August 29, 2015
font size


Anal Itching
(Pruritus Ani)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Anal itching facts

  • Anal itching is itching around the anus.
  • Examples of causes of anal itching include hemorrhoids, anal fissures, pinworms, foods, medications, and other diseases or conditions.
  • Additional symptoms associated with anal itching include burning and pain if the anal skin is traumatized by scratching.
  • The diagnosis of the cause of anal itching requires examination of the anus for common anal problems such as hemorrhoids or fissures, skin diseases such as psoriasis or cancer, infectious diseases such as pinworms or yeast, and leakage of stool.
  • Treatment of anal itching depends on the cause.

What is anal itching?

Anal itching is the irritation of the skin at the exit of the rectum, known as the anus, accompanied by the desire to scratch. Although itching may be a reaction to chemicals in the stool, it often implies that there is inflammation of the anal area. The intensity of anal itching and the amount of inflammation increases from the direct trauma of scratching and the presence of moisture. At its most intense, anal itching causes intolerable discomfort that often is described as burning and soreness.

What causes anal itching?

  • Anal itching can be caused by irritating chemicals in the foods we eat, such as are found in spices, hot sauces, and peppers.
  • Anal itching also can be caused by the irritation of continuous moisture in the anus caused by frequent liquid stools, diarrhea, or escape of small amounts of stool (incontinence). Moisture increases the possibility of infections of the anus, especially yeast, particularly in patients with diabetes or HIV.
  • Treatment with antibiotics also can lead to a yeast infection and irritation of the anus.
  • Psoriasis also can irritate the anus.
  • Abnormal passageways (fistulas) from the small intestine or colon to the skin surrounding the anus can form as a result of disease (such as Crohn's disease), and these fistulas bring irritating fluids to the anal area.

Other problems that can cause anal itching include:

  • pinworms,
  • hemorrhoids,
  • tears of the anal skin (fissures), and
  • skin tags (abnormal local growth of anal skin).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/11/2015

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/anal_itching/article.htm

GI Disorders

Get the latest treatment options.

Anal Itching Related Articles
advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations