Pruritas Ani or Anal Itching

What is Pruritas Ani? What Causes Anal Itching and How Do You Treat It?

It is simply Latin for anal itching and occurs mostly at night or after a bowel movement.

What causes Pruritas Ani?

Generally moist skin in the anal area combined with fecal matter retained in the anal folds cause itching. Improper cleansing of the area is the core cause. Excessive sweating or tight fitting clothing can also cause pruritas ani. Certain foods can aggravate the situation including alcohol, citrus drinks, caffeine, spicy food, chocolate, nuts and popcorn.

How is Pruritas Ani treated?

Generally this condition can be treated at home with gentle cleansing with water and a wash cloth and corn starch if moist or Vaseline if dry. A hydrocortisone product often provides satisfactory results. Avoid soaps and do not scratch the area. Wear loose fitting clothes and eliminate irritant foods. If the condition persists after trying these treatments call your physician and make an appointment.


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Dr. Abbadessa is board certified by the AOA and is a member of the Missouri Association Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons
| St. Louis Metropolitan
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