Anal itching, medically referred to as anusitis and pruritus ani, refers to intense itching near the anus. This uncomfortable and embarrassing symptom has many causes, including ones that require medical treatment. Although certain home remedies may provide relief, cranberry juice is not a suitable substance for treating or preventing anal itching.
Anal itching occurs in response to irritation of the skin in this area. Common causes of anal itching include hemorrhoids, psoriasis, eczema, scabies, lice and pinworms, as well as fungal and bacterial infections. Excessive wiping and washing may irritate your anal area. Experiencing frequent diarrhea and overusing laxatives may also lead to itching around your anus. According to Rudd Clinic, a Canadian medical center that specializes in colon and rectal diseases, anal itching often occurs in response to acidic foods in your diet.
Anal itching can be intense and uncomfortable. Self-care methods that may help reduce the discomfort include cleansing gently and using talcum powder after bowel movements, wearing cotton underwear, wiping with unscented toilet paper and applying a protective ointment that contains zinc oxide. Although itching may make you want to scratch, giving in to this urge can cause further irritation of the sensitive anal tissues, leading to an increase in symptoms. Avoiding laxatives and tight clothing may help prevent anal itching.
Cranberry juice comes from the berries of the Vaccinium macrocarpon plant. While many people enjoy cranberry juice as a refreshing beverage, others use it as a form of complementary medicine. Common medicinal uses for cranberry products include the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections, ulcers, heart disease and cancer, although the potential healing properties of cranberries require additional research to confirm possible benefits. The Rudd Clinic warns people with anal itching to avoid drinking cranberry juice, due to the acidity of this beverage. This clinic also advises you to refrain from drinking certain other juices, including apple, orange, grapefruit and lemon juice.
Tell your doctor about symptoms of anal itching, especially if self-care measures fail to provide relief. Although most cases of anal itching are harmless, this symptom may have a serious cause, including cancer.