Anal care

Looking after yourself

o Keep your anal area clean by washing with soap and water every day. This will help to reduce the bacteria around your anus.
o Avoid vigorous wiping with toilet paper as this may cause further chafing of your skin, which can become infected or inflamed.
o If your anal area is extremely painful and swollen, a cold compress or covered ice pack (such as a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a clean towel) may be used to relieve your pain and swelling. Do not keep the ice pack on the area for more than 30 minutes.
o Drink plenty of water and eat fibre-rich foods, such as bran cereals, fruit and vegetables, and whole grain bread, which will help soften your stools.
o Don’t put off the urge to go to the toilet.
o Try not to strain when going to the toilet as this can increase the irritation in your anal area and lead to more serious complications.
o To help relieve pain and discomfort from anal irritations, sit in 8-10 inches of warm water for 10-20 minutes, several times a day if possible.
o Over the counter creams, lotions and ointments may also be used to relieve itching around the anal or rectal area. Follow the instructions for use, or ask your pharmacist for advice.
o If you are in pain, get advice on medicines you can take.


Anal fissure (NHS Choices)
Embarrassing problems (painful anus)