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Learning a little more about Pruritus ani…

Posted by Ann V. On 2016 Jan 14th

Learning a little more about Pruritus ani…

Being one of the most common dermatological problems, pruritus ani is often defined as an unpleasant skin sensation. Though it is not a life threatening ailment, yet the great urge to scratch which occurs due to this problem is highly irritating. Find out in detail about the causes and treatment here.

What does the term pruritus means? Basically, it is a medical term which refers to itching… which can make you feel worse at anytime of the day! Do you know it can results in damage and scarring on the skin surface? Yes, due to the damage of the skin surface, it then serves as an entry point for the microbes. Hence, increasing the chances of infection by manifold!

As far as the occurrence of pruritus on the skin is concerned, it might be caused due anything ranging from mild skin disorder to a highly serious systemic disease condition. And on the other hand, irritation or itching may be induced due to any material, when the infested come into contact physically. Now the question arises;

What is Pruritus Ani?

It is referred to an itchy bottom or anal itching. Simply, it describes a persistent irritation which occurs in the anal region, causing a severe urge to scratch the area. Yes, the itch can be so terrible that it can cause sleep problems. Greater the irritated area is scratched by the infested person; more are the chances of the problem getting worse. It can happen to anyone, both men and women. But it is highly common in people between 40 and 60 years. The symptoms get strongest after visiting the toilet and at night.

What causes Pruritus Ani?

Well, if experts are to be believed, pruritus ani is not a diagnosis. Instead it is a symptom. While the causes for this problem can be many, yet at times there are no cause identified. In this case, it is referred to idiopathic pruritus ani.

Here are listed some of the causes:

  1. Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and many other
  2. Irritation due to use of some soap, colored toilet paper, detergents, etc.
  3. Excessive moisture and excessive sweating in the area
  4. Presence of irritants in food and beverages like dairy products, tomato products, coffee, tea, beer, chocolate, nuts, etc.
  5. It can be due to dry skin too; especially, in older persons.
  6. Bacterial and fungal infections
  7. Anal abrasions, anal tumors and anal fissures
  8. Laxative abuse
  9. Threadworms can cause severe itching at night
  10. Excessive cleaning can also damage to the area
  11. Hemorrhoids
  12. Anxiety, Stress, etc.

How to treat Pruritus Ani?

If you are looking for the right treatment solution for an itchy bottom, you need to detect the cause first.

In case, the cause comes out be a bacterial infection, you can count on antibiotics. But if it is due to hemorroids, you need some specific creams, and so on. However, there are some common advices which are applicable to all cases. Basically, the area needs to be kept highly clean and dry as much as possible. Not only this helps in treating the problem, but also prevents further irritation and infection.

So, make sure you wash your anus after you pass faeces and also before going to bed. Even after having a shower, ensure to dry the skin with a hair dryer or you can used soft towel. But, remember pat softly, don't rub it too harshly. Also, keep distance from scented soaps. These can cause greater irritation.

If you are more prone to greater sweating during the day, you can also use a tissue in your innerwear. Strictly avoid or at least limit spice and hot foods.

Don’t scratch, but if you find it hard to keep yourself from scratching, make sure you cut your nails to lessen the damage as far as possible.

At last, you should always consult with your doctor about the itching. If it is persistent, urgent medical attention is something you need.