Anal Itching Causes

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

Anal itching may cause you to feel uncomfortable and embarrassed, and you may worry about whether you have a serious medical problem. Fortunately, the most common causes of anal itching are not serious medical problems.

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Anal itching is nothing to be ashamed of, and most people will experience at least one episode of anal itching during their adult years. Do not avoid seeking care for your anal itching. With proper treatment, you should experience relief from your symptoms.

Here are a few common causes of anal itching that you may wish to speak with your physician about:

  • Dry Skin: As a result of the normal aging process, the skin around the anus becomes dry. Excessive dryness can lead to intense itchiness.
  • Moisture: Moisture that develops around the anus is another cause of anal itching. The excessive moisture usually results from intense sweating or loose stools.
  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea from dietary causes, illness, medications, overuse of laxatives, or fecal incontinence may irritate the sensitive skin around the anus, leading to itching and discomfort.
  • Hygiene: Washing the anus with harsh soaps, abrasive cloths, or hygiene products or wiping with rough toilet paper can irritate the anus. Leftover soap, chemicals from scented hygiene products, toilet paper, or perfumes in detergent can also irritate the anus and cause itching.
  • Foods: Certain foods, including spices, hot sauce, acidic fruits, chocolate, and caffeine, may cause irritation and itching after you pass a bowel movement.
  • Skin Disorders: Skin problems including psoriasis, seborrhea, eczema, and yeast infections lead to itching around the anus.
  • Infections and Injuries: Infections such as pinworms and other parasites, as well as sexually transmitted diseases, cause anal itching in some individuals.
  • Hemorrhoids: In Los Angeles, hemorrhoids are a common cause of anal itching. Hemorrhoids develop due to pressure on the anus, such as straining during a bowel movement and prolonged siting.
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