Home treatment for rectal itching
depends on the cause of the itching.
Treat causes of anal itching
Try these home treatment
measures for the following causes of anal itching:
Poor hygiene. Clean the
area gently with water-moistened cotton balls, a warm washcloth, or
premoistened towelettes, such as Tucks or "baby wipes." A mild ointment, such
as A+D Ointment or Desitin, can be applied lightly to help soothe the skin and
protect it against further irritation.
Scented or colored toilet paper or scented soaps, lotions, or creams.
Buy white, unscented toilet
Do not use scented soaps, which can irritate skin.
Apply an ointment that contains
1% hydrocortisone. Do not use other steroid creams on this sensitive area
of your body, because skin damage can occur. Hydrocortisone cream should not be used
for longer than 7 to 10 days without talking with your doctor. Do
not use creams or ointments, such as Benadryl cream, that contain
antihistamines. Note: Do not use the cream on children younger than age 2
unless your doctor tells you to. Do not use in the rectal or vaginal area in
children younger than age 12 unless your doctor tells you to.
Excessive sweating. For anal itching caused by excessive sweating, avoid wearing
tight-fitting underwear, and wear cotton, rather than synthetic, undergarments.
You may use talcum powder to absorb moisture, but do not use cornstarch.
Cornstarch may cause a
skin infection. Before applying talcum powder, dry your rectal area with a hair dryer
set on the low setting.
To control itching
To control itching, try the
Break the itch-scratch cycle, because further
scratching leads to more itching. Take an oral
antihistamine at night to help lessen your nighttime
itching. Don't give antihistamines to your child unless you've checked with the
Take a warm
sitz bath 3 times each day and after each bowel
movement. Following the bath, dry the anus carefully. You may wish to use a
hair dryer set on low.
Avoid foods that can increase rectal
itching, such as coffee, tea, cola, alcoholic beverages, chocolate, tomatoes,
spicy foods, and excessive amounts of vitamin C, for a minimum of 2 weeks.
Gradually add the items back to your diet, one item at a time, to help
determine the cause of the itching.
Trim your fingernails short if
you find yourself scratching irritated skin at night. Wear cotton gloves or
socks on your hands at night to help stop the unconscious scratching that can
occur while you sleep.
stress. Being under stress and feeling anxious or
worried can cause some people to experience skin itching. If you find you are
scratching your anal area when you are anxious, try to take relaxation breaks
throughout the day, especially before bedtime. For more information, see the