- Pruritus ani
- Pruritus ani is a medical name for anal itching: irritation of the skin at the exit of the rectum (the anus) accompanied by the desire to scratch. Anal itching can be caused by irritating chemicals in food (as in spices, hot sauces, and peppers); irritation of frequent liquid stools in diarrhea; diseases such as diabetes mellitus or HIV infection that increase the possibility of yeast infections; and psoriasis. Abnormal passageways (fistulas) from the intestine to the skin around the anus can form as a result, for example, of Crohn's disease and these fistulas bring irritating fluids to the anal area. Other causes of anal itching include hemorrhoids, tears of the anal skin (fissures), abnormal local growth of anal skin (anal papillae), and skin tags. The intensity of anal itching is increased by moisture, pressure, and abrasion caused by clothing and sitting. At its most intense, anal itching causes intolerable discomfort described as burning and soreness. Treatment is directed first toward relieving the burning and soreness. Clean and dry the anus thoroughly and avoid leaving soap in the anal area. Shower gently without direct rubbing or irritation of the skin with washcloth or towel. Use moist pads (not toilet paper) to clean the anus after bowel movements. Local application of cortisone cream may help. If anal itching persists, an examination by a doctor can rapidly identify most causes of anal itching.
* * *pruritus ani -'ā-.nī n pruritus of the anal region
* * *intense chronic itching in the anal region.
Medical dictionary. 2011.