Rectal or anal itching is an embarrassing and uncomfortable condition. Some medical conditions can cause anal itch, but more often the issue is related to excess moisture or dryness in the anal area. You may need to experiment with different remedies before finding one that addresses your rectal itching. Don't allow embarrassment to prevent you from seeking medical attention; often treating the underlying condition will eliminate anal itch.
Visit your doctor to rule out disease or infection as a primary factor for your anal itch. Some medical conditions can cause rectal itching. These conditions include anal fissures, dermatitis, psoriasis, pinworm or scabies infections or even cancer, according to the NYU Langone Medical Center. Once you've ruled out medical causes, you can then try to treat your anal itch at home.
Take a shower and be sure to wash and rinse the anal area thoroughly. Even a small amount of fecal matter around the anus can cause rectal itching, as can soap residue, so cleaning and rinsing the area thoroughly may eliminate anal itch. However, excessive washing can also cause anal itching, according to MayoClinic.com. Avoid hard scrubbing while cleansing and pat, rather than rub, the area dry to avoid anal itching caused by excessive cleansing.
Eliminate foods from your diet that are known to cause rectal itching. Chocolate, nuts, sodas, coffee and other caffeinated beverages, tomatoes and dairy products can all cause anal itch, according to the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons.
Cleanse the anal area after a bowel movement. Dr. Tanya I. Edwards of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation suggests cleansing the area with toilet paper dampened with witch hazel, which has anti-inflammatory properties which may also help reduce or eliminate rectal itching. You can also use a flushable toilet wipe or toilet paper dampened with water.
Pat dry with toilet paper and apply a small amount of white zinc oxide ointment. Dry skin can be a cause of anal itching and the ointment will both moisturize and protect the area, reports MayoClinic.com.