Let’s face it: the medical world isn’t all about cool technology and innovative surgery. Sometimes (most of the time, actually), it’s about the embarrassing problems we have day-to-day like, yes, anus itching.
Also known as itchy bottom and pruritus ani, anus itching is defined by the National Institutes of Health as intense chronic itching affecting peri-anal skin (the skin around the anus). The issue affects an estimated 1-5% of the population, and is four times more common in men, though anyone of any age may develop this annoying problem.
There are a number of causes of anus itching, but before you try to diagnose yourself, remember: an itchy bottom is often a symptom, not a diagnosis.
This means treating the itch alone might not be treating the underlying cause of your discomfort.
The Many Causes of Anus Itching
The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) states there are two forms of pruritus ani:
- primary, where there appears to be no definitive cause
- secondary, where an identifiable medical issue is the root of the problem
For individuals with primary anus itching, something as simple as the physical act of itching itself can generate more itching, and create an ongoing struggle.
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