Anal Itching (cont.)

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Corticosteroids reduce inflammation and can relieve itching, but their chronic use can cause permanent damage to the skin. They should not be used for more than short periods of a few days to two weeks. Only products with weak corticosteroid effects are available over-the-counter. Stronger corticosteroid products that are available by prescription should not be used for treating anal itching.

What if anal itching persists?

For persistent anal itching, efforts are directed toward identifying an underlying cause. An examination by a doctor can rapidly identify most causes of anal itching. Adjustments in diet, treatment of infections, or surgical procedures to correct the underlying cause may be required.

REFERENCE: UpToDate. Approach to the patient with anal pruritus.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/11/2015