What is it?

Pruritus ani, or anal itching, is a skin condition that causes itching that may worsen at night or after having a bowel movement. Primary pruritus ani has no underlying cause, and it’s the more common type. While secondary itching may result from infections, contact dermatitis, or other medical conditions. It is quite common and affects men more than women. It could be triggered due to an overuse of soaps or other topical products, scrubbing or rough toilet paper. Certain foods such as spicy and acidic foods may make it worse. Treatment depends on the underlying cause and may include topical steroids, antibiotics or antifungal medications, and anal tattooing. Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Further evaluation may include a skin biopsy.

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