Anal itching can be caused by many things. They may be:
- Skin problems, such as contact dermatitis or psoriasis
- Certain diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, or liver disease
- Infections, such as:
- Skin infections from strep bacteria
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Hemorrhoids , anal fissures , anal fistula , proctitis, or skin tags
- Certain foods, such as:
- Tea, coffee, colas
- Chili peppers
- Too much moisture around the anus
- Soaps, scents, and lotions that irritate
- Certain medicines
The goal of treatment is ease symptoms. Underlying causes will be treated, if known.
Treatment options may be:
- Self-care, such as:
- Not using irritating products
- Using sitz baths and gentle cleaning
- Wearing loose-fitting clothing
- Over the counter or prescription medicines, such as:
- Cortisone creams or ointments—to reduce itching and protect the area
- Zinc oxide ointment—to protect the area
- Capsaicin cream—to reduce itching
- Medicines to treat any underlying conditions
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Anal Itching)
American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians https://familydoctor.org
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology https://www.cag-acg.org
Canadian Dermatology Association https://dermatology.ca
Ansari P. Pruritus ani. Clin Colon Rectal Surg. 2016;29(1):38-42.
Pruritus ani. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/pruritus-ani. Accessed February 19, 2021.
Pruritus ani expanded version. American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons website. Available at: https://www.fascrs.org/patients/disease-condition/pruritis-ani-expanded-version. Accessed February 19, 2021.