Symptoms, causes, & treatment options for anal yeast infection

Anal Yeast Infection
Medically reviewed by Dr. Marsha Dunkely


Anal yeast infection can cause severe itching, burning sensation, and pain leading to discomfort and displeasure during sex. Candida is a kind of yeast infection that typically lives in the body, resulting in an anal yeast infection. It is also known as a rectal yeast infection or pruritus ani.

When the body’s balance of bacteria and yeast is disturbed, an overgrowth of Candida leads to disease. If you have an anal yeast infection, this may need proper diagnosis and treatment by a professional. Seek medical advice and professional support for anal yeast infection.

What is an anal yeast infection?

A yeast infection that is known to infect your anus and the surrounding area is an infection that can lead to several complications and risks. Candida is a yeast that causes candidiasis, a fungal infection.

This kind of infection is a real threat. Even though yeast infections can harm the genitalia, According to medical professionals, this infection is not consistent with sexually transmitted diseases, but symptoms are alike in some ways. Nonetheless, an anal yeast infection can spread or be acquired by individuals.

However, suppose a person is used to having anal sex without protection, like a sec without a condom or another barrier contraceptive. In that case, they risk contracting or transmitting an anal yeast infection. It is essential to get an anal yeast infection diagnosed. Early diagnosis can help to reverse the disease caused by infection, and simple treatment can clear it up at a faster pace.

Suitable conditions for candida growth

Candida can develop because of the following circumstances and other elements:

  • Bad hygiene
  • Hot, humid conditions
  • Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
  • Putting on constrictive, tight clothes

The genitalia could itch for a variety of other causes. Some reasons include poor hygiene, diarrhea, overcleaning, prolapsed hemorrhoids, inflammatory internal hemorrhoids, skin tags, anal fissures, anal fistulas, age-related dry skin, Crohn’s disease, rectal warts, pinworms, psoriasis, erythrasma, contact dermatitis, neurodermatitis, amebiasis, or proctitis.

Symptoms of anal yeast infection

The following signs and symptoms could be present in someone with an anal yeast infection:

  • Skin surface changes its color, such as red
  • Soreness around the perianal area.
  • Bleeding from Scratch
  • Pain when scratching
  • Solid and persistent itching and burning 
  • The vagina or the penis infection
  • A thick, white discharge from the anus
  • Dyspareunia
Anal yeast infection symptoms may require medical attention. You can consult an online doctor for discomfort due to itching and pain.

Causes of anal yeast infection:

Anal yeast infections are treated according to the given causes of the infection in the anal region.

Candida overgrowth 

This fungus exists on the skin’s surface, not only in the vagina but also in the digestive system. Candida overgrowth can cause yeast infections inside the mucous membranes or on the skin of the throat, mouth, vagina, head of the penis, and anus. An anal yeast infection could develop from numerous Candida in the intestines moving to the anal canal.

Poor hygiene

Poor hygiene regarding clothes or dampness of undergarments can cause fungus infection around the anus. Therefore, serious efforts should be made to maintain hygiene.

Large rectum opening 

An opening in the rectum causes large hemorrhoids and facilitates the growth of a fungus or bacteria that causes infection. It becomes hard to keep the region dry and tidy. Overcleaning damages the skin by causing skin trauma.

Read More: Male Yeast Infection: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Medical conditions associated with a yeast infection

Several medical conditions may lead to yeast infections. These conditions are enlisted and explained below to help you understand what may be the possible cause of disease in your case.


Anal yeast infection might be the outcome of a medical condition like diabetes. It can be caused by a medication that impairs your immune system.

Digestion problem

Constipation and frequent diarrhea place additional pressure on the pelvic region. Certain situations involve using more toilet paper and soap for cleanliness, which can irritate the skin around the anus. Anal irritation will be worsened by feces leakage.

HIV infection

You can get infected if your immune system is harmed by specific drugs or health issues like HIV infection. There are more chances of developing anal yeast infection in HIV patients.

Diagnosis of anal yeast infection

Your doctor can identify an anal yeast infection by asking baseline questions. They will enquire about your symptoms and examine your perianal area.

Your doctor might need to gather a sample for testing. They might gently scrape some of the skin off your perianal area using a tongue depressor or a scalpel. The model will be examined under a pathologist’s supervision to determine what kind of fungus is causing the infection.

Test Procedure

A healthcare professional will perform a pelvic exam and collect samples of the discharge from your vagina to rule out a vaginal yeast infection. Also, you can experience some pressure and minor discomfort during this examination and testing.

