It is one of the embarrassing health conditions that we have in this universe. Virtually everybody has experienced an episode of anal irritation in his/her life. I was surprised the other day to find out some people terms it as a pleasing circumstance despite the fact that it is totally disinclined to social norms.
Anal irritation can not be referred as a stand-alone disease but rather a sign that indicates a possibility of other underlying health problems. Most individuals who suffer from this condition rarely seek medical consultation especially if the irritation is not severe.
Anal canal is a long expansive cavity that plays a very big role in excreting faecal matter from our bodies through an opening that is called anus. Irritation tends to occur at the circumference of this orifice.
There are so many factors that can lead to this condition. We will try to examine several of them so that we can get to understand what precipitates it and how best it can be treated.
- Poor defecation/ laxation techniques. Some people are so preoccupied with their work to an extent that they can’t spare some time to empty their bowels completely. They always do it in a rush leaving residues at the anal cavity and along their underwear. Some of them do not even use toilet tissues. This fecal material is likely to cause anal irritation.
- Worm infestation: Pinworm’s (Enterobius vermicularis) distinctive symptom is intense anal itching (Anal pruritus ) because they deposit their eggs at the perianal region. It is a very transmissible condition and everybody in the household especially children can easily contract this condition if the condition is not diagnosed early and treated promptly. When one scratches the anus, the eggs stick in the fingers and they can survive for hours. What do you think is likely to happen should you come into contact with such an individual before he washes his/her hands. That’s why fist bump remains my preferred mode of greeting. Hand washing is key in countering the spread of this condition.
- Scabies: This is another contagious condition that can lead to a severe episode of anal irritation. They are micro mites that burrow under the skin folds of both the genitals and the opening of the anal canal. Initially, they used to be associated to unhygienic conditions but even clean individuals have been diagnosed with this condition before. It can also be transmitted sexually. The itchy is so irresistible and that is why sufferers “do their thing” even in public. Treatment should be done for the entire household and this includes disinfecting all the house linen.
- Hemorrhoids: This simply means widening of anal veins. Both internal and external veins can be dilated due to the continuous friction force of the stool during defecation process. By the age of 50, about 50% of people have hemorrhoids to some extent (Corman, 1998). They contribute a lot in defecation of blood stained stool in an event they get ulcerated. They also cause constipation. Home remedies such as sitz baths, intake of food rich in fiber and embracing proper laxation techniques may be all that one needs to treat them. It is recommended that you seek Doctors advice in an event you experience severe anal itching and blood stained stool for close examination and treatment. Stool softeners are prescribed to ease straining when one is evacuating his/her bowel. In severe cases, Surgical intervention is the best treatment option,
- There are other causes that might lead to this disorder such as fungal infections and hormonal disorders e.g. Diabetes Mellitus.
Are you experiencing anal irritation? How severe is it? Can you relate it to any of the causes above? Have you done something about it including consulting a Doctor for the same? The sooner you do it the better for you and your family.
Author: Eliud K Maina; Registered Nurse, HTC Counsellor.