Anal itching, also know as Pruritus Ani, is the irritation of the skin at the exit of the rectum, known as the anus, accompanied by the desire to scratch. Although itching may be a reaction to chemicals in the stool, it often implies that there is inflammation of the anal area. The intensity of anal itching and the amount of inflammation increases from the direct trauma of scratching and the presence of moisture. At its most intense, anal itching causes intolerable discomfort that often is described as burning and soreness.
Other problems that can cause anal itching include:
How is anal itching treated?
Initial treatment of simple itching is directed toward relieving the burning and soreness. It is important to clean and dry the anus thoroughly and avoid leaving soap in the anal area. Cleaning efforts should include gentle showering without direct rubbing or irritation of the skin with either the washcloth or towel. After bowel movements, moist pads (such as baby wipes, flushable moist wipes, and flushable anal cleansing wipes) should be used for cleaning the anus instead of toilet paper. If there is constant moisture present in the anus or stool incontinence, it may be necessary to clean the anus with moist pads between bowel movements.
Many over-the-counter products are sold for the treatment of anal itching. These often contain the same drugs that are used for treating hemorrhoids. Products used for the treatment of anal itching are available as ointments, creams, gels, suppositories, foams, and pads.
Ointments, creams, and gels - when used around the anus - should be applied as a thin covering. When applied to the anal canal, these products should be inserted with a finger or a "pile pipe." Pile pipes are most efficient when they have holes on the sides as well as at the end. Pile pipes should be lubricated with ointment prior to insertion. Suppositories or foams do not have advantages over ointments, creams, and gels.
Most products contain more than one type of active ingredient. Almost all contain a protectant in addition to another ingredient. Only examples of brand-name products containing one ingredient in addition to the protectant are discussed below.
Local anesthetics temporarily relieve pain, burning, and itching by numbing the nerve endings. The use of these products should be limited to the perianal area and lower anal canal. Local anesthetics can cause allergic reactions with burning and itching. Therefore, the application of anesthetics should be discontinued if burning and itching increase.
Protectants prevent irritation of the perianal area by forming a physical barrier on the skin that prevents contact of the irritated skin with aggravating liquid or stool from the rectum. This barrier reduces irritation, itching, pain, and burning. There are many products that are themselves protectants or that contain a protectant in addition to other medications.
Astringents cause coagulation (clumping) of proteins in the cells of the perianal skin or the lining of the anal canal. This action promotes dryness of the skin, which in turn helps relieve burning, itching, and pain.
Antiseptics inhibit the growth of bacteria and other organisms. However, it is unclear whether antiseptics are any more effective than soap and water.
Keratolytics are chemicals that cause the outer layers of skin or other tissues to disintegrate. The rationale for their use is that the disintegration allows medications that are applied to the anus and perianal area to penetrate into the deeper tissues.
Analgesic products, like anesthetic products, relieve pain, itching, and burning by depressing receptors on pain nerves.
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.
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.
For all the analysis listed above the Bathroom Bidet Sprayer has the best, simplest, and most effective solution. The Bidet Sprayer helps eliminate Rectal Itch by allowing the user to get clean without irritating the sensitive skin around the anal area by washing with water. It's that simple. Constant rubbing with toilet paper not only can cause breaks and fissures in the skin, it literally "rubs you the wrong way" by taking away too much of the natural oils your skin needs. This then contributes to the "itch" and then when you rub more vigorously to scratch that itch it gets worse. Using soap extensively can also make it worse as the soap not only can irritate the skin but it also takes away more of the same oils that you need. The result is a vicious circle of rubbing and itching and scratching that can lead to bleeding and hemorrhoids and a real nightmare. The Bathroom Bidet Sprayer provides a gentler, more natural way to get clean and allows you to solve a problem without anyone even knowing you're doing it. Don't Say It, Spray It!