Anal Itching and Hemorrhoids (Almorranas in Spanish)

Persistent itching of varying intensity of perianal skin is known as pruritis ani. It is a medical condition that affects around 5% of the population. Patients with anal itching report a strong desire to scratch their skin. Repetitive scratching leads to worsening skin irritation, sometimes leading to ulceration.

Many factors contribute to pruritis ani. Excessive moisture especially during the hot and humid summer season of Houston greatly exacerbates anal itching. By the same token, chemical irritants present in certain laundry detergent, toilet paper or soap can cause anal itching. Keeping the area clean and dry and eliminating certain chemicals can greatly improve symptom control.

Infections whether fungal or parasitic can greatly exacerbate anal itching. Pinworm infections are caused by a parasite called Enterobius vermicularis. The female worm deposits eggs around the anus during nighttime. This causes intense itching especially at night. Children aged 5 to 10 are mostly prone to infection. Antibiotic treatment offers effective and reliable cure.

Last but not least, hemorrhoids are a common cause of anal itching and discomfort. Hemorrhoids are dilated blood vessels in the anal canal that are covered with mucous secreting cells. Mucous is deposited on perianal skin resulting in severe perianal itching. Hemorrhoid banding, an office-based procedure, reliable and safely eliminates perianal itching.