An anal yeast infection often starts with persistent and intense anal itching, also called pruritus ani. A doctor can perform a quick physical exam to determine the cause, such as poor hygiene, hemorrhoids, or a yeast infection.
If the diagnosis is an anal yeast infection, it can often be cleared up easily with simple treatments.
A yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida. When you have an anal yeast infection, you may experience intense symptoms for a few days followed by milder symptoms.
The symptoms are centered around your anus and often include:
- burning sensation
- irritated skin
- occasional discharge
- damaged skin from scratching
- soreness or pain
Although treatments for yeast infections are typically marketed for vaginal yeast infections, they can also be used to treat anal yeast infections.
Your doctor might recommend an ointment, cream, tablet, or suppository prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication, such as:
- butoconazole (Gynazole)
- clotrimazole (Lotrimin)
- fluconazole (Diflucan)
- miconazole (Monistat)
- terconazole (Terazol)
With treatment, your yeast infection should clear within a week. The itchiness and burning usually go away within a day or two. Skin irritation and redness may take a little longer, especially if the skin is damaged from scratching.
It’s important that you follow the full course of treatment ordered by your doctor to completely clear the infection.
Advocates of natural medicine suggest integrative treatments for yeast infections, including:
- Ozonated olive oil. A
2016 studyconcluded ozonated olive oil can be an effective topical treatment for vulvovaginal candidiasis. It worked well for relieving the itchiness but was less effective than clotrimazole cream for reducing the burning sensation.
- Garlic. A
2015 studycompared Garcin-brand garlic tablets to fluconazol and found that it could be a suitable alternative for candida vaginitis.
- Coconut oil. A
2015 studyon rodents concluded that ingested coconut oil was highly effective in reducing colonization of C. albicans.
- Dill. A
2018 randomized controlled trialcompared the effectiveness of dill vaginal suppositories with clotrimazole suppositories and showed they were equally effective in showing clinical improvement of yeast infections.
- Honey. A
2017 clinical trialcompared the use of honey ointment and clotrimazole and found that honey contributes to treating vaginitis.
Before using these integrative treatments, discuss them with your doctor to make sure that they’re appropriate for your specific situation.
There’s normally some Candida living in your gastrointestinal tract and other places on your body that are warm, dark, and moist. When you have an imbalance between it and the bacteria keeping it in check, the Candida becomes overgrown. The result is a yeast infection.
An anal yeast infection isn’t considered a sexually transmitted infection, but it can be transferred through:
You can reduce your risk of spreading Candida by:
You can reduce the risk of Candida overgrowth by limiting moisture and irritants around your anus. Some things that help include:
- wearing breathable cotton underwear
- washing thoroughly after swimming and watersports
- avoiding the use of perfumed hygiene products on anal area
You might be able to reduce your risk for any type of yeast infection, including anal yeast infection, if you:
- take a daily probiotic supplement
- cut down on high carbohydrate foods and refined sugar
- get enough sleep to help give the body time to repair itself and boost the immune system
You’re at a higher risk for Candida overgrowth if:
Anal yeast infections can be uncomfortable, but they’re usually not serious.
Your doctor can easily diagnose the condition and recommend an effective treatment. If you have the symptoms of an anal yeast infection, make an appointment with your doctor.
If your sexual partner also has symptoms, they should see their doctor. You and your partner should take precautions at least until your doctors have confirmed that your infections have cleared.