Therapeutic use of the Scottish kilt (3): prevention and treatment of pruritis ani

Pruritis ani is the irritation of the skin at the region around the anus, causing a desire to scratch. The condition is very common. The irritation can be caused by anal perspiration. Wearing tight clothes that compress the buttocks may aggravate moisture in the anal cleft. It is very important to dry the anus thoroughly. Alexander-Williams stresses in the British Medical Journal (Alexander-Williams J. Pruritis ani. BMJ 1983; 287: 159-160) that nudism is ideal in treating and preventing of pruritis ani but, sadly, often impracticable. He mentions that he has no evidence to confirm or deny the belief that the strict adherence to traditional Scottish kilt wearing is a sure protection against pruritis ani. Many men wearing the kilt in a traditional (‘regimental’) way mention the pleasant prevention of moisture in the anal cleft and cooling of the buttocks and genital parts.

There was a widespread prejudice in England that Scotland was a country of rampant lousiness and scabies infestation, where the national partiality for open dress (kilts) was brought about the need for constant manual access to pruritic private parts. From the eighteenth century onwards Scotland was known by the English as ‘scratchland’. The imagined bare buttocks of the Scots was associated with their alleged propensity to publicly display and attend to their itches. But this points more strongly to the cultural and historical struggle between the English and the Scots, than it does to a confirmation that Scots generally suffer from generalized pruritis.

So patients suffering from severe, treatment-resistent, pruritis ani can try to cure their horrible condition by wearing a kilt

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