Colon and Rectal Surgeons
of Kansas City

Anal Dermatitis

Anal Dermatitis (Pruritis ani) is a very common complaint.  Only 10% of individuals find this to be chronic and difficult to resolve.  The most common symptom is that of anal itching, burning, or irritation.  One of the more common causative factors is the excessive use of soap.  The body produces fatty acids and waxes in the anal area, making a natural protective barrier.  Soap and aggressive cleaning will remove this protective barrier, making it more prone to skin breakdown and inflammation.  Whenever there is inflamed skin in a moist area devoid of air, there is a high frequency of a concurrent yeast or fungal infection.  It is recommended to irrigate the anal area twice daily.  If possible, air dry and then apply a topical anti-inflammatory cream. Occasional use of an antifungal is also sometimes necessary.  Avoidance of rectal seepage or drainage is also important.  A high fiber diet with the use of a fiber supplement, i.e., (Konsyl) to aid in a more complete evacuation is recommended.  Avoidance of excessive coffee, chocolate, and hot spicy foods is also recommended.  In patients with loose stools or chronic diarrhea, a protective skin barrier agent such as Zinc Oxide or Desitin may be beneficial.  It would be very uncommon for hemorrhoids to produce symptoms such as itching or irritation.

For more information please visit:
The American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgeons