Anal itching can be embarrassing to experience and talk about, especially when it happens frequently. Pruritus ani, as it’s medically known, might not be a big deal if the problem is sporadic, but when it becomes chronic, you’ll want to find a solution. That’s when it’s time to consult an expert.
Chronic anal itching can occur for many reasons, but it’s possible no specific cause can be identified.
When chronic anal itching interferes with your quality of life, it’s time to contact Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists in Parker, Colorado, for a diagnostic evaluation and treatment. Dr. Lisa Perryman, FACS, FASCRS can confirm the condition and recommend an effective plan for restoring your comfort.
What is anal itching?
A common condition of the skin in and around the anus, pruritus ani can produce pain and burning as well as a persistent itchiness. You may also feel an ongoing soreness, and symptoms may worsen in hot, humid weather. Anal itching tends to be more intense at night, usually when you’re settling down to sleep.
If you have a condition that results in chronic diarrhea, the ongoing irritation can take a toll on the skin around the anus. Fecal soiling raises the risk of anal itching if it keeps your skin in contact with fecal matter.
Infections such as pinworms, sexually transmitted infections (particularly human papillomavirus, or HPV), and yeast infections can compromise the skin around the anus, as can skin diseases such as contact dermatitis, eczema, or psoriasis.
Other health issues that raise your risk of anal itching include diabetes, hemorrhoids, and thyroid disease.
Hygiene practices can also be a factor in anal itching, but possibly not always in the way that you’d expect. Washing incompletely or too little can leave fecal matter in contact with the skin around the anus, but scrubbing aggressively, wiping too often or too hard, and using harsh soaps can all cause skin irritation that leads to anal itching.
When should I consult an expert about chronic anal itching?
Home care for anal itching includes measures like gentle washing with water and thorough drying, avoiding scratching the area, and wearing moisture-absorbing, loose fitting cotton underwear. If these steps fail to improve your condition, it’s time to visit the anal itching experts at Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists.
You may wish to make an appointment soon if you’re experiencing:
- An active infection in the skin around the anus
- Anal bleeding
- Stool leakage
- Itching that’s constant and severe
- Changes to the skin around the anus, in particular thickened skin
- Protruding hemorrhoids
- Pus drainage in the area
Contact our office when your symptoms cause you concern. You can book an appointment with Colorado Colon & Rectal Specialists online or by phone. Schedule your visit promptly for the fastest relief.