Itching in hemorrhoids - causes and how to get rid of it

Itching in hemorrhoids - causes and how to get rid of it

Hemorrhoids are traditionally associated with prolonged sitting on the toilet, combined with straining during bowel movements. They are located in the anus or in the lowest part of the rectum. Hemorrhoids can be both painful and itchy.


Why do hemorrhoids itch?


Hemorrhoids are external and internal. External hemorrhoids are located under the skin around the anus, while internal hemorrhoids are located in the rectum.

Sometimes the strain while using the toilet pushes the internal hemorrhoid out through the anus. When this happens, it is called a prolapsed internal hemorrhoid.

When an internal hemorrhoid prolapses, it carries mucus that can irritate the sensitive area around the anus, causing itching. If the hemorrhoid remains prolapsed, mucus production continues, as does itching.



If the feces mix with the mucus, this combination can increase the irritation and thus the itching.


Causes of anal itching


Anal itching is also called "pruritus ani," which can be caused by a number of conditions besides hemorrhoids.

Causes of anal itching include:

  • anal fissures
  • fungal infection
  • leakage of stool
  • accumulation of sweat
  • genital warts
  • herpes
  • pinworm infection
  • hookworm infection
  • ringworm

You may also itch the affected area due to poor hygiene or a need to do a better job keeping the anal area clean.

However, if you over-cleanse the area, you can cause micro tears and cracks - along with dryness from the chemicals in wipes, cleansers and creams, which can lead to itching.



Here are some tips on how to avoid anal itching:


  • Use plain white toilet paper, avoiding the scented or printed varieties
  • Avoid chemically treated wipes
  • Wipe gently
  • Dry the area thoroughly after washing
  • Wear loose clothing
  • Wear cotton underwear

 If your itching is severe and you are not sure if it is hemorrhoids, it is a good idea to see a doctor.


Itching relief


The first step to relieving itching is to stop scratching. Aggressive scratching can further damage the area and make the problem worse.

The next step is proper hygiene, keeping the area clean with mild soap and allergen-free water.



After these important basic steps, some ways to reduce or eliminate itching in the anal area include:




A popular home remedy for itchy hemorrhoids is soaking in either a full bath or a sitz bath.

A sitz bath is a shallow sink that sits above your toilet. You can fill it with warm water – not hot – and sit on it, letting the water soak your anus.

Heat promotes circulation and helps to relax and heal the area around the anus. This is usually done twice a day.




To numb the nerve endings and relieve itching, you can apply cold compresses to the anal area, as well as use an over-the-counter cream or ointment. They can temporarily relieve itching.

Hemorrhoids can be itchy, but there can be other reasons as well. If the itching is severe, you should consult your doctor.

There are a number of simple and effective ways to deal with itching on your own, but if it's a persistent problem, you should talk to your doctor about dealing with the underlying cause rather than the itching symptom.

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