Pruritis (Itch) - Pruritis Ani information, causes, symptom, treatment


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Home :: Diseases P :: Pruritis

Pruritis (Itch) - Pruritis Ani causes, symptom, treatment

What is Pruritis Ani?

Pruritis is associated with underlying systemic illnesses or a bothersome itch. Pruritis is the name for itchiness that causes pets to scratch. Pruritis is a common and often challenging adverse effect of hemodialysis, often occurring in patients who already have uremia-associated pruritis to be begin with. Pruritis, or generalized itch, is a source of serious discomfort and distress in a significant minority of people living with AIDS.

What causes Pruritis Ani ?

The exact cause of an itch is unknown and is a complex process. Pruritis is frequently a difficult problem both in establishing a cause and treating effectively. However, several characteristics you describe narrow down the etiologic possibilities of Pruritis somewhat:

  1. The absence of rash generally rules out a primary skin problem, although occasionally itching / Pruritis precedes certain rashes by weeks to months. For example, T cell lymphomas of skin may not be apparent on gross examination for awhile but are detected by biopsies.
  2. The good response to antihistamines rules against a primary "central" neurologic problem causing the itch.
  3. Other historical factors are helpful - itching / Pruritis that lasts more than several weeks and is extensive (on many regions of the body) is more suggestive of a systemic process causing the itch than a localized itch. Once systemic conditions are considered, they can be divided into these categories with diagnostic approaches: 
    1. Chronic renal failure - check BUN, creatinine 
    2. Hepatic cholestasis, check bilirubin, LFT 
    3. Hemopoietic disorders - P. vera, paraproteinemia - Check CBC, SPEP.
  4. Endocrine disorders, hyperthyroid, diabetes mellitus, carcinoid - Check TSH, T3, T4, glucose, 5HIAA 
  5. Drug reaction - check history carefully with Pruritis. There is not always a rash. For example, some drug reactions cause cholestasis.
  6. Systemic parasitosis-particularly important in this case of a man originally from Africa.Possibilitity increases if there is blood eosinophilia.Most likely possibilities in severe itch- ascaris scabies, trichinella, onchocerciasis, Check stools, look for burrows under skin, particularly on hands.
  7. Certain malignancies - lymphoma, myeloma, M. fungoidies more than typical epidermoid tumors.
  8. Psychogenic - neurotic excoriations, delusions of parasitosis .
  9. Miscellaneous - mastocytosis, hemochromatosis, AIDS.

Pruritis Classification as skin diseases:

Pruritis is a feature of many of skin diseases. Generalized Pruritis can precede some skin disease such as pemphigoid. Some common skin diseases causing itchiness is listed as follows:

Severe Moderate
  • Scabies, pedulosis 
  • Insect bites
  • Contact dermatitis 
  • Atopic eczema
  • Urticaria
  • Miliaria
  • Lichen planus
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Psoriasis
  • Seborrhoeic eczema
  • Fungal infection
  • Dry skin
  • Sunburn



Pruritis Ani Treatment

Pruritus ani is frequently stubborn and requires months of local medication and gentle skin care. Medications which have been succesful for this condition include: - Lotrimin cream mixed with hydrocortisone 1% cream applied daily. Both of these are available over the counter at your local drug store.   - A mild alpha hydroxyacid applied each day.   - Plain vaseline applied each day to the anal area.

Recovery from Pruritis

Most people experience some relief from itching within a week.  Complete cure usually comes within four to six weeks.

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Disclaimer: All information on is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, please consult your doctor.