Anal Pain and Itching

Chronic or persistent anal pain and itching can have a detrimental effect on a person’s quality of life. Some describe anal pain as sharp and ‘knife-like’ or dull and achy, whereas others may experience throbbing or sudden episodes of spasms. For those who experience itching, the urge to scratch may persist nearly constantly, which can further exacerbate the condition. Unfortunately, many people  suffer with anal pain or itching on a daily basis, which may be a benign condition or an indication of an underlying health problem. It is important to see a doctor for symptoms that are severe or continue for several weeks without improvement.

Did you know…

that anal pain and itching is officially known by the term pruritis ani, which is Latin for ‘itchy anus’? This condition affects both genders, though men are four times more likely than women to experience it. It can also occur at any age, though it most frequently occurs between the ages of 40 and 60.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the causes of frequent anal pain and itching?

Anal pain and itching is usually a secondary condition brought on by a wide range of colorectal conditions. Some of the most common examples include anal fissures, hemorrhoids, abscesses, skin tags, fecal incontinence or anal fistulae. Skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis can also cause pain and itching, as can fungal and parasitic conditions. In some people, anal pain and itching is found to be a primary idiopathic condition, meaning there is no known cause for the condition.

Is there a way to prevent anal pain and itching?

Though anal pain and itching may not always be prevented, many people find success in better hygienic practices. This includes keeping the anal area free of sweat, stool and mucus at all times, all of which are known to irritate the skin around the anus. If the condition continues, see a colorectal surgeon for an exam and evaluation.

How will a colorectal surgeon treat anal pain and itching ?

For most people with a secondary case of pruritis ani, pain and itching is the symptom of a treatable cause. Non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures are available to treat a wide range of colorectal conditions, including infections, fissures, hemorrhoids and abscesses.