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Anus Itching, (Pruritus Ani), - Causes and Treating

Updated on September 9, 2014
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Pruritus Ani Treatments

Anus itching, or pruritus ani how it is called medically, is an annoying condition, that can make us miserable, and lower our self esteem. In fact it is a more common problem that we would think, but most of us are too embarrassed to talk about, and we would rather suffer in silence than talk about it with a doctor. This is partly the reason I wrote this page, to make it easier for people to read in the comfort of your anonymity, and then act to fix the problem. The other reason is that I have heard many people complaining about misdiagnoses with itching bums. The misdiagnosis happens because there are many causes for this condition, and it is very easy to confuse them. I will list here most common ones.

Causes of Anus Itching

Before treating the itch we need to identify the root cause of it. There are many possible causes for "puritus ani", therefore the treatment will be different. Diagnosing starts with health history. Knowing of any other medical problems will help to better understand the nature for your itching.

The most common causes of pruritus ani are:

  • improper diet,
  • hemorrhoids,
  • anal fissure,
  • perspiration,
  • hygiene,
  • too vigorous cleaning, (skin irritation),
  • skin conditions, (eczema)
  • stomach or digestive problems,
  • yeast infection,
  • anal tumors,
  • and very rare, but still existent, pinworms.

Hair and Perspiration Causes Puritus Ani

Baby Powder for Relief

One of the most common causes of pruritus ani is the perspiration and the friction in the area. This combined with a sedentary lifestyle is probably the most common reason for a slight, itchy irritation. The anus and the adjacent zone gets easily irritated with sitting for long periods and because of the perspiration. This could cause your but hairs follicles to irritate and get itchy. There is also some friction in the area, which is aggravated by the hairs.

Another cause could be slight leakages because of abnormal anatomical features of the anus, or just a weak sphincter, (the muscle).

The approach for this kind of problems is to make sure a few times per day that the anus is clean, use a soothing cream on the perianal area until the skin rash goes away.

When the rash is healed, keep the zone as dry as possible, use cornstarch powder to keep it dry. Do not use talc powder, as it is not as safe on the skin as the cornstarch powder. Also avoid products that contain Propyl Paraben, or artificial fragrances. The baby powder seems to solve the problem for many people, and it is really an easy fix.

Johnson's Baby Powder, Pure Cornstarch

Johnson's Baby Pure Cornstarch Powder With Magnolia Petals To Help Prevent Rashes, 15 Oz. (Pack of 6)
Johnson's Baby Pure Cornstarch Powder With Magnolia Petals To Help Prevent Rashes, 15 Oz. (Pack of 6)

This baby powder is perfect to prevent a rash. It is made with cornstarch powder, absorbs the perspiration from your buttocks, and reduces the natural skin friction on that area. No unnecessary additives, no dangerous substances, just right.

 
Itchy But - photo source: depositphoto
Itchy But - photo source: depositphoto

Hemorrhoids and Itching

Natural Cure for Hemorrhoids

A common root cause is constipation. Constipation causes a constant pressure on the rectum so mechanical compression is exerted on the blood vessels in the area. As a result, the anal blood vessels will break, resulting in small blood accumulation called hemorrhoids. If the hemorrhoids are internal you can't see them but when they heal will cause you the urge to scratch. The hemorrhoids will only itch when they heal.

The itching from hemorrhoids can be soothed using antihistamine creams, and this will be a great temporary relief, however, this doesn't treat the root cause of hemorrhoids and this will most likely reoccur. A real treatment of hemorrhoids will target the root causes, and the contributing causes. The root cause is the bulging, or swelling of the veins around the anus. As we age, this is more common, and common contributing factors are: sitting for long periods of time, sitting on the toilet for long time, constipation, straining during bowel movements, heavy lifting, diarrhea, pregnancy.

To manage hemorrhoids, you need:

  • To be more physically active,
  • to encourage proper bowel movements, and regenerate of the connective tissue that supports the hemorrhoids.
  • The other important measure to take is to modify the diet to include more fiber,
  • To drink enough water to soften the stools.
  • Eating vegetable soups regularly are a good way to maintain soft stools. Eating fruits, whole grains, and fiber supplements, such as Metamucil are also great at doing this.

I have tried several over the counter creams for hemorrhoid pain soothing. While most of them are very effective for temporary relief, they don't target the root cause, and the hemorrhoids keep coming back. Two very effective ways to cure hemorrhoids, are the infrared light and topical cream application. Both of them are effective on their own.

The infrared light creates local heat, which will coagulate the blood above the hemorrhoid, and scar the tissue of the hemorrhoid, which is now starved of blood supply.

In more complicated cases, because of the severe constipation and the pressure on the colon and anus, you could tear your anus, which is called anal fissure. Anal fissure is quite a common problem, and you know you have it if there is pain when you go for number two.

If that's the case, you should see a doctor. Start taking fiber supplements immediately to soften up the stool. This will help with the healing. Wash the zone anytime after a number two.

The washing routine for both hemorrhoids and anal fissure, should be done without any soap, just with warm water. If you really need soap, make sure you rinse with a weak natural vinegar solution, to neutralize the soap. Wash every time after going to the bathroom. Do not scrub the area, and do not even wipe it, this will avoid further damage. Do not scratch, this will only make it worse.

After washing, dry up the zone by patting and not wiping.

