What is anal itching?

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Anal itching in children: Overview

Anal itching can be caused by allergic reactions, hemorrhoids, and other medical conditions. But most causes are not serious. Spicy foods, citrus fruit, or drinks with caffeine, such as soda pop, can irritate the anal area. This can lead to itching. Not cleaning the anal area well, or cleaning it too well by rubbing hard, also can cause itching.

Treatment at home can help ease itching.

How can you care for anal itching?

  • After bowel movements, clean the area gently with a warm washcloth or a towelette, such as a baby wipe. Do not use products that contain alcohol.
  • If your doctor prescribes a cream or ointment, use it exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Avoid strong soaps that contain fragrance.
  • Do not use scented or colored toilet paper.
  • Put ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • Use zinc oxide, petroleum jelly, or 1% hydrocortisone cream on the area. Do not use anesthetic products with "-caine" at the end of the name without talking with your doctor first. Some people may be allergic to these products.
  • Keep a food diary of what you eat. Certain foods may irritate your anal area after a bowel movement.
  • Wear cotton underwear. Avoid pantyhose or other tight clothes.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.