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December 16, 1939

Current Comment

JAMA. 1939;113(25):2242. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800500047014

PRURITUS OF THE ANUS AND VULVA  Medical literature contains a variety of opinions concerning the cause and treatment of pruritus of the anus and vulva. Recently the Haileys1 stated that the majority of cases of essential, idiopathic or true pruritus of the anus and vulva are due to eczema, the causes of which are essentially the same as those causing eczema in other anatomic localities. The patient's heredity makes a suitable soil for the development of the eczema, as it does for the development of asthma, hay fever, urticaria and migraine in hypersensitive persons. Pruritus of the anus and vulva, in fact, is eczema of those regions and as such is a manifestation of hypersensitiveness in the skin. The direct causes which bring on the attacks may be chemical substances, including some drugs and dyes, clothing, including wool, rubber and some synthetic fabrics, hemorrhoids, diet, heat, atmospheric conditions or