The treatment of anal itching
In the therapy of anal itching, the treatment of the underlying disease is the main focus. In the case of excessive or neglected anal hygiene, a change in cleaning habits is usually sufficient to bring about a rapid improvement in the symptoms. The motto for hygiene measures is “thorough but gentle”.
Cleaning should ensure adequate removal of stool residues and dirt, but must be carried out without the use of aggressive soaps or lotions. In many countries the anal area is cleaned exclusively with water after going to the toilet. Compared to the use of toilet paper this is particularly gentle.
If a haemorrhoidal disorder is diagnosed, the treatment depends on the severity of the disease. In mild cases, it is sufficient to eliminate the chronic constipation by changing dietary habits or administering swelling agents to soften the stool. In advanced cases, surgical correction must be sought.
The treatment of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases is long and complicated. However, a good therapy can also help to reduce discomfort in the anal region. If diabetes is present, a good blood sugar level adjustment can help to improve the symptoms.
In the case of genital warts, surgical removal by laser or cauterization (cauterization) is often attempted. The standard therapy for anal carcinoma today is combined radiochemotherapy. If the cause of the anal itching cannot be immediately eliminated, there are numerous procedures to make the itching more bearable.
Regular sitz baths or the application of anaesthetic or anti-inflammatory creams can provide rapid relief. Due to the already described sensitivity of the anal skin to any kind of mechanical and chemical stimuli, however, an application of sitz baths or creams should only be carried out in close consultation with the treating physician. in case of anal itching, fatty ointments such as vaseline should be avoided as they keep the affected areas extremely moist which makes it more difficult for the irritated skin to heal.
In general, medicines should only be applied or taken after consultation with the treating physician. A common preparation is Tannolact, a cream used for skin diseases accompanied by itching and inflammation. It soothes irritated skin, relieves itching and has an anti-inflammatory effect. Mitosyl ointment is a preparation with a high zinc content, which is used for inflammatory diseases in the anal area and for painful tears in the anal skin (anal fissure). Zinc oxide has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects and is also available in ointment form.
What is to be done?
Anyone suffering from anal itching should first and foremost take care not to scratch. The affected skin will then be further irritated and the symptoms will worsen. The itching should also not be the reason for extensive hygiene measures, as frequent washing can intensify the problem. If you are not sure what causes anal itching or if you notice accompanying symptoms such as bleeding or diarrhoea, you should always consult your family doctor. The same applies to people in whom the itching persists or recurs over a long period of time.