Improper Hygiene Causes Pruritus Ani

How To Clean Properly

Although the general medical opinion is that the hygiene is not a common cause of pruritus ani, the reality is there are cases of irritation caused by improper cleaning the area. In most of the cases hygiene is just the decisive factor on top of other contributing issues. For instance a sensitive skin, and a number two with more toxins than usual, can be really irritant on the anal area, if you don't have the chance to clean properly. When our baby needs cleaning, we wash them, with lots of water, and make sure all the area is properly cleaned. Many times, we as adults don't get the luxury to go in the comfort of our bathroom and have a proper hygiene, and this is when it happens. A proper cleaning needs to be done with a lot of water, no soap, or very little and gentle soap, and if you need to use soap, make sure you rinse with a weak solution of vinegar and water. Although most people on Internet advise for a solution 1 part vinegar 2 parts water, my tested and trusted ratio is 5-10% vinegar.

Some people's lifestyle just doesn't allow them to wash properly with water, what do they do? There are a few ways to minimize the amount of residues. One technique is to fold toilet paper in 8-12 and wet the paper then use it to wash. Another solution is to carry a little bottle with you and fill it with water for washing. Another solution is to use baby wipes. Baby wipes are the most convenient solution, although some people develop a sensitivity to them, so use them sparingly. Or, just use disposable washcloths, that you will wet at the sink.

One big problem in maintaining the local hygiene is the anal hair. The hair will just make your job of cleaning much more difficult. And if you have a lot of hair down there, this could be a nightmare. Removing the anal hair, will help your cleaning routine greatly. It will also reduce the friction from too much wiping, some of the itchiness comes exactly from too much wiping.

Pruritus Ani Tea Tree Oil Ointment - Make Your Own Soothing Oil or Cream

A natural, home-made oil, is the treatment that helped me cure my hemorrhoids. Very easy to make, containing only natural products, and not overly expensive. For this oil you need a base of equal parts of the following oils:

  • Shea butter is famous for its amazing properties and it is widely used in the cosmetic industry. It is anti-inflammatory, emollient, and it preserves the moisture. These properties recommends it for and skin problems, but it works wonders for eczema.
  • Cold pressed olive oil is easily absorbed by the skin, and its chemical composition resembling the skin's oils composition, makes it a great sebum alternative for those with dry skin. For our formulation, it is a great component for maintaining the the skin properly hydrated.
  • Pure coconut oil is great for wound healing, so if you have any tears it will do its magic. It is also anti-inflammatory, and anti fungal and antibacterial.
  • Tea tree oil is great for reducing the itchiness. Tea tree reduces the inflammation, and kills any bacteria and fungi that might be causing you the itching.

Lightly warm up the Shea butter, the coconut oil, and the olive oil until they melt, and to stir in mix them up properly. You can warm the oils in a double boiler and stir continuously until the mix is homogenous. Let the oils cool down and then add 20 - 40 drops of tea tree oil to each 1 fl. Oz of oil base. Put this on the anus area two times per day, and continue even after the itching has disappeared. This will not only sooth the itching, but will help the tissue to heal and promote a proper blood flow.

Make that Oil A Cream

The above oil is runny, and you will find it's not as easy to use as a cream.
You can turn it into a cream, which is easier to use, if you add to the warm base bees wax. You will find that it also works for your hemorrhoids, and if you use it regularly your hemorrhoids will disappear.

The cream doesn't contain any water, and this means it will last you longer, and you will need less of it, because it's very dense.

Watch the movie below to learn how to use beeswax and a double boiler to make the cream.

Eczema the Cause of an Itchy Bum?

Yes eczema or psoriasis can cause you a major itch to your sensitive areas. It is just like any other part of the skin. It is less usual for the perianal area to be affected by atopic dermatitis, however it happens more often that we think. So if you have eczema on other parts of your body, and your bum is itching, you have your answer.

The atopic dermatitis is very hard to treat, and in the vast majority of cases comprises a specific regimen, and a diet. Take a look at this page about atopic dermatitis treatment for an in depth treatment guide.

Some of the foods that will create the desire to scratch are:

  • Tea, coffee, and chocolate
  • Dairy products
  • Tomato and tomato products, like tomato paste and ketchup
  • Nuts
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Other

Another skin problem that could cause you a scratch desire is folliculitis. The inflammation of the hair follicles, is named folliculitis, and it is caused by perspiration, shaving, bacteria, clothes that irritate the skin, (nylon), rubbing on the hairs.

The oil recipe previously mentioned should be a great help for any of these conditions. Tea tree is a great bactericidal, and if your follicles are infected it will greatly help the healing. Tea tree also works wonders on skin affected by eczema, by reducing inflammation. The other oils in the formula will help regenerate the skin and maintain a healthy skin in the zone.

New Guestbook Comments - Share Your Itchy Butt Story

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      bennysims 2 years ago

      Whether you officially have pruritus ani or hemorrhoids (I've had both), an itchy butt is no laughing matter and can drastically inhibit your ability to do certain things. Doctors will suggest using a variety of products, but none of them helped me. The only thing I've found that truly stops the itch, heals the area, and helps you improve the quality of your life is an ointment called PRANICURE…amazing stuff that actually works! Look it up online if you've been suffering for years like me!

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      Tidalwave 3 years ago

      Not a nice subject to share! but not nice for the sufferers either. For hemorrhoid itching I suggest the use of a recommended soothing cream. Click on my name and you will be taken to the page to find this inexpensive but helpful solution. Drink lots of filtered water and this will help any constipation you may have. The bowel requires a lot of water/fluid to remove waste from the body. Hope this helps.