Medical Q&As

Anal itch

I have an itch around the anal area. I have tried various “over the counter” remedies and have regularly taken hot salt baths but it still keeps returning. Any ideas please?

Anal itch or pruritus ani is a very annoying condition and can be very persistent. It can be associated with various anal conditions such as piles or infection of the skin surrounding the anus. Sometimes the itch persists even after the original cause has disappeared because the person keeps scratching the area. However, in my experience the person with this condition is usually quite healthy and no disease is present. I suspect that many cases are due to lack of attention to anal hygiene. Make sure that you wash the area regularly particularly after defaecation. Change your underpants everyday and perhaps even more frequently than that if you happen to sweat a lot. Avoid using antiseptics on the area and use a simple non-perfumed soap or shower gel for cleaning the anus.