Never use cornstarch on the affected area, as it may worsen the skin infection. Manage stress. This will help overcome anal itching. Try these home treatment measures for the following causes of anal itching: Poor hygiene. Clean the area gently with water-moistened cotton balls, a warm washcloth, or premoistened towelettes, such as Tucks or "baby wipes." A mild ointment, such as A+D Ointment or Desitin, can be applied lightly to help soothe the skin and protect it against further irritation. Scented or colored toilet paper or scented soaps, lotions, or creams. Buy white, unscented toilet paper.
Do not use scented soaps, which can irritate skin. Apply an ointment that contains 1% hydrocortisone. Do not use other steroid creams on this sensitive area of your body, because skin damage can occur. Hydrocortisone cream should not be used for longer than 7 to 10 days without talking with your doctor. Do not use creams or ointments, such as Benadryl cream, that contain antihistamines. Note: Do not use the cream on children younger than age 2 unless your doctor tells you to. Do not use in the rectal or vaginal area in children younger than age 12 unless your doctor tells you to. Excessive sweating. For anal itching caused by excessive sweating, avoid wearing tight-fitting underwear, and wear cotton, rather than synthetic, undergarments.
You may use talcum powder to absorb moisture, but do not use cornstarch. Cornstarch may cause a skin infection. Before applying talcum powder, dry your rectal area with a hair dryer set on the low setting. Break the itch-scratch cycle, because further scratching leads to more itching. Take an oral antihistamine at night to help lessen your nighttime itching. Don't give antihistamines to your child unless you've checked with the doctor first. Take a warm sitz bath 3 times each day and after each bowel movement. Following the bath, dry the anus carefully. You may wish to use a hair dryer set on low.
Avoid foods that can increase rectal itching, such as coffee, tea, cola, alcoholic beverages, chocolate, tomatoes, spicy foods, and excessive amounts of vitamin C, for a minimum of 2 weeks. Gradually add the items back to your diet, one item at a time, to help determine the cause of the itching. Trim your fingernails short if you find yourself scratching irritated skin at night. Wear cotton gloves or socks on your hands at night to help stop the unconscious scratching that can occur while you sleep. Control your stress. Being under stress and feeling anxious or worried can cause some people to experience skin itching.
If you find you are scratching your anal area when you are anxious, try to take relaxation breaks throughout the day, especially before bedtime. When you have rectal bleeding, do not take aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Aspirin and other NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, can cause bleeding in the digestive tract, which can increase the amount of blood in your stools. These medicines can also make bleeding hemorrhoids bleed more. If you need to use something for pain, try taking acetaminophen, such as Tylenol. Rectal bleeding can be caused by constipation, diarrhea, or hemorrhoids.
Anal itching—known medically as pruritus ani—is generally regarded by physicians as a simple problem that home remedies can alleviate. Itching, often intense, that may be persistent or may occur only after a bowel movement. Redness, irritation, soreness and burning in the skin around the anus. The majority of cases are caused by skin irritation from fecal soilage. In older people, or in anybody with diarrhea, seepage of fecal matter may occur. Also, as people grow older, anal skin becomes more irregular and harder to clean. People with hemorrhoids (which may trap small fecal particles) are more prone to itching.
At any age, not taking the time to wipe thoroughly may contribute to poor hygiene, which causes itching and irritation. Then, too, being overzealously hygienic, such as rubbing energetically with dry toilet paper, can injure the skin. Another precipitating factor may be the hard stools of constipation, which can irritate the anal area. Once the itch starts, many factors can exacerbate it. Hot weather and sweating, tight clothes that compress the buttocks, and nonabsorbent nylon panty hose and underwear may make matters worse, as can activities such as walking, sitting—particularly prolonged sitting on a plastic seat, which hampers the evaporation of any sweat—and bike riding.
Until the cause of anal itching is eliminated, the condition may persist indefinitely. Clean carefully. Meticulous, gentle cleaning provides relief. One option is to regularly use pre-moistened wipes. You can also wash the anal area gently—in a shower or bath or over the toilet—with soap and water. Take care to rinse thoroughly, then gently pat the area dry with a towel or cotton ball. Control the itch. Corticoid lotions or creams can be effective if used for a short time. Avoid the “-caine” creams sold for topical relief, since they can further inflame sensitive skin. Don’t scratch. It only causes additional irritation and invites infection.
Consider changing your toilet tissue. Use plain, unscented, non-colored tissues. Eat foods high in fiber, such as cereals, fruits and vegetables. Consume prunes, spicy food, orange juice, figs, coffee and beer only in moderation. Be prepared. When away from home, carry a few pre-moistened, individually packaged wipes—the kind you use for a baby. Manage leakage. If you are bothered by leakage, wear a small cotton pad against the anal opening and change it frequently. Underwear should have a cotton crotch. Avoid tight clothing. Don’t schedule long bike rides—at least until the problem is resolved. Also, avoid other activities that may cause excessive perspiration.
An anal fissure is an elongated ulcer—or crack—in the skin lining the anal canal. Fissures usually result from constipation and the passage of hard stool, stool that is inadequately emptied, or in association with hemorrhoids. Subsequent bowel movements can irritate the fissure and cause spasms of the sphincter muscle—which can be extremely painful—and sometimes bleeding. The best way to treat anal fissures is to avoid constipation by eating a diet high in fiber along with drinking plenty of fluids. If you experience pain during bowel movements, or notice any bleeding, don’t simply assume it’s an anal fissure.
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