Here are our top tips for those prone to dry, itchy skin often associated with all anal irritations
*The following gives advice for those prone to anal itching, dry anal skin and piles.
- Haemorrhoids (piles) - are swollen blood vessels that are found in or around the bottom (anus). Symptoms common with haemorrhoids are: Itching, bleeding, burning and soreness.
- Anal itching (Pruritus ani) - an itchy bum is general itching found in and around the anus often worse during the night.
- Anal fissures - fissures are a small tear in the skin in and around the anus. Symptoms can include soreness, dry skin, itching and bleeding.
- Anal skin tags - these are growths that can hang from the skin around the anus. Sometimes they can be mistaken for piles or warts. Symptoms can include bleeding, swelling, itching and soreness.
- Eat high-fibre foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. One of the easiest, most natural and delicious ways to become more regular and help prevent haemorrhoids is by eating more fibre. Ensuring there is lots of fibre in your diet is the number one recommendation of many doctors and gastroenterologists. Ideally try to eat 25 to 30 grams of fibre per day. It is also advisable to avoid spicy foods and cut down on alcohol as it is very common to develop an itchy anus after eating certain types of hot sauces or spices.
Drink plenty of non-fizzy, non-alcoholic liquid: Water and tea are best. Drinking enough water helps prevent constipation and therefore decreases straining (see below). Drinking six to eight glasses of water per day doesn't just keep your digestive system running smoothly, it benefits your entire body. And, of course, it is a good preventative measure against getting haemorrhoids too.
Don't strain on the toilet. Straining puts pressure on the veins in your rectum and is one of the most common causes of painful or bleeding haemorrhoids. In some cases, this can happen as a result of pushing too hard when trying to have a bowel movement. Other situations can cause straining too, such as lifting heavy objects, a chronic cough, or even pregnancy.
Go to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge. If you hold back until you absolutely have to go, this puts a strain on your rectum. When your body tells you a visit to the toilet is required, obey your body. That way you’ll lessen the chances of haemorrhoids.
- Exercise more and avoid long periods of sitting. Exercise helps keep the colon more regular. But this does not apply to exercise that increases abdominal pressure such as weightlifting which can contribute to the formation of haemorrhoids, especially if you have a history of haemorrhoids or piles problems. However regular exercise like walking, jogging, yoga or swimming can help with haemorrhoids. Exercise and staying active reduces your time spent sitting and putting pressure on the veins in your lower rectum.
Keep the anal area clean and dry. Each time you pass a stool and before going to bed it is advised that an anus is carefully cleaned using plain water and then dried thoroughly. A bidet is excellent for this although sitting over the edge of the bath also makes washing much easier. When drying, be gentle, avoid vigorous rubbing as this could inflame the area. After washing, it is also a good idea to apply natural Anacare natural cream to the area to moisturise and soothe.
Substances found in some soaps, douches, laundry detergents and body sprays may irritate the skin. So try to avoid washing the area with scented soaps and keep contact with chemical cleaning and perfuming products to a minimum.
There are a number of medical conditions which can cause an itchy bum, for example: worms, thrush or STD’s. Thankfully these are relatively rare, but if your discomfort persists, it may be advisable to consult your doctor.