Yeast test findings

The cells in your sample are sent to a lab to grow until enough cells are tested during a fungal culture test. Results can frequently be obtained in a few days. However, specific yeasts have a slow growth rate, so the process could take weeks.

A fungal culture test or other tests may be performed on a sample of your blood, another fluid, or tissue from the area of your body that may be affected if your healthcare professional suspects that you have an invasive yeast infection in your blood or organs.

Things to consider before testing

Many antibiotics have been shown to promote uncontrolled yeast growth. Make sure to inform your doctor about your medicine intake.

If you’re unsure whether a yeast infection is the cause of symptoms, you can find out using at-home testing for vaginal yeast infections. They might be unable to confirm the diagnosis. Discussing your symptoms and the diagnosis with your doctor is advisable. It is crucial because many vaginal yeast infection symptoms are present in most sexually transmitted Diseases (STDs) too.

Treatment of anal yeast infection

Consult your doctor about the best course of action if you suspect a yeast infection or other fungal illness. They might advise over-the-counter medications to treat yeast infections.

Different treatments are available for yeast infections depending on the severity of the illness.

Treatment for mild infections

For mild to moderate yeast infections, a doctor might advise OTC medicine. They may consist of the following:

  • Clotrimazole (Canesten, Lotrimin)
  • Miconazole (Monistat) 
  • Suspension of boric acid
  • Butoconazole (Mycelex, Butoconazole Nitrate)

People can safely treat anal yeast infections with several OTC yeast infection medications, even though many are specifically designed to treat vaginal infections.

Treatment for severe infections

A doctor may recommend more robust therapy if a patient has a severe or ongoing yeast infection that is not improved with over-the-counter drugs.

Among the prescription drugs for anal yeast infections are:

Yeast infections are rare, but they can become systemic illnesses affecting the membranes around organs. Systemic candidiasis and other comparable conditions can be treated with antifungal medications that can be given intravenously (IV) or orally.

Topical hemorrhoid creams should be stopped. The anus should be kept clean with mild, unscented soap and water; the area should be dried off after showering. Additionally, balneol lotion should be applied after bowel movements, cotton balls should be used to soak up moisture, diarrhea should be avoided, and Desitin or A & D ointment should be used. Never use anything with cornflour in it.

Yeast infections can spread or prolong if not treated in time. Get an online consultation now!

Home remedies

To relieve discomfort, you can also try some natural remedies, but do not just rely on home remedies; always rely on professional advice and listen to your doctor for your individual condition.

Gently wash: Use some water and mild soap to clean the area. Gently scrub the skin, then pat it dry. Between baths or showers, make an effort to keep the region dry. Avoid scratching the area, as this could cause more skin damage.

Put on breathable attire: Choose pants that won’t dry out the skin or retain moisture. Moreover, clothing that fits tightly might retain moisture and aggravate skin conditions.

Take a healthy diet: Avoid eating things that might cause your feces to be itchy. Don’t consume anything that contains caffeine, alcohol, citrus fruits, chocolate, spicy foods, tomatoes, or other acidic foods. Reduce the number of refined carbs in your diet to reduce the yeast. Increase your fiber intake to have a better-formed stool and less leaking.

Nonprescription medicines: To calm the skin around your anus, try applying lotions or ointments, including those for nappy rash, which could also be beneficial.

Probiotics: According to one study, probiotics may improve the efficiency of conventional antifungal drugs.

Coconut Oil: According to a different study, coconut oil efficiently reduces Candida overgrowth.

Tea Tree Oil: According to a study, tea tree oil might make treating yeast infections more effective. The trial combines fluconazole with tea tree oil.

Thyme and Garlic: According to one study, clotrimazole cream and cream with thyme and garlic were equally effective in treating yeast infections.

Ozonated Olive Oil: According to a different study, olive oil treats itching. It did less to lessen the scorching sensation.

Please ensure these integrative treatments are appropriate for your unique condition by discussing them with your doctor before starting.

Risk factors for anal yeast infection

Some demographic groups are more likely to have yeast infections. It encompasses those:

  • Pregnant Women
  • People who are overweight or obese 
  • Those who overconsume antibiotics
  • People who regularly take medications, such as steroid- drugs, antibiotics, and hormonal contraceptives (birth control tablets, patches, or rings)
  • People with compromised immunity 
If you are suffering from anal yeast infection, always seek professional support along with home remedies.

