What is anal eczema?
Anal eczema is a condition of the skin around the anus, often accompanied by redness, fluid production, flaking and itching.
Symptoms anal eczema
Anal eczema usually starts with itching. The itching can be accompanied by a distressing feeling or irritation. The sensation can occur before, during or after bowel movements. The skin around the anus is often red and can be moist. Scratching can cause flakes and thicken the skin.
Anal eczema has many causes. Excessive sweating, poor hygiene, hemorrhoids, worms, contact allergy to wet wipes and being overweight can play an important role in the development of anal eczema. Bacteria, fungi and yeasts can grow easily in the humid and warm environment. In skin folds around the anus, caused by old hemorrhoids, these microorganisms can flourish (intertrigo). A hard stool can cause cracks (fissures), which can cause anal eczema. Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) can be a major cause of itching and anal eczema.
Is it serious and what can you expect?
Anal eczema and anal itching are not serious but can be very annoying. It is often difficult to sit still and it can disturb the night’s sleep. The eczema is difficult to treat and can become chronic. Anal eczema is not contagious.
When to the doctor with?
Usually an attack of anal eczema will disappear after a few weeks. If the anal eczema has not disappeared spontaneously after a few weeks, you can go to the doctor. You don’t have to be ashamed of anal itching. The embarrassment can cause you to postpone your visit to the doctor. This increases the chance that the eczema and the itch will become chronic. The doctor will look for a cause of the anal eczema together with you and remove it if possible. He can also prescribe ointments and creams that suppress itching.
What can you do about it yourself?
It is important to pay attention to hygiene. An acid soap (pH 5) can help to restore the environment around the anus. After washing it is important to dry the butt cleft well. Use of soap is not recommended for redness. Also, do not use wet wipes or perfumed toilet paper.
General advice and precautions
In general it is wise to keep the skin in good condition. Make sure that the skin does not become irritated or damaged after cleaning. Be careful when wiping. Do not use hard or perfumed toilet paper. It is better to use a wet washcloth. The (Indian) habit of rinsing with water is also very good. You can rub the skin around and around the anus after bowel movements with a neutral, oily cream (for example white vaseline with 50%). When the skin around the anus is wet, you can apply zinc oil thinly. Try to prevent the area around the anus from becoming hot and humid for a long time.
For more information, also read:
- File Eczema on partner website Doctor Doctor.
- File Eczema: relieves itching and scratching stop at health plaza.