Pruritus Ani Treatment Tips

By: Juliet Cohen

Pruritus ani is a persistent itch around the anus. 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. Pruritus Ani causes an irresistible urge to scratch that may be most noticeable and bothersome at night or after bowel movements. There are many causes of Pruritus Ani, including other skin conditions such as dermatitis and psoriasis; allergy to soaps or other agents applied to the skin; irritation caused by digesting certain foods, such as spicy foods, vitamin C tablets, coffee, beer and cola; fungal or bacterial infection; parasites such as scabies or pinworms; oral antibiotics; and excessive moisture in the area caused by sweating or from moist, sticky faecal movements.

Another main cause is yeast infection or Candidiasis. Some diseases increase the possibility of yeast infections, such as diabetes mellitus or HIV infection. Signs and symptoms of prurius ani is changes the skin excoriations, abrasions, thickening, and lichenification. Treatment with antibiotics can lead to a yeast infection and irritation of the anus. Antihistamines may help neutralize the effect of some allergens. Various different soothing preparations are suitable, including mild topical steroids and zinc paste. Strong steroid creams should not be applied for more than a few days. Wash the anus in a bidet or a bucket of lukewarm water. Moistened tissues or soft toilet paper are next best. Use aqueous cream, mineral oil or other soap-free cleanser. Avoid soap and rough toilet paper.

Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of filtered water each day. Do not apply any other remedy, suppository, or medicine to your rash. They can cause allergic contact dermatitis. After washing, dry around the anus properly by patting gently (rather than rubbing) with a soft towel. Do not put on underwear until the anus is fully dry. Wear loose cotton underwear (not nylon). Avoid wearing tight fitting trousers. Eat plenty of high fibre foods (cereals, fruit and vegetables). Don't over-indulge in spicy food, prunes, figs, orange juice, coffee or beer. Vitamin A supplementation may be beneficial. Vitamin A is needed for smooth skin and is an anti-inflammatory agent. It aids in preventing dry skin. Zinc is thought to aid healing and enhance immune function. Do not put on underwear until the anus is fully dry.

Pruritus Ani Treatment and Prevention Tips

1. Avoid constipation.

2. Wash the anus in a bidet or a bucket of lukewarm water.

3. Apply medicated ointment as directed.

4. Do not apply any other remedy, suppository, or medicine to your rash.

5. Eat plenty of high fibre foods (cereals, fruit and vegetables).

6. Avoid excessively loose or otherwise irritating motions.

7. Don't over-indulge in spicy food, prunes, figs, orange juice, coffee or beer.

8. Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of filtered water each day.

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