Pruritus ani: Understanding the causes!

Are you confronting an awkward situation of having an itchy bottom? It might not be a life threatening problem, but that persistent itch around the anus is sufficient to disturb your life. Well there are different causes; here it is important to know all about Pruritus ani in detail. Read on.
Pruritus ani: Understanding the causes!Being a common medical problem, Pruritis ani is said to affect both men and women. Around 1% to 5% of people in the general population are said to suffer from this and men are more prone to it. The commonly affected ration 4:1 ratio, when compared with the women. Although it is said to most commonly affect adults, yet it cannot be defined by age. However, it is most common in people ranging from 40s to 60s.

Defining pruritis ani…

It is also called as anal itching and is basically defined as the irritation of the skin at the opening of the anal canal. It is the same place through which stool exits your body. It is the skin surrounding that opening which is termed as anus. The worst thing about this problem is that the itching is often accompanied by the desire to scratch. Sometimes the itching can be due to the reaction of chemicals in the stool and other times it is due to the inflammation of the anal area. And yes, the amount of inflammation and the intensity of anal itching increase the direct trauma of scratching and the existence of moisture. This causes intolerable discomfort which is described as burning and soreness.

Causes of pruritis ani…

When it is about causes, fecal soilage or incontinence, hemorrhoids, excessive skin tags, anal fistulae, anal fissures and anal warts are said to be possible causative agents. However, it is not constrained to the afore-stated problems.  Experts believe that an irritating secretion from the anal canal is the major reason behind itching. It is the local nerve fibers which might become chronically active due to repetitive trauma or scratching during prolonged periods of time. Along this, itching can also occur due to disorders of nerve pathways. And yes, it can also psychogenic, i.e. the symptoms might arise from the mind.

Common reasons:

The other common reasons for irritation include moisture from sweat, stool and mucus. Several studies have been conducted which states that relief of symptoms occur promptly after the stool has been cleansed. Thus, it indicates that stool was likely the irritant causing itching.

Over cleaning:

Next, in addition to difficult or inadequate hygiene, sometimes it can be overzealous or aggressive hygiene causing itching. At times it happens that with the use of those irritating scents, soaps, and lotions one get infested with pruritis ani. This often leads to a condition occasionally referred to as “polished anus syndrome”. And not to forget, overzealous cleaning along with the use of topical steroids is sufficient to destroy natural skin barriers, causing trauma to the anal skin.

Dietary factors:

Your diet plays a vital role when it is about pruritis ani.  Though there are no definitive studies which indicate toward a particular food items or diet causing the problem, yet coffee and other caffeinated stuff are said to be a major contributing factor. Actually the coffee consumption lower down the anal resting pressure, and then contribute to the anal leakage of stool. There are some other dietary agents such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, tea, cola, energy drinks, chocolate, spicy foods, beer, dairy products and nuts, which are possible said to be cause of pruritis ani when consumed in excess.

And that’s not all! There are several infectious processes, numerous skin conditions and medical diseases which may also result in pruritis ani. While there is a wide of potential causes, it is highly important to understand itching might or might not have some identifiable source!