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In order to get proper treatment for anal itching, one has to first determine the precise cause of the irritation. In most cases, the application of a topical cream is sufficient. When the itching is caused by more serious conditions, such as a yeast infection, antibiotics combined with other treatments are recommended. The range of anal itching treatment options includes anesthetics, antiseptics, and corticosteroids. Vasoconstrictors, keratolytics, and diet changes may also help.
The most common forms of anal itching may be treated with local anesthetics. These include over-the-counter hemorrhoid and anti-itch creams and gels, such as benzocaine and pramoxine. When applied to the anal area, anesthetics numb any nearby nerve endings. This provides relief that lasts long enough for the irritation to subside on its own.
If the cause of anal itching is bacterial, it might be necessary to use antiseptic products. Boric acid, benzethonium chloride, and phenol are examples of antiseptics strong enough to end a bout of anal itching. Antiseptics are meant to be used when the bacterial infection cannot be eliminated through regular washing with soap and water.
Corticosteroids are used when the itching is the result of an allergic reaction. These medications help reduce the inflammation of the anus, which is often the cause of discomfort. Corticosteroids are generally used as a last resort, however, as frequent use of the powerful products might cause skin damage.
A safer alternative to corticosteroids involves vasoconstrictors. When applied to the anus, these cause the blood vessels in the affected area to contract, reducing both inflammation and irritation. Vasoconstrictors come as either creams or anal suppositories. Examples of vasoconstrictors that provide relief for anal itching include ephedrine sulfate and phenylephrine.
When regular treatment seems to have little to no effect, individuals suffering from anal itching may choose to supplement with keratolytics. These break down the outer layer of skin, allowing for the easier absorption of other medications. Given the potential harm these might cause the skin, however, it is recommended that keratolytics be used under the supervision of a trained health professional.
It is highly possible that no medication is necessary for the treatment of anal itching. Certain foods, such as peppers and spicy sauces, contain chemicals that irritate the anus. Simply reducing the amount of these foods in one's diet can effectively treat anal itching. While altering one's diet might not provide immediate relief, it is certainly the most cost-effective treatment for the problem.