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Friday,October 23,2020 04:04 AM

Dealing with an ever-itching anus

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th January 2006 03:00 AM

ANAL itching (pruritis ani) tends to be more pronounced at night and may require getting up and washing the area with warm water.

ANAL itching (pruritis ani) tends to be more pronounced at night and may require getting up and washing the area with warm water.

By Herbert Mugarura

ANAL itching (pruritis ani) tends to be more pronounced at night and may require getting up and washing the area with warm water.

Causes

It can be associated with excessive sweating, wearing tight woollen or nylon knickers, symptomatic haemorrhoids, anal fissures (tears), anal fistulae and rectal prolapse. Other causes include eczema, psoriasis, STDs, anal infections (candida, pinworms), diabetes (diabetes mellitus) and chronic diarrhoea (because of the difficulty of keeping the area clean and dry).

Women may have pruritis ani caused by a vaginal discharge or low eostrogen levels during peri-menopausal or post-menopausal period.

Poor anal hygiene, especially in obese people can also result in itching.

Itching can be a first sign of malignant skin conditions (Paget’s and Bowen’s disease). It can be caused by vitamins, mineral supplements and drugs. Certain creams, lotions and soaps can also cause irritation around the anus.

Scratching removes the skin lining and washing the irritated inflamed skin with perfumed soaps compounds the problem. If the skin is damaged, a secondary bacterial infection can develop.

Treatment
An examination including laboratory stool and skin examinations may be necessary to look for pinworm eggs and scabies in skin burrows. The treatment is avoiding vigorous perianal cleaning and scratching. Avoid alcohol, milk, citrus fruit juices and caffeinated beverages. Chocolate, tomatoes, nuts and popcorns can also exacerbate the problem.

Losing weight can control the problem. Keep the area clean, cool, and dry. Wipe it with moistened unscented tissue. It is better to blot dry the area than rubbing it.

Wear loose cotton under pants (G-strings can be a source of anal irritation). Tampons may be more comfortable than sanitary pads for menstruating women.

The symptoms can be controlled with treatment of worms, infections and application of creams. However, the problem may re-occur.

Writer is a medical doctor
mugarrajk@doctor.com 077444526

Dealing with an ever-itching anus

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