Anal itching

March 2017


Definition

Anal itching (pruritus ani) is an annoying sensation, located at the anus. The urge to scratch the anal area may manifest itself at any time of the day (or night). Often benign, the itching can be quickly resolved. This condition is rather uncomfortable.

Symptoms

Anal itching includes:
  • an itching sensation that is more or less strong;
  • an urge to scratch.

The itching may cause damage due to scratching that is done regularly. This scratching can aggravate the injury and cause bleeding in the area.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis is made after a clinical examination. The doctor will examine the anus to determine the causes of itching: fissures, hemorrhoids ... In some cases, samples can be taken (when the cause is infectious in particular) to determine the organism causing itching. Anal itching can also be caused by poor hygiene or excessive sweating in the area. A professional should also look for the presence of worms in the anal margin; which may be due to a parasitic infection of the intestine called pinworm: diagnosis in this case will be made by a tape test - a tape is posed at night on the anus and the worms that come out will be stuck on it.

Treatment

In general, simple measures can eliminate anal itching (simple hygiene measures). However, the treatment will differ depending on the cause. In some cases, the application of creams, ointments or other antifungal treatments will be recommended. Curing hemorrhoids, fissures and other causes also helps the itching to disappear. For pinworms, an antifungal treatment is necessary.

Prevention

Follow a proper daily hygiene; clean the anus with soap and water. Thoroughly drying the area can also help avoid this kind of inconvenience.

Related

Published by Jeff.
This document, titled "Anal itching," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM Health (health.ccm.net).