Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Prevention of anal itching mainly involves washing properly and avoiding irritants. If you already have anal itching, try these self-care measures:

  • Cleanse gently. Wash the area immediately after bowel movements. Don't scrub and avoid using soap. Instead, use a wet washcloth, wet unscented toilet paper or a small squeeze bottle of water to cleanse the area.
  • Dry thoroughly. After cleansing, pat the area dry with toilet paper or a towel or use a hair dryer. Cornstarch powder can help keep the area dry.
  • Don't scratch. Scratching further irritates your skin and leads to persistent inflammation. If you can't tolerate the itching, apply a cold compress to the area or take a lukewarm bath to find some immediate relief.
  • Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing. This helps keep the area dry. Avoid wearing pantyhose and other tightfitting garments because these can trap moisture.
  • Avoid irritants. Avoid bubble baths and genital deodorants. Cut back or avoid beverages, such as coffee or cola, and foods that you know might cause diarrhea. Avoid overuse of laxatives.
  • Maintain regular, firm bowel movements. If soft stools or frequent bowel movements are a problem, gradually adding fiber to your diet may help. Fiber supplements, such a Metamucil or Citrucel, also may help.
Oct. 09, 2012