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Why Am I So Itchy Back There?

 Why Am I So Itchy Back There?

You may feel hesitant to discuss anal itching with a health care provider, but this issue is nothing to feel embarrassed about. Anal itching is a common problem, and the causes range from lifestyle factors to medical conditions. If you’re dealing with anal itching that isn’t going away, it’s wise to discuss it with a doctor.

Board-certified colon and rectal surgeon Lisa Perryman, MD cares for patients at her office in Parker, Colorado, with a full spectrum of colorectal conditions. Anal itching is rarely a sign of something serious but can be intense and disruptive to your daily life. If you’re struggling with bothersome itching, Dr. Perryman can evaluate your symptoms and get to the root cause.

Anal itching

There’s no need to fret over an occasional itchy anus, but persistent anal itching isn’t normal, and it’s important to find the cause. Known medically as pruritis ani, anal itching is an irritating sensation around the anus. In most cases this is not due to a disease of the anus or rectum or a problem with the digestive tract.

Common causes of anal itching

Diagnosing anal itching involves a thorough review your symptoms, medical history, and a physical examination. The following are some of the most common causes of anal itching.

Skin irritants

Everything from scented soaps and detergents to dyes in toilet paper can irritate the delicate skin of the anus. Stool left on the skin from leakage can also cause irritation, and once you start itching, scratching, or excessive wiping matters can become worse.


Certain foods and beverages can irritate the colon and rectum, triggering anal itching and discomfort. Some of the most common culprits are:

As the food or beverage travels through your digestive tract, it can take 24 hours to trigger anal itching.


If you noticed anal itching after a course of antibiotics, the antibiotic may have upset the delicate balance of bacteria in the colon, triggering itching.

Skin conditions

Anal itching is sometimes associated with certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis.


Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), parasitic pinworm infections, and yeast infections are just a few types of infections that can cause anal itching.

Colorectal and anal disorders

Sometimes anal itching is associated with the following colorectal disorders:

Once diagnosed, Dr. Perryman can advise you on a treatment plan. It’s best to avoid scratching or rubbing the anal area while you seek evaluation of your symptoms. 

If you’re dealing with anal itching, we can help. Reach out to our office by phone or book online to schedule a visit with Dr. Perryman. 

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