Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Often you won't need to see a doctor about anal itching. If the itching persists even after taking self-care measures, bring it up with your primary care doctor. He or she may refer you to a skin specialist (dermatologist) or a doctor who specializes in treating rectal and anal problems (proctologist).

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

Before your appointment make a list of:

  • Symptoms you've been having, including any that may seem unrelated to anal itching
  • How long you've been experiencing your symptoms
  • All medications, vitamins and supplements you take, including the doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

For anal itching, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • What tests do I need?
  • Is this problem temporary?
  • What treatments are available? Which do you recommend?
  • Do you think I need to see a specialist?
  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • Have your symptoms been continuous, or do they come and go?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Have you had recent changes in your bowel movements, such as diarrhea?
  • What type of soap or other products do you use on your body?
  • Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, worsens your symptoms?
  • Have you noticed any other changes in your general health?
  • Are others in the home experiencing a similar itch?

What you can do in the meantime

Cleanse the anal area gently immediately after bowel movements and dry thoroughly. Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing. Try not to scratch.

Oct. 09, 2015