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 many people experience at one point or another.
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Pruritus ani can be caused by many things, including:
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 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 an infection. Treatment for the itching and irritation may include:
American Academy of Dermatology
American Academy of Family Physicians
Canadian Dermatology Association
Pruritus ani. American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons website. Available at:
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Updated October 2012. Accessed December 4, 2012.
Pruritus ani. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated June 13, 2012. Accessed December 4, 2012.
Siddiqi S, Vijay V, et al. Pruritus ani. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2008 September; 90(6): 457–463.
Last reviewed March 2013 by Brian Randall, MD
Last Updated: 3/15/2013