Anal Itching

Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index

Medical Author:

Anal itching is due to irritation of the skin around the anus accompanied by a desire to scratch. The intensity of itching increases with moisture, pressure, and sitting. At its most intense, anal itching causes intolerable discomfort described as burning and soreness. Scratching only makes the discomfort worse. Treatment of anal itching is to shower gently without directly rubbing or irritating the skin and to clean and pat dry the anus thoroughly. Use of moist pads rather than toilet paper after bowel movements can be helpful. Local application of cortisone cream may also reduce inflammation and itching, though prolonged use of cortisone may be damaging to the skin. If anal itching is prolonged, a physician should be consulted and a search made for the cause.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/28/2012

Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.

REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Causes of Anal Itching
    • Anal Fissure An anal fissure is a small tear or cut in the skin lining of the anus. Pain and/or rectal bleeding during bowel movements are...learn more »
      In This Article
      Anal Fissure Article
      • Anal fissures facts
      • What are anal fissures?
      • What causes anal fissures?
      • What are the symptoms of anal fissures?
      • How are anal fissures diagnosed and evaluated?
      • How are anal fissures treated?
    • Diaper Rash A diaper rash is a skin irritation that develops in the diaper-covered region. Most diaper rashes are caused by bacterial or...learn more »
      In This Article
      Diaper Rash Article
      • Diaper rash facts
      • What is diaper rash?
      • Is diaper rash a sign of neglectful care?
      • What causes diaper rash?
      • What treatments are recommended for diaper rash?
      • How about not using disposable diapers?
      • How should an allergic rash be treated?
      • How about using cortisone cream?
      • How about using Neosporin?
    • Hemorrhoids Hemorrhoids (piles) are swollen veins in the rectum and anus. Causes include pregnancy, obesity, diarrhea, low-fiber diet, and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Hemorrhoids Article
      • Definition of hemorrhoid
      • What causes hemorrhoids?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a hemorrhoid?
      • What does a hemorrhoid look like?
      • How is the diagnosis of hemorrhoids made?
      • How are hemorrhoids treated?
      • OTC medications and home remedies for hemorrhoids
      • Non-surgical approaches
      • Hemorrhoid surgery
      • What is the prognosis for hemorrhoids?
    • Lichen Planus Lichen planus is a common skin disease that features small, itchy pink or purple spots on the arms or legs. the abnormal areas on...learn more »
      In This Article
      Lichen Planus Article
      • Lichen planus facts
      • What is lichen planus?
      • What causes lichen planus?
      • How is the rash of lichen planus different from that of most other common rashes?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of lichen planus?
      • What does lichen planus look like?
      • How is lichen planus diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for lichen planus?
      • What is the long-term prognosis of lichen planus?
    • Pinworms Pinworm infection is an intestinal infection caused by a pinworm, seatworm, or threadworm. Female pinworms leave the intestine...learn more »
      In This Article
      Pinworms Article
      • Pinworms facts
      • What is pinworm infection?
      • Who is at risk for getting pinworms?
      • Pinworms in children
      • Pinworms in adults
      • What do pinworms look like (pinworm pictures)?
      • What is the lifecycle of pinworms?
      • How is pinworm infection spread?
      • What are the symptoms of pinworms?
      • How is pinworm infection diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment of pinworms; is there a home treatment?
      • What are the consequences of untreated pinworm infections?
      • How are pinworm infections prevented?
    • Psoriasis Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales....learn more »
    • Pubic Lice (Crabs) Pubic lice (crabs) are parasitic insects found in the genital area, and are primarily spread through sexual contact. Symptoms of...learn more »
      In This Article
      Pubic Lice (Crabs) Article
      • Pubic lice facts*
      • What are pubic lice?
      • What do pubic lice look like?
      • Where are pubic lice found?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of pubic lice?
      • How did I get pubic lice?
      • How is a pubic lice infestation diagnosed?
      • How are pubic lice treated?
    • Skin Tag A skin tag is a small benign growth of skin that projects from the surrounding skin. Skin tags can vary in appearance (smooth,...learn more »
    • STDs in Men Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. They may be caused by viruses, bacteria,...learn more »
      In This Article
      STDs in Men Article
      • What are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
      • Who is at risk for STDs?
      • What causes STDs?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of STDs?
      • List of STDs in men
      • Chlamydia
      • Gonorrhea
      • Trichomoniasis
      • HIV
      • Genital herpes
      • Genital warts (HPV)
      • Hepatitis
      • Syphilis
      • How are STDs diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for STDs?
      • What is the prognosis for STDs?
      • Can STDs be prevented?
    • Yeast Infection (in Women and Men) Vaginal yeast infections in women are caused by an organism called Candida albicans. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection...learn more »
      In This Article
      Yeast Infection (in Women and Men) Article
      • Vaginal yeast infection facts
      • What is a vaginal yeast infection?
      • What causes a vaginal yeast infection?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection?
      • How is a vaginal yeast infection diagnosed?
      • Are there home remedies to treat a vaginal yeast infection?
      • What over-the-counter medications are available to treat a vaginal yeast infection?
      • When are oral prescription medications used to treat a vaginal yeast infection?
      • Can a man get a yeast infection from his sexual partner?
      • What are the symptoms of a yeast infection in men?
      • What is the treatment for yeast infection in men?
      • How can vaginal yeast infections be prevented?
      • How can a man protect himself from contracting a yeast infection from his partner?
Other Causes of Anal Itching
Examples of Medications for Anal Itching