Anal itching can be caused by allergic reactions, hemorrhoids, and other medical conditions. But most causes are not serious. Spicy foods, citrus fruit, caffeine, and alcohol can irritate the anal area and cause 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. Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety.
Hemorrhoids, sometimes called piles, are inflamed or swollen veins think varicose veins either on the outside of the anus or inside it. They are often painless, but they may bleed, hurt, or itch when irritated. Sometimes hemorrhoids can become inflamed and engorged with blood, causing them to become quite painful. Occasionally, a blood clot can form in a hemorrhoid, making it difficult to achieve pain relief without minor surgery. Unfortunately, hemorrhoids are a common complaint during pregnancy -- especially during the third trimester and immediately after childbirth. They're the result of the tremendous strain on the veins around the anus from carrying a baby and giving birth, as well as hormonal changes that cause these veins to expand and bulge. Hemorrhoids can also result from straining to pass hard, compacted bowel movements due to constipation.
Anal itching, also referred to as pruritus ani, is a rash or irritation of the skin just outside of the anal opening. Usually raw and chapped, small ulcers or sores may also be present on the skin. This can cause severe itching, burning and even pain. Dry toilet paper cannot remove all of this stool material.
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, is an oil based ointment that people can use to moisturize and soften dry skin. Although Vaseline may work as a sexual lubricant, it can damage latex condoms and increase the risk of infection and unintended pregnancy.