10 common causes of an*l itching



An*l itching (known medically as pruritus ani) is irritation of the skin at the opening of the anal canal through which stool exits the body that leads to itching.

The skin surrounding the opening is known as the anus. The itching is accompanied by the desire to scratch.

Although itching may be a reaction to chemicals in the stool, it often implies that there is inflammation of the anal area.

The intensity of anal itching and the amount of inflammation increases with the direct trauma of scratching and the presence of moisture.

At its most intense, anal itching causes intolerable discomfort that often is described as burning and soreness.

Common causes of anal itching

1. An itchy bottom can be caused by irritating chemicals in the foods we eat, such as are found in spices, hot sauces, and peppers.

2. Anal itching also can be caused by the irritation of continuous moisture in the anus from frequent liquid stools, diarrhea, or escape of small amounts of stool (incontinence or fecal spoilage). Moisture increases the possibility of infections of the anus, especially yeast, particularly in patients with diabetes or HIV.

3. Treatment with antibiotics can lead to a yeast infection and irritation of the anus.

4. Psoriasis can irritate the anus.

5. Abnormal passageways (fistulas) from the small intestine or colon to the skin surrounding the anus can form as a result of medical conditions (such as Crohn’s disease), and these fistulas bring irritating fluids to the anal area.

6. Rarely, tumors of the anus (anal cancer) may be the cause of itching.

Other problems that can cause anal itch include:

7. Pinworms.

8. Hemorrhoids.

9. Tears of the anal skin (fissures)

10. Skin tags (abnormal local growth of anal skin).

An examination by a doctor can rapidly identify most causes of anal itching. Adjustments in diet, treatment of infections, or surgical procedures to correct the underlying cause may be required.