Pruritus ani is an annoying chronic condition characterized by persistent perianal itching / burning and irritation. It is one of the most tormenting of all rectal diseases and at the same time, it can be difficult to successfully treat. Once pruritus gains a foothold, there is little, if any, relief from the agonizing itching / burning. As the affliction continues, it becomes more complicated and more severe. The itching is really a symptom complex, and the cause must be removed if the itching is to be stopped.
The causes of pruritus ani generally fall within two main groups. The first group, which accounts for 50% of all cases, has no know clinic explanation. The second group, which accounts for the remaining half, relates to a variety of conditions which can be local (hemorrhoids, skin tags, etc.) or systemic (dietary, diabetes, medications, etc.). In the majority of cases, the primary cause has some pathologic (disease) condition of the rectum or anal canal. When these causes are fully remedied, there is usually permanent relief of the itching / burning.
Dr. Cranford’s treatment of pruritus begins with treating whatever anorectal condition (hemorrhoids, fissures, etc) is present, dietary changes, removing contact with known allergens (foods, medications, etc.), and then clearing various infections that can create an allergic response (fungus, yeast, condyloma, herpes type 2). Topical anti-inflammatories are prescribed when appropriate.
Dr. Cranford’s success with this condition is remarkable. By basing his treatment upon these fundamental causes, he has been able to obtain permanent and gratifying relief in the vast majority of cases.