by Dianne Scheinberg, MS, RD, LDN
Pruritus ani is an intense itching in and around the anus. This can cause you to feel the need to scratch. Anal itching is a common problem that most people experience at some time.
Pruritus ani can be caused by many things, including:
Other factors that may increase your chances of pruritis ani:
The irritation in and around your anus can be a temporary condition or it may continue to bother you. Pruritus ani produces itching, soreness, and burning.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, diet, hygeine, and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your doctor will try to determine the cause of your condition.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Ideally, the cause of the problem will be identified and treated. For example, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat a bacterial infection. Treatment for the itching and irritation may include:
Making changes can help ease symptoms. Examples include:
Your doctor may advise one or more of the following:
To help reduce your chances of pruritis ani:
American Academy of Dermatology
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
Canadian Dermatology Association
Ansari P. Pruritus ani. Clin Colon Rectal Surg. 2016;29(1):38-42.
Pruritus ani. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116635/Pruritus-ani . Updated June 5, 2017. Accessed December 18, 2017.
Pruritus ani expanded version. American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons website. Available at: https://www.fascrs.org/patients/disease-condition/pruritis-ani-expanded-version. Accessed December 18, 2017.
Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Last Updated: 12/20/2014
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