Pruritus Ani

What is Pruritus Ani and What is the Cause?

Itching around the anal area is called pruritus ani.

Common cause is excessive moisture in the anal area, due to perspiration or residual stool.

It may be a symptom of other conditions such as hemorrhoids and anal fissures.

In some patients it may be because of smoking, alcohol and certain foods like

  • Coffee, Tea

  • Carbonated beverages

  • Milk products/cheese

  • Tomatoes and tomato products such as Ketchup

  • Chocolate

  • Nuts

Does Pruritus Ani Result From Lack of Cleanliness?

Cleanliness is almost never a factor as commonly assumed. However, once a person develops this itching he frequently and vigorously tries to wash the area with soap. This damages the skin and washes away protective natural oils making condition worse.

General measures

Avoid moisture:

  • Apply cotton, gauze, keep the area dry.

  • Avoid all medicated, perfumed and deodorant powders.

Avoid further trauma:

  • Do not use soap/scrub on the anal area. Rinse with warm water and pat the area dry or use wet toilet paper, baby wipes or a wet washcloth to blot the area clean. Avoid rubbing the area.

  • Do not scratch. Scratching causes more damage, which in turn makes the itching worse.

Medication:

  • Apply prescription medications around the anal area and avoid rubbing. Prolonged use of medications may result in irritation or skin dryness that can make the condition worse.


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