DESCRIPTIONPruritis ani is itching around the anus and genitals. The anus, vulva (vaginal lips) in females, and scrotum in males are involved.
Appropriate health care includes:
Self-care after diagnosis.
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications, if self-care is not successful.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Itching, often intense and worse at night.
Contact dermatitis caused by soaps, contraceptive foams or jellies, perfumed toilet paper, deodorant sprays, douches, or underwear made of synthetic fabric.
Various skin disorders, including psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.
Vaginal discharge or skin atrophy in females caused by low estrogen levels.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCE
Encourage your child to keep the body clean with regular showers or baths.
Teach your child to cleanse carefully after bowel movements with moistened tissue.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory studies, such as cultures for fungi, or microscopic examinations for pinworm eggs or scabies in skin burrows.
Skin damage, allowing secondary bacterial infection to develop.
Skin thickening and chronic inflammation.
Fatigue from chronic sleep disturbance.
Your child's symptoms can be controlled with treatment, even if the cause cannot be determined.
HOME CAREInstructions for your child:
Keep showers or baths brief to minimize dryness and soap irritation. Use plain, unscented soap--if any.
Keep the rectal area clean, dry, and cool. Wear loose clothing and underclothing. Clean carefully after bowel movements, using moist tufts of cotton or plain soap and water.
Don't use irritants listed as causes.
Wear underwear with a cotton crotch or underwear made of cotton, rather than nylon or other synthetics.
If you are menstruating, you may be more comfortable using tampons for menstrual periods, rather than sanitary napkins.
MEDICATIONYou may use non-prescription cortisone ointment or cream on your child. Apply 3 times a day, and rub in gently until it disappears.
Your doctor may prescribe:
-- More potent topical cortisone drugs.
-- Zinc oxide.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
Your child should avoid activities that cause excessive perspiration.
DIET & FLUIDS
Your child should avoid spicy or highly seasoned foods. These irritate mucous membranes of the anus.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of pruritis ani that persist, despite self-care.
Your child develops a fever.
The irritated area seems infected.