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I have this problem where my anus gets very itchy

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I am a 21 year old male. I have this problem where my anus gets very itchy. I have had it since I can remember.

When I mean itchy, I don't mean that it needs repeated scratching, but rather I need to sort of pull on the side of the anus to stretch the skin around the area. Sometimes it's so bad that I have to push my boxers into the anus so there is something pushing against it. It tends to happen most when it is hot and humid in the room, or when my butt cannot breath. My butt naturally sweats a lot, so if I sit on a leather chair in a hot room, my butt gets very uncomfortable and itchy. I have tried anti-itch creams like Cortizone-10 but it does not relieve anything in the area. When I look down there nothing looks too different so I have no idea what it is.

I have contemplated going to the doctors but I'm too embarrassed haha. It's been 21 long years with this thing. It would be great if you could help


Category: Sexologist

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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. John Monheit is online now

Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.

Thank you for using Ask a Doctor Service from Doctor Spring.

I can understand your problem, and I will try to help you the best possible.

Itching around the anus is quite a common problem, it is not a disease itself, and it is not harmful or has any long term consequences. You could be having this problem due to anal skin irritation which is usually due to fungal infection of the skin around anus. You have mentioned that you sweat a lot and it gets itchier during that time. High moisture level around the anus caused by sweating increases the chance of having anal itching which could be persistent. I can understand that it can be very bothersome and embarrassing also at times, but you need not worry because it can be cured. I would like to recommend you to try the following medication which will help you to get relief from anal itching.

  1. Apply candid –B cream around the anal area 2-3 times daily. This cream contains anti-fungal and steroid medication in combination and works best to reduce anal itching and also clear off the fungal infection. This cream should be used for short period of time and not beyond a week or two, and the symptoms usually resolves by then.
  2. Take anti-histamine tablet like cetirizine 10 mg once at bed time for 3-4 days. This medication will work systemically and help to reduce the itching due to any underlying cause.
  3. A mild ointment, such as A+D Ointment or Desitin, can be applied lightly over the anal skin area to help soothe the skin and protect it against further irritation.

Apart from these, I would also suggest you to try the following self-care measures that will give relief of these symptoms on long term:

  1. During bath or shower wash the outside of the anal area with water, not with soap
  2. When suffering from anal itching, keeping your anus clean and dry is very important. Each time you pass a stool and before going to bed it is advised that the skin around the anus is carefully cleaned using water and then dried thoroughly.
  3. When drying, be gentle, avoid vigorous rubbing as this could further irritate the area. Another option is using a hair dryer on low heat or patting with a dry pad.
  4. Avoid use of toilet paper
  5. Putting a cotton tissue in your underwear will absorb the sweat/moisture and reduce itching.
  6. Wear underwear that is made of cotton and not too tight.
  7. Be sure to wear clean underwear every day.
  8. Trim your fingernails regularly; scratching the anal area with long fingernails can damage the skin. Ideally scratching the area should be avoided altogether, as it can make the itching worse.
  9. And lastly, you must increase the amount of fibre in your diet because eating more fibre will make your stools softer and easier to pass. Fibre can be found in:
  • grains - such as in wholegrain bread
  • pulses - edible seeds that grow in a pod, such as peas, beans and lentils
  • oats - found in some breakfast cereals
  • fruit and vegetables

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask if you have further questions.

Thank you


Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Experience: 
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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