Pruritis ani– the dreaded “itchy butt.” /r4vi/ 2316877289/I have a great job.  Every day is different.  One of the conditions I see commonly is perianal itching. This affects 1 to 5% of the population and is the second most common anorectal condition (after hemorrhoids—a topic for another time).

Studies show that most patients self-treat for one year before presenting to a physician.  There are many underlying problems that can lead to anal itching:

  • allergies,
  • dietary irritants (beer, caffeine, citrus, milk, tomatoes, chili peppers),
  • stool on the anal skin (poor hygiene, rectal skin tags),
  • infections (pinworms, STDs, yeast),
  • skin cancer, or
  • topical irritants (detergent, soaps, suppositories, tight clothing, toilet paper dyes or perfumes).

Once the itch-scratch cycle starts it is a difficult cycle to stop …as the scratching causes the anus to be inflamed which causes an irresistible urge to scratch more.

My job is to break that itch-scratch cycle, to diagnose the underlying condition, and to treat.  If after sufficient investigation and treatment, the area still itches a biopsy of the tissue is needed to rule out malignancy.

Hope this helps.


About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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