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Anal itching Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Anal itching. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you had this problem

    Why: indicates if acute or chronic.

  2. Do you have itchy skin anywhere else on the body?

    Why: anal itch may be part of general itching, such as with a skin disease or other disease.

  3. Is the itch worse at any particular time of day?
  4. Does anything aggravate the itch

    Why: e.g. hot weather, exercise, stress.

  5. Do you suffer from eczema, psoriasis, diabetes?
  6. Have you had any recent antibiotics?

    Why: can predispose to candidiasis.

  7. What do you use to wash the anal area?

    Why: overzealous hygiene can cause anal itch.

  8. Have you changed toilet tissue brands, bathroom soap or washing powder?

    Why: contact dermatitis can cause anal itch.

  9. Do you use tight pantyhose in summer?

    Why: excessive sweating can cause anal itch.

  10. Have you ever noticed any worms in the toilet bowl?

    Why: pinworm or threadworm can cause anal itch.

  11. When do you experience the itch?

    Why: The timing of your itch can give your Health Professional an indication of the types of things that may be causing it, i.e., itching at night may indicate a Pinworm infection, whereas itching at any time may indicate hemorrhoids or a perianal infection.

  12. How long have you been experiencing the itch?

    Why: As they say, "timing can be everything". Different conditions have different time courses, which in some circumstances may be rigid enough for a specific time course to be almost diagnostic. For example, pinworm infection normally only becomes clinically apparent as anal itch between 1-2months after you have ingested pinworm eggs, whereas anal itch as a result of hemorrhoids tends to have a much longer time course.

  13. Do you regularly cut or chew your fingernails?

    Why: Not cutting your nails regularly enough can increase your chance of contracting Pinworm, which can cause nocturnal anal itch. Chewing your fingernails can predispose you to pinworm infection also.

  14. Do you regularly wash your hands, particularly after going to the toilet?

    Why: Good hygiene is an important defense against contracting pinworms and other infections which can cause anal itch.

  15. Has anyone else in your family, who you have had intimate/sexual relations with, or who you live with experienced anal itch or pinworms?

    Why: Infections such as pinworms are more likely to be transmitted amongst housemates and family members, and then cause anal itch. You may still contract such infections up to several months after your family members/housemates have been effectively treated.

  16. Can you tell me a bit about where you live?

    Why: Some living conditions can predispose you to contracting infections which may cause anal itch.

  17. Have you been at all unwell, of felt unwell recently?

    Why: Some general infections can cause anal itch.

  18. Have you or anyone in your family been diagnosed with diabetes?

    Why: Diabetes mellitus can be inheritable and can also make you more prone to infections in the groin and anal region. These infections can make you feel an anal itch.

  19. Have you ever had your blood sugar level measured?

    Why: It is important for your health professional to know where or know you have ever been tested for diabetes. If you haven't been tested before then your Health Professional may offer or recommend it to you. This is because Diabetes is an important risk factor for some conditions which result in anal itch.

  20. Have you recently, or have you ever taken part in anal intercourse?

    Why: Anal intercourse can result in both anal/perianal inflammation, as well as anal/perianal infection. These can both be felt as an anal itch. You may feel uncomfortable talking about this, but please remember that your Health Professional is not asking this question to invade your privacy or to judge you, but rather to help treat the condition for which you have sought treatment.

  21. Do you take any medications or use any skin creams/lotions?

    Why: Some medications such as some broad-spectrum antibiotics can make you prone to anal/perianal inflammation or infection, which can cause anal itch. If you are or have used any creams/ointments to soothe your anal itch, then their continued use may actually worsen or prolong the anal itch.

  22. Have you ever had, or thought you had a sexually transmitted disease?

    Why: Some sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea can cause anal itch.

  23. Have you noticed any lumps, warts or sores in your groin or around your anus?

    Why: Genital warts (Human Papilloma Virus lesions/papillomas) can be felt as small fleshy warts in the groin or anal region. Along with the vesicles/sores which may be caused by Herpes Simplex infection, these can result in anal itch.

