What is pruritis ani?

It’s a condition which is characterised by excessive itching around anal canal. Even though it is not serious it is socially embarrassing at the least. Problem is compounded by the fact patients feel embarrassed to seek help from doctors at the early stage. This makes treatment even more difficult as patients seek at late stage. By this stage there might be skin damage.

What causes pruritis Ani?

There are many causes which might lead to pruritis Ani. Most common cause is incomplete cleaning or minor leakage of faeces from anal canal.  This can also be caused by 3rd and 4th degree haemorroids (piles). This can also be caused by certain skin conditions which might have already affected different parts of the body.

What is the treatment of Pruritis Ani?

Pruritis Ani gets better with identifying and treatment of cause. If no cause is found then simple measures will outlined below will help.

What are the home remedies?

Though it is not a serious condition its difficult to treat. This is because it might be difficult to identify the
condition which is causing the pruritis ani. After identifying it needs both patience and persistence. This might be complicated as we might not be able to remove aggravating factors like (Work condition, weather etc).

Home remedies include

1.  First and the most important is personal hygiene. The area must be kept as clean as possible. After passing each motion the area should be washed with water and dried with soft clothe.

2.  Avoid using paper to clean after passing the motion.

3.  Some people might feel better after cold than warm water.

4.  Do not use soap/antiseptics/perfume. Any artificial agent can lead to skin irritation. Some might find emollient solution helpful.

5. If water is not available then use wet baby wipes/soft toilet paper after opening bowel.

6. Avoid scratching at all cost.

7.  After cleaning with water after passing motion dry the area with soft towel. Do not rub the area. You might find hair dryer with low setting helpful.

8. Loose cotton underwear and changing it twice a day will be helpful.

9. Avoid tight trousers/jeans. Less friction is helpful in most conditions.

10. Avoid sitting in one place for long time especially on plastic chair.

11. Undergarments should be washed with non-biological washing powder.  Make sure there is no traces of dettergent on undergarments.

12. Avoid constipation at all cost.

If you have tried all measures at home and symptoms are resolved then consultation with proctologist for further assessment and treatment will be helpful.