Summary: Being one of the most common dermatological problems, pruritus is an unpleasant skin sensation which causes the great urge to scratch. As far as the occurrence is concerned, it can be localized to a specific body area, but it is difficult to generalize the same. The worst thing is that pruritus result in damage and scarring, which often leads to damage. This further gives an entry point for microbes and increases the chance of an infection. Find out more details about the same.
Generally known as itchy bottom, Pruritus Ani is also known as anal itching. Being described as persistent irritation in the anal region, it is said to cause a strong urge to scratch. And you need to understand that the itch can be so severe to make you restless and cause sleep problems. So, the more the irritated area is scratched, worst symptoms can be expected.
Usually, this condition can happen to anyone. However, it is most commonly found in people between 40 and 60 years old. Now that you’re more familiar with it, let’s explore some of the common causes:
Anorectal conditions: It can due to fecal soilage, incontinence, anal fistulae, hemorrhoids, excessive skin tags, anal fissures or anal warts. These causative agents are believed to make the local nerve fibers in the skin chronically active. And then with the repetitive trauma or scratching, that too for prolonged periods of time, the problem amplifies. Moreover, there can be itching related to several disorders of nerve pathways. The itching can be due to the central nervous system stimulus such as medications and it can also be psychogenic.
Sweat, stool and mucus: These are the other potential causes of irritation. Basically, these include moisture and studies have shown that the relief of symptoms occurs as soon as the stool has been cleansed from the perianal area. It simply indicates that stool is likely an irritant agent. Here it is important to note that inadequate hygiene, aggressive or overzealous hygiene, i.e. the usage of many irritating scents, soaps, and lotions can be a cause of pruritis ani. It is often termed as polished anus syndrome. The use of topical steroids along with overzealous cleaning can destroy the natural skin barriers and lead to trauma for the anal skin. So, here you need to understand that sweat, stool and mucus are dangerous, but over cleaning is not a good idea.
Dietary factors: As in case with any other problem, diet plays a role with pruritis ani too. Although there are not evidences in regards to this, justifying the implication of some particular food items or diets, yet experiences can be counted. For example, coffee, either caffeinated or decaffeinated, is one of the major contributing factors. Actually, coffee consumption lowers down the anal resting pressure, which further contributes to anal leakage of stool.
The other dietary agents like chocolate, citrus fruits, tea, cola, energy drinks, tomatoes, spicy foods, beer, dairy products and nuts are also said to be a cause of the pruritis ani.
Infections: There are different types of infectious processes, which can increase your problem. The list includes fungal infection, bacterial skin infections, viral infections, parasitic infections (pinworms or scabies), and so on.
So, whatever the cause is of your problem, for the right treatment you should always consult a doctor first. The expert might prescribe creams and medications. In order to bring down the inflammation, make sure you use them exactly as recommended by the doctor.