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Pruritis Ani

Pruritis ani is itching around the anal area.

What causes pruritis ani?

Several factors may lead to anal itching. Oftentimes extensive moisture in the anal area due to various reasons such as loose stools can lead to itching. The condition may then be made worse by scratching and cleansing the area.

Pruritis ani may be caused by other common conditions such as hemorrhoids, anal fissure, or fistula. Sometimes allergic reactions can occur to products used to cleanse the anal area.

Certain foods also may also cause anal itching including:

  • Coffee and tea
  • Cola
  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Tomato and tomato products such as Ketchup
  • Milk products
  • Cheese
  • Nuts

Other less common causes of pruritis ani include fungal infection, STDs, eczema, psoriasis, or cancer.

How is pruritis ani treated?

  • First, keep the area dry. You may use cotton or 4 x 4 gauze to keep the area dry.
  • Avoid all medications, cleansers and soaps of any kind to area.
  • Do not scrub or rub the area with anything, even toilet paper. For hygiene, rinse with warm water and pat the area dry with toilet paper or use wet toilet paper or baby wipes to blot the area clean.
  • DO NOT SCRATCH the area as this can create more trauma and make the itching worse. You may wear socks on your hands to avoid itching at night.
  • Avoid excessive fluid in your diet to keep your stools more formed.
  • Use only medications prescribed by your physician.
  • Your colorectal surgeon may prescribe additional treatments depending on the underlying condition leading to pruritis ani.

Make an appointment with Dr. Zaghiyan in her office in Los Angeles for a complete evaluation and treatment plan.


Cedars Sinai