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Anal Itching


Itching can develop anywhere in or around your anus. You can make the itching worse if you scratch the area to relieve the itch. This condition can become serious. Your healthcare provider can help you manage and treat the discomfort.



  • Antibiotics: This medicine will help fight or prevent an infection. Take your antibiotics until they are gone, even if you feel better.
  • Antifungal medicine: This medicine helps kill a yeast infection that may be causing your anal itching.
  • Anti-itching medicine: Healthcare providers may give you medicine to decrease your itching.
  • Steroids: Steroids help decrease inflammation in your anal area.
  • Capsaicin: This is a cream or ointment you can put on your skin. Do not use this cream or ointment on skin that is scratched or torn unless directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Self care:

  • Gently clean your anal area after every bowel movement. Wash your anal area every morning and every night before bed.
  • Shower after you exercise to wash any sweat away from your anal area.
  • Dry your anal area with a hair dryer or soft cotton towel after you wash.
  • Put petrolatum or zinc oxide ointment on your skin after you dry.
  • Wear loose fitting clothing and cotton underwear that is not tight against your skin.
  • Use a beaded or mesh cushion when you sit for long periods of time to decrease sweating.
  • Do not use perfumed soaps, powders, or deodorants on your anal area.
  • Do not use rough toilet tissue to wipe yourself after a bowel movement.
  • Do not eat or drink anything that causes you to have bowel movements that irritate your skin. Examples are oranges, chocolate, tomatoes, coffee, and nuts. Keep your bowel movements regular to help stop your itching. Foods high in fiber make bowel movements easier. Eat foods such as bran and prune juice, and drink more water.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You are leaking bowel movement.
  • You feel a painful tightening in your anus after you have a bowel movement.
  • You have a new rash, itching, or swelling after you take your medicine.
  • You see blood in your bowel movements.
  • Your sexual partner has the same symptoms you have.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have bleeding from your anus that does not stop.
  • You have a bad smelling discharge coming from your anus that is not bowel movement.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Anal Itching (Aftercare Instructions)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptom checker

Mayo Clinic Reference

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.