Anus is the opening at the end of digestive tract from where the solid waste material is expelled outside. It is observed that many people suffer from tingling or itchiness around this area.
Tingling or Itching in Anus: An Overview
Pruritus ani is the medical term for tingling or itching in the anus. The itchiness is usually in and around the anus and the urge to scratch may occur anytime. Tingling and itching in anus tends to be more common during urination at night. The affected individual may scratch the anus continuously or intermittently and may also develop an urge to scratch even in public area, which may put him/her in a very embarrassing situation. Further, the vicious cycle of scratch-itch makes the condition worse.
Tingling and itching in anus can happen to anyone. Although, it is more common in males as compared to the females. Also, it is more frequent in adults as compared to children. Once the exact cause of tingling or itching in anus is known, then it can be treated accordingly.
Symptoms of Tingling or Itching in Anus
Tingling and itching in anus is associated with symptoms such as:
- Redness, soreness and burning sensation at the anal region.
- Itching may be temporary or permanent.
- Bleeding from the anus.
- Lumps around anus.
- Mucous discharge.
- Changes in bowel habits.
What Causes Tingling or Itching in Anus?
There are a number of causes which lead to tingling or itching in the anus:
- Bowel and Anal Conditions: Presence of piles, anal fissures, Crohn's disease and colon cancer can lead to tingling and itching in anus.
- Infections Can Cause Tingling or Itching in Anus: Infection caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites lead to tingling or itching of the anus. Parasites such as pinworm commonly lay eggs in the anus, which causes tingling sensation around the anus, thus can cause an urge to scratch.
- Skin Conditions: If anus is not cleaned properly or is excessively cleaned, it leads to itching sensation. Excessive sweat leads to retention of moisture or the skin becomes very dry. Skin problems like scabies, autoimmune disease, skin allergies, warts, dry skin is observed in psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis can also lead to itchiness around the anus. The sexually transmitted diseases lead to itching of anus.
- Other Diseases: Anemia, Diabetes, Thyroid gland problems and Lymphoma can also lead to tingling or itching of anus.
- Foods and Drinks: Citrus fruits such as grapes, tomatoes, and some spices can lead to anal itching.
- Medicines: The medicines which contain peppermint oil, long term use of anaesthetics and glyceryl trinitrate and topical corticosteroids cause tingling and itching in anus.
- Unknown Causes of Tingling or Itching in Anus: In some cases, the cause of scratching is not known and is called as Idiopathic.
- It can be caused due to use of certain ingredients in soap, oils, perfumes, shampoos and other daily things used.
- There could be small amount of stools leaking from anus, which causes irritation at the anal region.
- There could be an emotional reason too such as depression.
Diagnosis of Tingling or Itching in Anus
The doctor will perform physical examination of the patient and will record medical history. The doctor will ask a number of questions pertaining to food consumption, daily habits, and check for skin problems.
- The patient is referred to the skin specialist in case of skin problems.
- The patient is referred to the proctologist who examines the rectal and anal problems. A proctoscopy or colonoscopy is performed to get view of the digestive tract.
- If presence of pinworms is suspected, then test for detection of pinworms is advised. A digital rectum examination is done.
How to Get Rid of Tingling or Itching in Anus?
If the cause for anal itching is found then a particular treatment can be given to get rid of that problem:
- Specific creams, ointments are applied in case if eczema is the cause of tingling and itching in anus. Antifungal or antibacterial cream is applied for fungal or bacterial infections, respectively.
- In case of Piles and anal fissures, treatments are given to treat the condition and this helps get rid of anal itching.
- Pinworms are the most common cause of tingling and itching in anus and this is treated with specific medicines.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Tingling or Itching in Anus
- Consumption of apple cider vinegar helps to control yeast and fungal infection that cause anal itching.
- Garlic helps to remove the intestinal worms and also has antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties. Consumption of garlic juice helps to get rid of tingling and itching in anus.
- Coconut oil is the best treatment for anal itching since it has antiseptic properties and has a soothing action on skin.
- Aloe vera has soothing and calming properties that relieve anal itching, especially caused by piles problems.
- Oatmeal contains anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that heal the itchy anal skin.
- Application of plain, unsweetened probiotic yoghurt can also relieve anal tingling or itching. Yoghurt contains live cultures, which control growth of infection.
- Application of ghee/clarified butter, which has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties helps to soothe the irritated anal membranes.
- One should drink plenty of water every day to get relief from tingling or itching and soreness in the anus.
- Use of ice packs is one of the effective remedies for anal itching. This is especially useful in case of pile treatment.
- Controlling of diet is every effective home remedy too. One should not consume foodstuff rich in vitamin C and should avoid consuming spicy food.
- Liquorice is useful for skin care and it is one of the most natural home remedies for anal itching.
- Constipation also causes anal itching. Hence, consuming fiber rich food helps to relieve from constipation.
Prognosis of Tingling or Itching in Anus
Once the cause of tingling or itching in anal is known, it can be treated and the prognosis is usually good. With appropriate treatment, full recovery can be expected.
Prevention of Tingling or Itching in Anus
If the cause for tingling or itching in anus is unknown, then nonspecific treatment is given, such as:
- Avoid use of any potential irritants.
- Discontinue using scented soaps, talcum powder and perfume near anus.
- Avoid taking medicine,s which causes skin allergies around the anus. Use laxatives regularly in case of constipation.
- The hygiene at the anal region should be maintained by:
- Cleaning the remaining stools present at the anal region.
- Use of water and non-scented soap.
- Wearing loose cotton underwear. If sweat and moisture is present, it is advised to dry it by using a cotton tissue to absorb the moisture.
- One should avoid scratching.
- One should use anti-histamine medicine at bedtime to prevent tingling.
Tingling or itching in anus is a common problem. It puts a person in an embarrassing and uncomfortable position in the public. Hence, one should approach a doctor who will help in management of the condition. Based on the cause, the medical treatment will be given to the patient. If the cause is not known, then one must take certain home treatments and precautions to treat the condition.