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Itchy anus

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Itchy anus

 

The scene

Miss OMG just couldn’t wait to hang out with BJ (her boyfriend of 1 month), excitedly they strolled and chatted along, hand-in-hand, shoulder to shoulder squeezing the breeze in between them. Occasionally she had to discretely make her left hand travel to her backside to calm the ferocious itch in her anus. Over and over, again and again she did this until she elicited an embarrassing gaze from passersby and worse still her boyfriend saw her in the act. The fire of romance was quenched and the date was over, well before it started!

What it is

An itch around the butt opening is uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing. If one has anal itch, it may be hard to fight the urge to scratch. But scratching will only make the problem worse. Some health problems, habits or diet may trigger it. Itchy anus is a symptom and not a diagnosis.

Causes and Palliatives

Bathroom Habits If you don’t wipe well after you poop, what’s left behind can cause itching and burning sensation. Gently clean the area and pat dry with toilet paper.

Being ‘Too’ Clean

Wiping too hard can cause itching or make it worse. Don’t use soap, hot water, medicated powders, perfumed sprays, or deodorants, either. They can destroy the oily skin barrier that protects this sensitive area.

Diet

If you drink coffee, you may be more likely to have anal itching. It may loosen the anal muscles, and that can let stool leak out, triggering itch. Other things that may cause anal irritation or itching include: Tea and cola, Energy drinks and beer, Chocolate and nuts, Citrus fruits and tomatoes, Spicy foods and Dairy.

Underwear

If yours are tight or made of synthetic fabrics, you might have a moisture problem down below. Switch to well-fitting all-cotton ones. They absorb better. Change them every day or anytime they get damp, like after exercise. Wash them in fragrance-free detergent.

Your Stools

Passing watery stool and wiping often can irritate the area. You also can itch and have pain if you pass hard stool (constipation). More fluids and fiber in your diet can help keep you regular. If that doesn’t work, talk with your doctor.

Hemorrhoids

These are swollen veins in the rectum or anus that can burn and itch. Straining when you poop or pressure during pregnancy can cause them. Sitting in warm water (a sitz bath) for 15 minutes several times a day may help. Try one after you poop. Drink plenty of water daily and get fiber in your diet so stools are softer.

Anal Fissures

These are tiny cuts or sores (fissures) that open up inside the anus and cause pain and itching. One is more likely to get these if constipated and a hard or large stool tears the lining. Other causes include long-term diarrhea and an inflammatory bowel disease called Crohn’s disease.

Anal Fistula

This is a tunnel that connects an infection inside the anus with skin on the outside. Fluids can leak out and irritate the skin, which triggers pain and itch. Crohn’s disease, cancer, trauma, and radiation can raise the chances of infections and fistulas.

Infections

A fungus, like the one that causes most vaginal yeast infections, can also cause anal itching. And certain kinds of bacteria can, too. For example, a staph skin infection can happen almost anywhere, including the area around the anus.

Warts

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted disease that causes anal warts. They grow inside and around your anus and may spread to the genitals. Itching is a common symptom. If you think you have anal warts, see your doctor. Without treatment, they can grow large and more may show up, if untreated they increase the chances of developing anal cancer

Pinworms

They get in the digestive system through contaminated food and things like bed linens, bathroom fixtures, toys, and sandboxes. It’s commoner in children. The itching usually happens at night, when a female worm lays eggs around the anus. You may see them in your underwear or in the toilet after a bowel movement. They look like tiny pieces of white thread. If a family member has pinworms, then everyone should be treated.

Scabies

The bugs burrow into the top layers of your skin to feed. People usually get scabies from skin-to-skin contact. It spreads quickly where people spend a lot of time close together, like in day-care centers, dormitories, and nursing homes. Sharing clothes, towels, and bedding can spread it, too. Like pinworms, your doctor may suggest treating the family if one member has it.

Psoriasis

If you have this skin condition, it’s possible to get patches of it where the sun doesn’t shine. The skin around the anus may seriously itch, and one may have pain during bowel movements. Other skin conditions, including eczema and seborrhea, can cause anal itch as well.

Antibiotics

You may need them to treat an infection, but some can kill the “good” bacteria that live in the bowels. You need those to keep your gut in natural balance, so diarrhea can be a common side effect. You also may be more likely to get a yeast infection while taking antibiotics. Avoid taking antibiotics indiscriminately.

Other Health Problems

Conditions that affect your whole body can affect your rear end.

These include:

• Type 2 diabetes

• Leukemia and lymphoma

• Kidney failure or liver disease

• Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)

• Anemia (low level of blood in the body)

• Anxiety and Stress

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