Peri-anal eczema: causes & treatment of eczema in anus

Peri-anal eczema is eczema at the anus. The anus can be affected by skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Eczema around the anus is called peri-anal eczema. Even though very few people talk about discomfort in their anus, there are many different conditions that can occur in this region. One is anal eczema. It is a rash around the anus. Although eczema is accompanied by severe itching and can cause an unpleasant burning sensation of the anus, various treatments offer rapid relief of symptoms.
  • What is peri-anal eczema?
  • Forms of anal eczema
  • Forms and causes of anal eczema
  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Atopic peri-anal eczema
  • Orthoergic (irritative, toxic) contact dermatitis
  • Seborrhic eczema at the anus
  • Treatment of peri-anal eczema
  • Self-care
  • Treat underlying ailment
  • Medical treatment
  • Do not confuse peri-anal eczema with psoriasis

What is peri-anal eczema?

Peri-anal eczema is one of the most common anus disorders. If you look at the proctological disorders (disorders in the last part of the intestine and anus), about ten percent of them visit a doctor because of anal eczema. Peri-anal eczema can be acute, sub-acute and chronic. With this form of eczema, flaking is less important and there is more redness and itching.

Forms of anal eczema

Four main forms of peri-anal eczema are distinguished:
  • allergic contact dermatitis
  • atopic peri-anal eczema
  • orthoergic (irritative, toxic) contact dermatitis
  • seborrhic eczema at the anus

Although all four forms have different causes, the same symptoms are present. You suffer from a severe itching of the anus, often accompanied by wetness. Although scratching provides relief in the short term, it worsens the symptoms. Therefore, scratching should be avoided, which can be very difficult for most people with eczema on the anus.

Forms and causes of anal eczema

Allergic contact dermatitis

With allergic contact dermatitis certain substances (allergens) are the cause. To permanently get rid of eczema, you must therefore find out what you are allergic to. Firstly, you can check the cosmetic products you use on the ingredients. Shower gels, lotions, soaps that come into contact with the anus are often scented with scents that the body is allergic to. The affected area becomes painful and inflamed. In addition, hemorrhoids ointments may also contain certain active ingredients that some people are allergic to. Searching for the trigger is often difficult. Natural substances such as chamomile or menthol can sometimes also be the culprits and lead to allergic contact dermatitis. In addition to cosmetics and medically used products, detergents, panty liners, hygiene wipes and wet toilet paper must also be checked for ingredients. It may also be useful to visit an allergist who can specifically determine the allergens. Then you must carefully consider how you come into contact with the allergens. By avoiding the allergens, you can improve the symptoms of peri-anal eczema.

Atopic peri-anal eczema

Other factors play a role in atopic peri-anal eczema because this form is a specific type of atopic eczema. About 20 to 30 percent of all cases of anal eczema can be attributed to atopic eczema. Those affected have a sensitive skin that also tends to eczema in other places. For example, you have itchy, flaking skin in the armpits or elbows, as well as on the hands or face. The cause appears to be a combination of a number of factors with genetic predisposition. Atopic eczema is accompanied by a genetic predisposition to react hypersensitive to substances or stimuli from the environment. In this case too, certain ingredients of cosmetics and hygiene products can cause atopic eczema. Fragrances are mentioned as a common cause. Therefore, people with atopic eczema should use special skin care products that are less irritating to the skin. Often suitable shower gel, lotions and creams can be found in the pharmacy. In addition, stool substances that come into contact with anal skin can cause peri-anal eczema. Those affected must, for example, refrain from eating certain foods such as red peppers or chili peppers. The first treatment for atopic eczema consists of ointments.

Orthoergic (irritative, toxic) contact dermatitis

In about a third of all cases of anal eczema, bacteria are the cause. In this case it is about orthoergic (irritative, toxic) contact dermatitis. In the first place, hemorrhoids are responsible for such an eczema. If the hemorrhoid loses moisture, it can become mixed with bacterial enzymes from the stools, causing the skin to become inflamed. Healthy skin is sharply defined by inflamed red skin, making the diagnosis of toxic contact eczema relatively easy. In this case, the hemorrhoids should be treated or removed immediately so that the skin can heal. In addition, inadequate or excessive hygiene (excessive use of soap or other external irritants) may be responsible for the development of this type of eczema. If the buttocks are not sufficiently cleaned or washed after pooping, faeces that are full of bacteria and other germs will collect there. In this case, inflammation can easily occur. However, excessive anal hygiene is also not recommended. If soap dries out the skin, bacteria can more easily penetrate and cause inflammation. It is therefore recommended that you only clean your anus with warm water. Warm olive oil is also good because it provides a protective layer of fat on the skin. Another cause of toxic contact eczema is excessive sweating, especially in combination with being overweight (diabetes) and / or physical exertion. Furthermore, (chronic) diarrhea and abnormal intestinal flora due to certain antibiotics can be the culprit.

Seborrhic eczema at the anus

Seborrhic eczema can also manifest itself at the anus and this is called perianal eczema seborrhoicum. The preferred places of this type of eczema are the hair borders, the eyebrows, the folds next to the nose and in and behind the ears. However, it can also occur between the breasts, the back folds and in the folds:
  • belly button
  • under the breasts
  • belly fold
  • groin
  • butt crack
  • around the anus

Treatment of peri-anal eczema


Whatever the cause of peri-anal eczema, most affected people want to get rid of the symptoms quickly. Until the cause of eczema on the anus is established, self-care can offer a solution. The following methods are very suitable for the treatment of anal eczema:
  • Sit-down baths promote anal hygiene. If the baths are also prepared with certain additives, they support the healing process. Suitable for this are, for example, oak bark extract or black and green tea. On the one hand the tannins kill the bacteria, on the other hand they cause the eczema to dry out. Also useful is chamomile, ivy or lavender. The essential oils or extracts from these plants have anti-inflammatory properties and stop itching.
  • Wet areas must be kept dry to prevent bacteria from multiplying and causing friction, maceration and an alkaline environment to damage the anus mucosa.
  • If the eczema is wet, it is advisable to place a tissue between the folds in the morning. The absorbent material absorbs the moisture so that it has no negative effects such as skin softening, etc.
  • Improving anal hygiene is the solution to the problem in most cases. It is good to clean the anus after a bowel movement through a toilet shower. Because this is always possible, the anus can also be gently cleaned with lukewarm water with a soft washcloth and then patted dry. If you use warm olive oil to clean the anus, provide sensitive skin with sufficient moisture and prevent eczema again.

Treat underlying ailment

Treating underlying ailments prevents the eczema from returning. For example, the doctor will treat hemorrhoids and in the event of constipation the doctor will recommend the use of dietary fiber and sufficient fluid, as well as exercise on a daily basis.

Medical treatment

Avoid the triggering factors that can cause eczema. The doctor can prescribe ointments and creams that suppress itching and reduce eczema.

Do not confuse peri-anal eczema with psoriasis

Although severe itching and anus fissures may be typical symptoms of anal eczema, there may also be signs of psoriasis in the skin folds. Psoriasis inversa is a rare form of psoriasis and can occur in the buttock fold and around the anus, among other things. It is often confused with eczema or a fungal infection.

Video: What is Anal Itching Causes, Treatment & Home Remedies (April 2020).

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