  24. Have you ever had, or thought you had a sexually transmitted disease?

    Why: Some sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea can cause anal itch.

  25. Have you noticed any lumps, warts or sores in your groin or around your anus?

    Why: Genital warts (Human Papilloma Virus lesions/papillomas) can be felt as small fleshy warts in the groin or anal region. Along with the vesicles/sores which may be caused by Herpes Simplex infection, these can result in anal itch.

  26. Have you ever had cold sores or genital herpes?

    Why: Both of these conditions can be caused by the same viruses, and thus infection with any of these viruses can lead to herpes lesions or sores/vesicles close to the anus. These may result in anal itch.

  27. How have you been sleeping?

    Why: Anal itch can cause your sleep to be disturbed and for you to experience insomnia.

  28. Have you had any itch or infection of your vagina/scrotum or a urinary tract infection?

    Why: With Pinworm infection there may be spread of inflammation to the valva/vagina (vulvovaginitis). Inflammation of the urinary tract (urethritis, Urinary tract infection) can also occur.

  29. Have you ever noticed any hemorrhoids ("piles"), seen blood in the toilet, seen blood on your underwear, or noticed any blood on your toilet paper?

    Why: Hemorrhoids can cause an itch around the anus, and it is important to ask about their signs or presence.

  30. Do you experience any pain when you move your bowels?

    Why: Along with the presence of some blood when you move your bowels, a sharp pain may be an indication of an anal fissure which in some people may also cause an anal itch.

  31. Have you noticed any abnormal discharge from around/near or in your anus? An abnormal anal or perianal discharge may indicate an anal fistula, perianal fistula or a Proctitis. These can cause an anal itch
  32. Have you experienced any anal soreness or burning?

    Why: As well as anal itch, these symptoms can indicate a proctitis.

  33. Have you had any problems with your skin away from your anus?

    Why: There are several dermatological conditions which can cause an anal itch, but which may also be apparent on other areas of your body. These may include contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, dermatitis herpetiformis, diaper dermatitis, dermatitis stasis, eczema, and atopic dermatitis.

  34. Do you use any bath products or bath soaps?

    Why: In some people these can actually be skin irritants and cause an anal itch.

  35. Can you tell me a bit about your usual toilet and shower/bath routine?

    Why: Your health professional is not asking this to be "nosy", but rather to get both an idea of your hygiene routine as well as anything you use which may cause you to have skin, anus, or perianal itch/irritation. Sometimes the cause of your itch and skin irritation can be simply overlooked unless a very thorough and detailed history of your hygiene habits is taken, including all products you use.

  36. Why have you come to see me about this problem now?

    Why: This question (or one like it) may be asked by your health professional to assist them in getting as complete an idea as possible about what is actually concerning you. Additionally, you may feel embarrassed about talking about some topics and this is a way that your health professional can help to make you feel more relaxed and secure about disclosing things you may feel uncomfortable about.

  37. Have you had any unusual genital discharge?

    Why: Some types of vaginal discharge can result in vulval and anal irritation/itch.

  38. Do you suffer from incontinence?

    Why: Urinary or fecal incontinence can cause your skin anogenital skin to be more moist than usual, and thus possibly causing an anal itch to occur.

  39. Can you tell me about your diet?

    Why: Some diets, particularly those that are high in fibre can result in anal itch.

  40. Diabetes like symptoms

    Why: can predispose to candidiasis.

  41. Vaginal itch

    Why: candidiasis can cause anal itch.

  42. Diarrhea or faecal incontinence

    Why: can cause anal itch due to irritation of anal skin.

  43. Anal bleeding?

    Why: may indicate anal irritation, hemorrhoids, fissure, warts.

  44. Anxiety and/or stress

    Why: both can contribute to the itching.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Anal itching:

The following list of conditions have 'Anal itching' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Anal itching or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Anal itching:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Anal itching' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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