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Persistent Painful Pruritis Ani
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Persistent Painful Pruritis Ani

I'm almost 24 years old and for about 6-7 years I've suffered from on again/off again Pruritis Ani. I can't seem to get it to go away, although I do get periods where it's manageable. The problem is all I have to do is accidentally itch it a couple times to send it into over the top extreme itching irritation and burning for a month or more where it destroys my life - I can't go out because it'll get so irritated I wont be able to enjoy myself, I'll be walking funny and irritated with everyone all the time. During this flare up time nothing I do seems to help - I just have to wait and hope the flare up will be over faster this time. In particular the Pruritis Ani irritation spreads to my taint (which is the area that ends up being the most irritated) and right up my crotch and legs. It has never surpassed my belly and never gotten past my thighs.

When I first brought this up to my doctor he recemended a cream product called Zincofax, but otherwise basically told me to live with it and that nothing could be done about it.

I've read about Pruritis Ani and tried many different things.

When it first started I suspected an AWFUL diet and heavy drinking were to blame (I was in university at the time). Since then I have all but quit drinking, I executed a heavy dietary purge (I quit sugar for two months, dropping 25 pounds and have cleaned up my diet dramatically in the 4-6 months since then). This hasn't helped. In addition to a relatively (albeit not perfectly) healthy diet, I have been taking soluble fibre (psyllium) in order to promote regularity and ease some very minor discomfort associated with Pruritis Ani and bowel movements (this has had great effect).

I have been tested for STDs, just in case - I am clean.

I went on doctor prescribed anti-biotics (and pro-biotics afterward to be safe).

I have no skin conditions anywhere else on my body.

As I mentioned before I have tried Zincofax as a mild cream in order to ease symptoms - this can very temporarily ease symptoms, but does nothing as far as calming a flare up which can last upwards of two months. Additionally, Zincofax is very thick and messy so it's not ideal. My mother has studied aroma therapy and has made creams which include various oils such as lavender oil, peppermint oil and tea tree oil - these creams have proven by far the most effective short term relief but once again do nothing to treat the long term persistence of the problem.

I am unaware of any infections elsewhere - although I can not rule out the possibility with absolute certainty because I have two other unresolved issues which effect that region of my body.

The first is a pilonidal sinus. It developed when I was quite young and used to itch quite badly and would occasionally bleed a bit - I almost never ever even notice it any more. Is it possible that this has become infected and is causing the persistent Pruritis Ani in some way?

The second issue is a bit more troublesome and unresolved: I suffer from frequent urination at night. At times I will wake up up to 10 times in an evening because I have to go pee (although most nights it's more manageable and I wake up only 4 times or so. I don't have trouble peeing, but the flow and amount of urine is usually quite low, which makes this issue more frustrating. This condition has only set in in the last 4 or 5 years. My doctor has suggested to me that this is "just the way I am now". Given the other unresolved issues in this area of my body I'm uncertain whether or not there is a connection.

The largest and most pressing issue is the Pruritis Ani which is painful and persistent enough to be causing significant disruption of my life - the other issues I list because I am no doctor and I don't know if it's possible if they are connected.

In any case, I'm at my wits end, I've tried everything I can think of. I've researched Pruritis Ani and tried many different treatments. Health care professionals have been useless in regard to this problem but I need a way to get my life back and so I'm hoping someone out there has some kind of experience or advice that can help me.
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