Conditions and Diseases
Skin Disorders

Why does your anus itch?

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May 10, 2013 9:14PM

Fecal matter (feces, stool) or bowel movement contains many acids, proteins, and waste that is formed from what we eat. A single bowel movement can cause temporary itching. As well, improper or incomplete wiping can leave feces on the skin where it will irritate the sensitive skin. Also, lack of hygiene causes a build-up of salty sweat along with feces that wasn't completely wiped. If you have not bathed or showered, it can cause a recurrent problem with anal itching. In this situation, bathing or showering, making sure to completely wash AND rinse the area will begin the healing process and allow the skin to return to normal Ph. Make sure to rinse off all soap and pat dry.

A second common reason for anal itching is forgetting to rinse off soap completely. Soap temporarily changes Ph of skin; when left on as soapy bubbles, this can change the Ph of the skin and irritate the sensitive tissues around the anus.

A third common reason for anal itching is excessive sweat. Bathing every day will help soothe the area.

A fourth common problem, often caused by straining to get stool out, is hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are a portion of tissue that becomes inflamed. Hemorrhoids can be internal, just inside the anus, or can protrude to the outside. If you stand in front of a toilet and place one foot up on the seat of a toilet, you can use a hand mirror to check for red tissue-like pieces near the anus. Or, lay in bed on your side with one knee to your chest and try to use the mirror. Or, if you have a caring partner, ask them to check for you. If you do see red, swollen, and irritated tissue, first take a bath or shower and PAT dry. Later you can use a warm washcloth against the area for 10-15 minutes (NO soap); you can repeat this several times a day. In addition, you can buy over-the counter products to soothe hemorrhoids. If they bleed or you cannot get comfort within a few days, see your physician.

An fifth common cause of anal itch may be caused by tiny worm parasites, and these are quite common. They can be picked up from handling cats or dogs, drinking contaminated water, from handling the feces of someone who is already infected (such as the diaper of an infected baby), or more commonly, from cross contamination after an infected person fails to wash his/her hands. Simple worming remedies are available, but the whole family should be treated at the same time. As well, parasites in humans calls for a doctor visit, because the physician can test first and treat with the best and most appropriate medication.