Itching of the skin in the anal region often results from faecal soilage, but anal fissures and haemorrhoids are also causes. Itching is exacerbated by sitting on a plastic seat, wearing tight clothes, and the accumulation of sweat in buttocks. Cyclists and horse riders are particularly vulnerable to this complaint because of anal irritation. In most cases of anal itching, simple remedies are sufficient. These include meticulous, gentle cleaning of the affected area with soap and water, followed by thorough rinsing and drying with cotton wool; wearing cotton undergarments; wearing loose clothing; and minimizing exercises which result in anal irritation. In some cases, corticosteroid lotions are prescribed to relieve the itching and allow the skin to heal. Occasionally the condition is caused by infection with an intestinal worm (e.g. threadworms, roundworms, or tapeworms), in which case treatment with a special drug, such as mebendazole (for roundworms and tapeworms) or niclosamide may be necessary.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.