surgeries in the past 6 months, and it’s always the same Urinary tract condiloma, please tell me if there is any way to treat it with out surgery

  • Jan Modric

    Bnaderas,

    I’m not aware of any other treatment for urinary tract condyloma except surgery.

    I believe your surgeon can give you additional information about treatment options.

  • Empire

    Hi. So I have had an anus itch before a couple weeks ago and it lasted for about 3 days then went away. A week later it came back and I have it now. I read up on it and I have no bumps or anything that looks out of the ordinary.I have not changed my diet at all also.I dont like spicy foods so thats out of the question.I only take a shower once a week on weekends but I dont have a dirty job. I am sitting most of the time but there are times where I always running around. Is there just a cream I can pick up at the local store to make this going away to avoid going to the doctors?

  • Jan Modric

    Empire,

    beside fungal infection that usually appear with some rash, there are dry skin and hemorrhoids that commonly cause anal itch. A moisturizing cream could help you in dry skin and there are creams for hemorrhoids also.

    Breaking prolonged sitting hours with short walks and avoiding straining during bowel movement helps in hemorrhoids.

  • maguy

    I’ve had anal itch for 4 years now and found recently that it was from my athlete’s foot. Antifungal cream for athlete foot used around the anus solved my problem . Just to point out if it can help someone else.

  • Jan Modric

    Maguy,

    yes, both athlete’s foot and fungal infection in the groin (jock itch) commonly affect athletes and other who have moist feet/groin all the time.

    http://www.healthhype.com/jock-itch-pictures-causes-and-treatment.html

  • maguy

    Thanks Jan for the link. My athlete foot’s kind was inner toe, with skin cracking, not the rash type, so around the anus was mis diagnose as anal fissures, also i tried a precribed fungal cream for this area but with so little effect and side effect that i had rectal leaks when i used it. I self medicated with Strong Zinc ointment, ( the kind used for babies) and that was the most successfull thing i did befor i found out. Zinc i think has antifungal propreties and also keeps this area dry. But symptoms eventually returned 3-4 days later if i stoped application. Maybe the strenght or the formula of the antifungal cream was the key for this precise fungi.
    I had considered parasites way back , i’m glad this wasn’t , but for the sake of curiosity, what would have been the other symptoms to suspect parasites beside itching?, Diarrhea mandatory? would it have lasted that long ( 4 years) and would the symptoms have worsen? I had no other symptoms beside the itch .

  • Jan Modric

    Maguy,

    fungi may cause skin peeling or patchy rashes of different colors (yellow, brown, red).

    Intestinal parasites may cause itch but not typically anal fissures or any rash in the groin. Parasites may be present without any symptoms, yes, they may last for years, and when they do cause symptoms these are (one or more of the following): bloating, diarrhea, mucus in the stool, weight loss, foul smelling gas. Some parasites may leave eggs around the anus.
    http://www.healthhype.com/human-intestinal-parasites-symptoms-and-treatment.html

    Fungi on the feet or hands may apear with skin peeling but in other body areas mostly as discolored patchy rash.

    Zinc is to dry up the skin and it can help with itch a bit but zinc alone is not sufficient therapy for skin fungi. If ointments don’t work, I strongly recommend you to visit a doctor and after diagnosis and telling him that you’ve tried ointments, he will probably prescribe you oral antifungals.

  • maguy

    Thanks Jan for you detailed explanation. I had searched a lot on parasites, but have not found as much information about it (comparative to anal itch) than what you explained.

    I found that this page was a very good source of information on this subject. Thanks for your time.

    Maguy

  • Joe

    Hello. I am hoping you can help. I have been suffering from severe anal itch adn burning for over 10 years. Each time I’ve visited a doctor I’ve been diagnosed with a different problem. At first I was diagnosed with internal hemmorhoids, and told to treat with over the counter creams. A few years later, a new doctor told me it was not hems, and referred me to a dermatologist, who said it was pruritus ani. He prescribed a steriod which cleared it up, but returned several weeks later. He then prescribed Pramosone for breakouts and to be used sparingly (said there was no cure for this condition). Recently I visited a new dermatologist and he said it was not a skin condition, but the result of lower back pain that is affecting the nerves in my anus which cause an itchy and burning sensation, even though I have no back pain. Like the last dermatologist, he said there was nothing he could do. I still use the Pramosone cream, but it only provides temporary relief of 12-24 hrs. My anus and inside upper thighs have skin fissures that never seem to heal and are constantly itching and burning. I’ve tried several over the counter creams over the years, but nothing seems to work. I am not overweight, I’m in reasonably good shape, and do not have any other medical conditions. I am prone to getting jock itch 3-4 times per year, despite keeping my body clean and in good hygiene. Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  • Jan Modric

    Joe,

    jock itch is a fungal infection that may affect anus and the skin in the groin and inner thighs. In persistent cases antifungal creams don’t help and oral (prescribed) medications are needed. Fissures also commonly appear in fungal infections.
    http://www.healthhype.com/jock-itch-pictures-causes-and-treatment.html

    Burning from pinched spinal nerve or from hemorrhoids is not associated with a rash. So it is a rash that may speak for fungal infection.

  • Froglegs

    In Sept ’08 I had my gallbladder removed. Around the same time I had a Mirena IUD put it. Since then I have had extreme anal itching. Nothing I’ve tried works completely. Went to the Dr and did an exam and he said I have a couple internal hemorrhoids and gave me a Rx for some numbing cream. That worked, but didn’t take away the problem. I’ve since removed the IUD to see if the hormone in that is what was causing the itching. No luck. I’ve tried a colon cleanse and that didn’t work. I did a liver cleanse and that got rid of stones and tightened up the anal skin. But I still have the itch. Can it be from having no gall bladder and having the bile constantly dripping down my ducts and out my anus? Can internal hemorrhoids secrete a mucus that itches it? I’ve been trying to cure the hemorrhoids, but the itch just wont go away. Please help me!

  • Jan Modric

    Froglegs,

    it is true that bile is constantly flowing down the bile ducts into small intestine after gallbladder removal. In some people, most of the excessive bile is re-absorbed on the end of the small intestine while in others not all the bile can be re-absorbed so it reaches the colon and irritate it thus causing (green) diarrhea. I’m not sure if amount of the bile that doesn’t cause diarrhea is enough to cause anal itch, though.

    If you have lose stools, try some fibres like rice or wheat bran that can bind some bile in the colon.
    http://www.aaccnet.org/funcfood/pdfs/00-0612-02R.pdf

    Hemorrhoids may cause anal itch when mucus is present or not. It is prolonged sitting without interruptions that may quickly lead to anal itch. Further development of hemorrhoids may be prevented by avoiding constipation and if this doesn’t work, hemorrhoids can be removed by a simple outpatient surgical or laser procedure.

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