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Itchy bottom - promising new treatment

This content is sponsored by Pranicura.

For the last 8 years Pete Gottschalk (founder of Pranicura LLC) has been developing a treatment for idiopathic pruritus ani (long-term anal itching of unknown cause). Here, he discusses his findings.

In a survey of 17,685 Pranicura users from 2013 to 2017, the responses from 2,086 people showed that the treatment successfully alleviated anal itching in 90% of cases.

Finding a Cause

Conventional wisdom states that many different factors cause anal itching. However, our observations on thousands of people with chronic anal itching challenge this common assumption, with the following findings.

  • Special diets or food elimination do not cure the problem in most instances.
  • Allergies to fabrics, soaps or powders are minimal and should not be considered a primary cause in most people.
  • Poor hygiene is not the cause. If every person with poor hygiene had chronic anal itching doctors would be inundated with patient visits. Statistically, only a small percentage of people are afflicted.
  • Keeping the anal area clean and dry is good advice, but it is not enough on its own for most people to get relief. In addition, too dry can be just as bad as too moist.
  • Overcleaning and dry scratching makes the itching worse, but it is not the cause of the problem.
  • Candida fungal infection is not the cause in most people.
  • The itch is very real – it is not a mental or stress issue.
  • Petrolatum, an ingredient found in most ointments, can make anal itching worse.
  • Yeast, fungus, pinworms and other known causes can be eliminated with a visit to your doctor.
  • Men and women are afflicted equally, 50%:50%.
  • Prolonged use of steroid ointments on the anal area can lead to thin skin that tears easily. For this reason, extended use of prescription and over-the-counter hydrocortisone is not recommended.

The One Cause Theory

After communicating with thousands of anal itching sufferers, we have come to the conclusion that ‘multiple-cause thinking’ is wrong and instead there is only one cause. Something is going wrong somewhere in the gut (probably a bacterial imbalance or an unknown bacteria), which leads to itching, burning and irritation of the anus (and the skin around the anus) after contact with fecal matter from leakage or discharge.

Night-time itching supports this theory. Almost all sufferers report that the worst itching is at night: since muscles relax while sleeping (including the anus), leakage is more likely to occur at this time, leading to itching.

Support for a potential bacterial source comes from reports from a few anal itching sufferers who were given ‘strong’ non-mainstream antibiotics for other conditions. A surprise side effect was elimination of the anal itching, but this positive effect only lasted while they were taking the drugs.

None of the people we communicated with had anal itching from birth, suggesting that something had changed in the body over time to cause the problem. We found that we could get the skin of the anal area to heal, but then the itch and irritation would always come back via the anus first.

All of this leads us to believe that the problem starts from the inside, eventually irritating the skin of the anus and surrounding skin after bowel movements, gas or mucous leakage. Our attempts over many years to correct this suspected internal problem have included food (and beverage) elimination diets, probiotics and digestive enzymes, all with no long-term success or cure. We eventually gave up on finding a cure to focus on a treatment that could bring long-lasting relief and a good night’s sleep.

One Cause, One Treatment

Although the above findings are observational and need to be confirmed by the scientific community, if the problem is actually due to an irritant in fecal matter, then the first logical step is to remove all fecal matter from the skin. We therefore advise an easy-cleaning protocol whenever the itch presents itself:

  1. Clean with a baby wipe
  2. Pat dry
  3. Wait. 

We recommend application of Pranicura ointment only when cleaning isn’t enough and the itch is still there. Some people can go many weeks or even months between ointment applications, while others needed Pranicura every couple of days.

Initially, we tested a multitude of widely available anti-itch ointments and numbing agents, but none of them gave long-term relief, so we had to create one ourselves. It took years, but the breakthrough came when we eliminated almost all of the petrolatum, used calamine instead of zinc oxide, and then added what turned out to be the key ingredient — aluminum hydroxide gel. It creates a barrier, calms the itch and keeps moisture in balance. No other product matches our non-greasy patent-pending formulation.

By inventing the Pranicura treatment in response to the ‘one cause’ theory, we were able to alleviate symptoms in 90% of people with long-term anal itching. We hope that scientists will eventually find a cure. Until then, the Pranicura treatment only takes a few minutes a day and gives relief from symptoms for days, weeks or months at a time.

See for more details. is a problem-solving health site with an 18-year heritage of helping people tackle sensitive health issues. In addition to offering concise straight-talking advice we seek to work with advertisers with effective products that help our visitors tackle their problems and move on.
We therefore welcome your comments on Pranicura in the comments section below.

Written by: Pete Gottschalk
Edited by:
Last updated: Wednesday, August 1st 2018


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