Itchy anus

Author: Vanessa Ngan, Staff Writer, 1997

What is pruritus ani?

Pruritus ani, or itching of the skin about the anus (opening of the rectum) is a common complaint.

Anal itching is usually an isolated skin complaint in otherwise healthy persons, but in some it is part of a disorder involving other areas of the skin, especially the vulva in women and children.

What causes an itchy anus?

Common conditions affecting the anus and contributing to itch include:

The anal skin is exposed to irritating digestive products which may result in a rash (irritant dermatitis). The rash is made worse by:

Treatment of an itchy anus

Specific treatment may be prescribed for infection, infestation with pinworm, or certain skin conditions. General measures are described below.

Itching of the anus is frequently persistent and recurrent. The above advice should be followed indefinitely.

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