Prevention of anal yeast infection

By keeping your perianal area dry and clean, you can avoid developing an anal yeast infection. You can also prevent anal yeast infections by doing the following things:

  • Wear breathable cotton underwear
  •  Maintain good hygiene
  • After swimming or exercising, carefully wash and dry yourself.
  • Do not use scented hygiene items around your genitals
  • Keep your weight at a healthy level.
  • Avoid starchy and sugary stuff.
  • Consider a healthy diet, including a probiotic in your diet.


The skin may become irritated and scratchy if you scrub the region too vigorously. The itching gets worse with frequent wiping, washing, scratching, and the use of abrasive cleaners. It often worsens at night—moisture, excrement, and fungus leak from enlarged hemorrhoids. Too much washing can irritate the area surrounding the anus. Furthermore, feces may also trigger itching. You can get itching if you don’t completely clean off your skin. You may experience discomfort or itchiness if you consume meals containing irritants. They are eliminated through your bowel movements, and any leftovers in your stools may irritate your skin. 

When to consult a doctor?

Call your doctor if the illness persists or disappears after a few weeks. You should consult a doctor if a more severe condition causes your anal itch. A few symptoms that accompany anal irritation require medical attention. They consist of the following:

  • Pus coming from the anus or anywhere nearby
  •  Bloody stools
  •  Hemorrhoids
  • Skin that is dull or thicker around the anus

Your doctor will inquire about medical issues, and drugs you may be taking that could impact your bowel movements and produce soreness.

Most of the time, symptoms should diminish a week after treatment begins. For persistent or repeated infections, doctors may advise further treatment.

FAQs about anal yeast infection answered by Your Doctors Online Team

Can hemorrhoid cream cause a yeast infection?

Although hemorrhoid cream alone can not cause yeast infections, several creams’ chemicals can encourage yeast development. Moreover, including steroids or other compounds in some creams may alter the average balance of bacteria and yeast in the area, causing excess yeast and the onset of a yeast infection.

Can poor hygiene cause fungal infection?

Several fungal infections might be linked to negligence or poor hygiene, such as failing to dry oneself after a bath thoroughly, wearing damp undergarments, or not changing undergarments daily.

What makes yeast infections worse?

Vaginal candidiasis will probably worsen if neglected, resulting in itching, redness, and inflammation in the region around your vagina. Additionally, if the inflamed part cracks or persistent scratching leaves open or raw areas, this could cause a skin infection.

Are there diseases that can be mistaken for a yeast infection?

Diseases that can be mistaken for a yeast infection are as follows:
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), Trichomoniasis (foul-smelling vaginal discharge), Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), Allergic Reactions, Dermatitis or Eczema, Contact Vulvitis and Cervicitis (Inflammation of the cervix). They all can be misunderstood because they have similar presenting symptoms.

Can hemorrhoids feel like a yeast infection?

Yes, it can. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in your anus and can cause a foul smell with leakage in the anus area. Yeast infection can feel like same in the anus or butt crack area, accompanied by foul-smelling leakage and discharge. It’s good to seek medical attention from your healthcare provider for the correct diagnosis and treatment.

Can you use Monistat on the anus?

Monistat (miconazole) can be used on the anus for yeast infection as a topical cream. Its general usage is over the counter for vaginal yeast infection but can be used for anal yeast infection. It can be easily dispensed without a medical prescription.

What ointment is safe for the anus?

Ointments of Clotrimazole, Miconazole (Montistat), and Glyceryl trinitrate are safe medications for anal or vaginal areas. They are over-the-counter medications and can easily be dispensed without a prescription. A thin layer of Zinc oxide ointment (Desitin, Balmex) or petroleum jelly (Vaseline) can also be used on the buttocks for anus yeast infections.

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  • Ansari P. Pruritus Ani. Clin Colon Rectal Surg. 2016 Mar;29(1):38-42. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1570391. PMID: 26929750; PMCID: PMC4755774.
  • Merck Manual. Candidiasis (Mucocutaneous)
  • MedlinePlus. Candida infection of the skin
  • Tara F, Zand-Kargar Z, Rajabi O, Berenji F, Akhlaghi F, Shakeri MT, Azizi H. The Effects of Ozonated Olive Oil and Clotrimazole Cream for Treatment of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis. Altern Ther Health Med. 2016 Jul;22(4):44-9. PMID: 27548492.
  • National Organization for Rare Disorders. Candidiasis

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