Metro Bariatrics - Amir Moazzez MD, FACS

Pruritus Ani

What is pruritus ani?

It is Latin for itchy anus. Basically, there is the severe urge to scratch the anus.

What causes this?

There are several factors. First, it is not due to not being clean. In fact, too much cleaning will remove the protective oils and cause abrasions and tears in the anal skin. This will cause more itching, and thereby perpetuating the vicious cycle.

The second major cause is moisture and sweat in the anal area. Other causes are hemorrhoids, anal cancer, anal tags, smoking, alcohol, certain foods (chocolate, coffee, cheese, tomato, nuts, milk), and in some cases, no cause is found.

How is this treated?

First, stop the cycle of cleaning and scratching. Clean only when you have a bowel movement. Clean with water and pat dry with a soft cloth. Second, avoid excessive moisture to the area by drying the buttocks with towel and hair dryer. Use cornstarch, baby powder, or athlete’s foot powder to soak up sweat. Third, apply a barrier cream (like Vaseline, calmoseptine, diaper rash creams) to allow the skin to heal. See your physician if the above does not work.

Treatments take at least 4 weeks to work.

Contact Inova Bariatric

For more information on pruritus ani and treatment options for this condition, or if you would like to schedule a consultation here at Inova Bariatric, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information presented is only for informational purposes, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness, disease, or condition, nor is it intended to self-diagnose and self-treat any illness, disease or condition. Please consult your physician for any medical concern, question, and ailment.