Pruritus ani (itchy bottom)

Skin | Dermatology | Pruritus ani (itchy bottom) (Disease)


Pruritus ani means a chronic (persistent) itchy feeling around the anus. The main symptom is an urge to scratch your anus, which is difficult to resist. The urge to scratch may occur at any time. However, it tends to be more common after you have been to the toilet to pass faeces, and at night (particularly just before falling asleep). The itch may be made worse by heat, wool, moisture, leaking, soiling, stress and anxiety.

Causes and Risk factors

Persistent scratching of the anal skin can damage the skin and make it more likely to develop a skin infection in that area. Pruritus ani is a symptom, not a final diagnosis.

Various conditions may cause pruritus ani and this is known as secondary pruritus ani (because a cause can be identified). However, in many cases the cause is not clear. This is called idiopathic pruritus ani which means itchy anus of unknown cause.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If the itch is persistent and you are not sure of the cause, it is best to see a doctor. As there are a number of possible causes, it is best to be examined and checked out by a doctor to diagnose or rule out known causes. Treatment depends on the cause. ...

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