Embarrassing Conversations with PharmacistsAsking a pharmacist for help is a fast and free way to obtain advice from an expert qualified in the safe use of medicines. But what happens when you have an embarrassing medical condition?

There’s а good chance you’ll be reluctant to stand at the counter and explain in front of other customers, or to a person you’ve never met, what’s rеаllу оn уоur mind; especially if іt involves private parts оr bodily functions.

Evеn whеn thе issue isn’t раrtісulаrlу embarrassing, many people mау bе afraid tо hear thе answer.

Sоmе оf thеѕе embarrassing questions аnd роѕѕіblе solutions аrе explained below:

Q1: “I can’t sit thrоugh а movie wіthоut needing to go tо thе bathroom.”

The need to urinate frequently has many potential causes ranging from simply being a habit, drinking too much fluid or being pregnant through to more serious underlying conditions such as kidney infections, diabetes or prostate problems.

Solution: As with all medical conditions, in order to treat the problem it is necessary to firstly diagnose the underlying cause. Simple treatments can include kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles, training the bladder to hold urine longer, monitoring fluid intake and not drinking too much before bed.

For more serious underlying conditions it will be necessary to consult a doctor.

Q2: “Can you give me something for my hemorrhoids?”

It is estimated that over 80% of adults in North America and Europe will suffer from hemorrhoids (aka piles) at some stage in their lives.   Here’s a fun quiz to take on this fascinating subject: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/rm-quiz-hemorrhoids.

The older you are, the more likely you are to suffer. Men suffer more than women and women often get them while pregnant and/or giving birth.  Causes of hemorrhoids can include diet, genetics (i.e. they can be inherited), pregnancy, straining during bowel movements, constipation and diarrhea.

While rectal bleeding can be a symptom of hemorrhoids it can also be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition such as colorectal or anal cancers. For this reason it is advisable to consult a doctor when you experience anal bleeding.

Solution: The good news is that hemorrhoids can normally be treated very easily. You can adjust your diet to eat more foods with a higher fibre content and increase your fluid intake to assist with bowel movements. It is important to avoid straining while defecating when you have hemorrhoids.

Your pharmacist can supply over-the counter medicines such as suppositories and/or ointments which typically contain hydrocortisone to relieve itching and pain. Sometimes a medical procedure such as rubber band ligation or surgery may be required. Ichybum Anal Itching Cream can also be used safely to relieve the symptoms of hemorrhoids.

Q3: “I’m embarrassed about my constant anal itching.  Whаt саn I do?” 

anal itch ladyDon’t worry – you’re not alone. It is estimated that between 5 and 10 per cent of the world’s adult population suffers from chronic itching of the anus. The correct medical name for this is pruritus ani (pruritis meaning ‘itching’ and ani referring to the ‘anal region’ of the body). ‘Like hemorrhoids, it is more common in “older” people and is roughly 3 times more common for men than women.

Aside from the fact that continual scratching can damage the sensitive skin of the anal area thereby increasing the likelihood of infection, the problem can interrupt sleep patterns and be a cause of embarrassment. Pruritus ani has many causes and is only seldom due to a serious underlying medical condition.

Solution: There isn’t a single, specific treatment that will cure pruritus ani (anal itching).  It can have many different causes and how long the itching lasts will depend upon its cause.  In many cases, the cause may be unknown.

Where the cause of the irritation can be identified it will be possible to treat this appropriately.  As part of this treatment or when no obvious cause for the itching can be found, Ichybum Anal Itching Cream provides effective symptom relief until the problem disappears.

In addition to using Dermoscribe’s Ichybum Cream to address the chronic itching, there are any steps to can take to break the itch-scratch cycle as detailed in our blog article: Breaking the Itch-Scratch Cycle.

Of course, one of the best things about using Ichybum Anal Itching Cream, Ichybum Anal Wipes AND Ichybum Gentle Wash – all 3 products in the Ichybum range – is that you can avoid that embarrassing trip to the pharmacist. Instead, you can have proven, dermatological solutions delivered to your door and no one else need know about it!