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How to Treat Chronic Anal Itching

Updated on October 6, 2013
Although somewhat difficult to discuss, anal itching is actually a common problem with some potentially easy fixes.
Although somewhat difficult to discuss, anal itching is actually a common problem with some potentially easy fixes. | Source

An Overview Of the Problem.

Burning. Itching. The incessant need to scratch. Back there. It's definitely not the most pleasant issue to discuss, but anal itching affects up to 10% of all Americans, and it is often a chronic condition. Usually, anal itching is not severe and can be treated using a variety of home and over-the-counter remedies. If the problem persists after you attempt to treat it, however...or if the symptoms become should definitely consult a medical professional.

Moist toilet wipes, like those pictured here, can help to increase personal cleanliness and reduce anal itching.
Moist toilet wipes, like those pictured here, can help to increase personal cleanliness and reduce anal itching. | Source

Cleanliness is the Best Prevention

One of the most common causes of anal itching is dirt or debris in the anal area. It is important to practice good personal hygiene. You should shower or bathe regularly, making sure to clean the area with mild soap and water. Make sure you thoroughly dry the area when you are done.

You may also want to consider the use of pre-moistened toilet wipes instead of normal toilet paper. These moist wipes can help to clean the area better after you use the bathroom, and won't leave behind any debris like toilet paper can.

Finally, consider using baby or body powder to keep the area dry and clean throughout the day. A few of these simple preventative measures can go a long way in eliminating anal itching.

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Never Underestimate the Power of a Warm Bath

If you are having an acute case of anal itching, a hot bath may be just what the doctor ordered. The warm water helps to reduce itching, burning, and irritation in the rectal region. The simplest thing to do is to just fill up your bathtub with a few inches of water and soak in that for 15 to 20 minutes, adding warm water as necessary. Avoid any bubble bath as this may further irritate the area.

If you don't have a bathtub, or are looking for something more convenient, you can use something known as a sitz bath. A sitz bath is a small container which fit on your toilet, holds water, and allows you to soak your anal region while in a sitting position. Complete information on how to use a sitz bath can be found in this Yahoo voices article.

Consider Over the Counter Creams and Remedies

If hygiene or warm baths don't work, there are a wide variety of OTC medications that can help relieve your anal itching. On the most basic and natural side of things, you can try applying witch hazel directly to this anus. Witch Hazel has a cooling and drying effect and this is often helpful in alleviating bothersome symptoms.

Alternately, you could also try applying a hydrocortisone cream, like Cortaid, to the affected area. Hydrocortisone is a mild steroid and has been proven to help eliminate itching and irritation in minor cases like anal itching.

If, despite these efforts, your anal itching remains, it would probably be best to consult a physician who may be able to offer you different medication and treatment options.


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