Anal itching / itchy bottom (known medically as pruritis ani) is irritation of the skin at the opening of the anal canal through which stool exits the body that leads to itching. The opening is surrounded by skin, which we call as anus. As a reflex action of the itching sensation, we scratch. Although itching may be a reaction to chemicals in the stool, it often implies that there is inflammation of the anal area. The itching sensation increases with scratching and presence of moisture. At its most intense, anal itching causes intolerable discomfort that often is described as burning and soreness.
Itchy Bottom: Causes and Management
Causes of itchy bottom
As itchy bottom is a symptom rather than a condition itself, many cases have an underlying cause, for example:
- bacterial infection – infection caused by many bacteria’s such as streptococci.
- skin condition – there is a skin condition known as atopic eczema, where dryness is accompanied by red and flaky skin.
- hemorrhoids (piles)– Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum,
- Treatment with antibiotics can lead to a yeast infectionand irritation of the anus
- In children, an itchy bottom is often caused by thread worms.
All cases of itchy bottom do not have an identifiable cause. Inflammation can be further worsened by following:
- woolen clothing or blankets
- Moisture: escape of small amounts of stool (incontinence), diarrhea, frequent liquid stools can lead to moisture. And moisture is one of the reasons for anal itching. getting anus infections becomes more common because of moisture, some sort of bacterial or yeast infection can occur.
- stress or anxiety
- Moisture and scratch increases the intensity of itching, further increasing the inflammation.
- During and after bowel movements, there occurs burning sensation and even soreness. this is caused by intense anal itching.
- There also may be small amounts of bleeding.
Treatment for itchy bottom
Treatment of anal itching depends on the cause of the problem. Treating an infection or hemorrhoids can help. some anti-itch cream can reduce the itching.
With proper care most people experience relief from anal itching. See your doctor if the itching persists. following medicines are prescribed for relief:
- Antihistamines– these are prescribed for allergy. And your doctor can prescribe you antihistamines, because you have problem at night. This itching and sensation to scratch makes sleeping difficult.
- Soothing ointments– some ointments are prescribed to soothe the pain. these will help to decrease inflammation.
- Local anesthetics– these can temporarily relieve pain and itching;
Prevention that you need take
- Spicy food should be avoided.
- Regular bowel habit must be maintained.
- Anal area should be kept clean after emptying the bowel, it should be washed properly.
- Plain water should be used to clean the area. medicated soaps and body washes should be avoided
- Use moist toilet tissues instead of paper. Similar to baby wipes.
- Moisture in the anal area is the leading cause of itching. Try to avoid the moisture and keep it dry.
- Medicated and scented powders should be avoided, use drying powders which are safe.
- Avoid scratching the area, which creates further trauma and makes the problem worse
- To reduce the inflammation, from irresistible overnight scratching wear gloves in hands. This will decrease the damage.
- Wear loose, breathable clothing, avoiding materials such as acrylic and nylon, which trap sweat
- Understanding and educating about the scratch-itch cycle is very important. As every wound needs its own time to heal, even skin should be allowed to heal. This will reduce the scratching. Avoiding irritating soaps and creams, and keeping the skin cool, dry, and clean is essential.
- Maintain short fingernails, to reduce the amount of damage and pain.
- Cotton balls soaked in cool water, applied to the anal area will soothe the intense itching.
These were few preventive measures which will reduce the inflammation. As it is said, prevention is better than cure, so follow these measures to get relief and avoid more pain.
This was all about the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of itchy bottom. If you observe any of the above mentioned symptoms consult your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will give you better advice. Before following any of the treatment mentioned above, consult your physician. Taking regular treatment, following correct medicines and preventive measures will help you in healing. Proper care will help you in healing. Be safe and live healthy.