No one wants an itchy butt, least of all when they’re in a public place. And, it’s often too difficult to tell what’s caused it. Although an itchy butt might not be the end of the world, it’s important to know what causes it. This can help you avoid any discomfort or awkward moments that it might cause. Here are six causes of an itchy butt.
1. Poor Hygiene
The constant urge to scratch your butt could be caused due to pruritus ani. This condition is caused by a combination of irritants including bacterial and viral infections, skin tags, dermatitis, and fecal soilage.1
However, one of the most common causes of this condition is inadequate hygiene. This includes the lack of proper cleaning after defecation.2
Hence, it’s important to teach young children good personal hygiene. It’s also just as important for adults to maintain bathroom hygiene. A thorough sloshing and splashing of the anal area with plain warm water, several times each day, should do the trick.3
id="2-irritating-chemicals-in-toilet-tissue">2. Colored Toilet Paper
Colored and perfumed paper can look very beautiful in the toilet. But, they might irritate the sensitive skin around the butt and cause a nagging itch. Contact irritants in dyed or scented toilet paper, soaps, and laundry detergents can cause allergic contact dermatitis.
Another reason for an itchy butt is using medicated products for anal hygiene. If they’re a regular in your bathroom routine, ensure that the ingredients on the products do not contain agents which you might be allergic to. Instead, use special moisturizing toilet wipes, moistened unscented toilet paper, and chemical-free washes. Pat the area dry with a towel or cotton ball to avoid allergies and itching.4
id="3-scrubbing-or-wiping-vigorously">3. Scrubbing Or Wiping Vigorously
Overzealous hygiene including the use of irritating soaps, scents, and lotions might also irritate skin and cause itching. Furthermore, vigorous scrubbing increases tissue damage and local irritation.5
Avoid adding things like bath salts and bath bombs to your bath water. They might contain certain irritants that might worsen the itch. Additionally, be sure to always pat yourself dry rather than rubbing vigorously with a towel.
Furthermore, ensure that the detergents that you use to clean your innerwear are free from any irritants as your skin that might cause an allergic reaction. While you’re at it, do ensure that any new creams, toiletry items, and body lotions are free from these chemicals too.6
id="4-intake-of-spicy-foods-and-caffeine">4. Intake Of Certain Foods
Excessive intake of spicy foods, milk products, alcohol, caffeine and some kinds of veggies can cause itching. Citrus fruits and spicy foods might aggravate pruritus due to the acid content in the former or capsaicin content in the latter.
Furthermore, consuming certain beverages such as milk or caffeinated drinks may cause diarrhea followed by an anal itch.7 A good way to beat that annoying itch is to eliminate these foods from your diet. Additionally, increase your intake of nutritious, fiber-rich foods with fewer spices added for flavor. This will curb the gastrointestinal irritation and with it, anal itching.
Hemorrhoids cause swelling in the mucous lining of the anus. And, they can make it extremely uncomfortable for you to sit. They can also precipitate or exacerbate itching. Sometimes, loose flaps of skin known as skin tags might develop close to the region of hemorrhoids, worsening itching around the butt.
Infections could cause an itchy butt. These include
- Pinworms: Egg deposits by female pinworms are itchy and irritate skin. This can be treated with the help of regular deworming.9
- Candida infection: This condition causes severe itching in the anus area. It affects the folds of the skin and is characterized by skin erosions, exudation, oozing, and macerations. You can treat a candida infection by maintaining a clean hygiene routine.10
- Erythrasma: This disorder is often mistaken for candidiasis. It is usually caused due to obesity, heat, and damaged skin. Treatment for erythrasma usually involves antibiotics.
- Tinea cruris: This is a fungal infection that typically occurs in men and requires treatment with antifungal creams and medications.
If you suspect that you might have any of the above skin conditions, do consult a medical professional immediately.11
You don’t have to use all your mental strength to resist scratching an itchy butt in public. All you need to do is maintain a good hygiene routine and be aware of all the disorders that trigger the itching.
|↑1, ↑5||Pruritis Ani Expanded Version. American Society Of Colon And Rectal Surgeons.|
|↑2||MacLean, Joanne, and Darren Russell. “Pruritus ani.” Australian family physician 39, no. 6 (2010): 366.|
|↑3||Marsden, Kathryn. Good Gut Healing: The No-nonsense Guide to Bowel & Digestive Disorders. Piatkus, 2010.|
|↑4||Rietschel, Robert L., Joseph F. Fowler, and Alexander A. Fisher. Fisher’s contact dermatitis. PMPH-USA, 2008.|
|↑6||Whitlow, Charles B., David E. Beck, David A. Margolin, and Terry C. Hicks, eds. Improved Outcomes in Colon and Rectal Surgery. CRC Press, 2016.|
|↑7||Misery, Laurent, and Sonja Ständer, eds. Pruritus. London: Springer, 2010.|
|↑8||Stephenson, Clare. The Acupuncturist’s Guide to Conventional Medicine. Singing Dragon, 2017.|
|↑9||Zand, Janet, Allan N. Spreen, and James B. LaValle. Smart medicine for healthier living. Penguin, 1999.|
|↑10||Ferri, Fred F. “Ferri’s Clinical Advisor 2014 E-Book: 5 Books in 1.” Elsevier Health Sciences, 2013.|
|↑11||Doughty, D. B. “Urinary and fecal incontinence; current management concepts. 3.” Atlanta: Mosby (2006).|