BY DEAN PAPPAS M.D.
If you suffer from irritation or itchiness of the anus, the condition can be extremely uncomfortable. It may seem like a minor annoyance, but in fact, it can lead to a number of disruptions of your daily life. You should not have to deal with this kind of discomfort, particularly when there are numerous treatments that are available.
Our Long Island colorectal health experts have years of experience treating anal pain and discomfort. In many cases, health problems that involve the colon and rectum tend to manifest themselves first as itching around the anus.
About Anal Itching (Pruritus Ani)
Anal itching refers to a wide spectrum o conditions that causes irritation and itchiness around your anus. In the vast majority of cases, the itchiness is often the sign of some sort of irritation or inflammation that needs to be treated. Left untreated, the anal itching can result in serious pain and burning sensations.
Common Causes of Anal Itching (Pruritus Ani)
There are many different causes of anal itching. Some of these include the following:
- Anal fissures
- Skin tags
- Irritants in foods that are in our stool (e.g., chemicals from spicy foods)
- Moisture around the anus from diarrhea and loose stools
- Yeast infection of the anus
Combinations of these conditions can exacerbate the irritation you experience.
When to See a Doctor about Anal Itching (Pruritus Ani)
In some cases, the itching will clear up on its own, but it’s important to see a doctor about your condition if the symptoms worsen or do not abate. Persistent itchiness, burning, or irritation are generally signs of a medical problem. If you notice blood along with itching or a worsening of pain, it is definitely time to consult doctor about your situation.
Diagnosis of Anal Itching (Pruritus Ani)
During an exam, your anus will be checkd for any abnormalities that point to infection, hemorrhoids, fissures, and so forth. Your doctor may also check your rectum, since irritation, pain, and itchiness around the anus may be signs of health problems that affect the rectum. It’s important that the exact cause of the irritation be identified so the proper treatment can be administered for relief.
Treatments for Anal Itching (Pruritus Ani)
There are numerous ways for your irritation to be dealt with, and obviously the ideal treatment address the root cause of the problem.
Patients are encouraged to practice better hygiene practices to help alleviate itchiness. For example, a doctor may recommend that patients use baby wipes after bowel movements to help keep their anus clean. During showers, patients may be instructed to avoid using a washcloth when cleaning their anus to avoid harming the sensitive tissue.
Various medications may be prescribed or recommended to address the inflammation. This could include creams or even oral medications in cases of serious infections. Patients should follow instructions closely.
More advanced treatments will be recommended for serious issues that affect colorectal health. The ideal treatment for you can be discussed as part of the examination and consultation process.
Learn More About Your Treatment Options
For more information on treating pain and discomfort, be sure to contact our team of colorectal surgery specialists today. We will help you address your various health concerns and improve your overall wellness and quality of life.