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Conditions

Itchy Bottom

Itchy Bottom

Itchy bottom is normally a symptom rather than a condition, and is characterised by a persistent strong urge to scratch the skin around the anus. Many cases of itchy bottom are a result of a bacterial infection, a skin condition like eczema or haemorrhoids but sometimes the cause is never identified. The exact numbers of those who experience itchy bottom are not known but it has been found to affect four times as many men than women. Also, while it can affect any age group, people aged 40-60 are more likely to experience the condition.

Causes of itchy bottom include a number of infections including certain STIs, thrush and threadworms. Itchy bottom can be a sign of problems with the digestive tract such as chronic diarrhoea or constipation, anal fistulas (a small tract between the anus and skin surface) and anal fissures (a tear or ulcer). In very rare cases itchy bottom can be a sign of gastrointestinal cancer but it is important to note that the vast majority of cases of itchy bottom are not caused by cancer and you should only consult your doctor about this possibility if symptoms also include significant weight loss and changes in toilet habits. In addition, itchy bottom can be the side effect of certain medications and could also be the result of a skin condition like psoriasis.

Even if the underlying cause is not identified, there are simple self-care steps that can be initiated to help stop the itch. These include keeping the bottom clean and dry and avoiding foods such as: *tomatoes *spicy food *citrus fruits *nuts *chocolate *dairy *coffee
It can also help to make your diet rich in fibre to stop further irritation to the anus by loose stools. Medication can also help in the form of over the counter ointments and creams to sooth the itching and reduce inflammation. Excessive washing can actually increase irritation even though this may be the sufferers natural response as it can remove the skin’s natural oils.

Most itching will not require medical care but it is important to seek help from a doctor is the itching is severe or lasts for longer than a few weeks, if there is bleeding or discharge from the rectum and if there does not seem to be an obvious cause.

Comments and Questions

The EB doctors have been looking at your comments and have answered some of the common questions below. Remember that it is always best to check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

I've had this for decades.When I was younger the cleft of my buttocks had hair which was presumably designed to keep the two cheeks apart. The hair went decades ago with the result that the two cheeks sweat andd rub together. Hot humid weather is the worst. As to the skin it seems like scar tissue. Recently it was very bad so I bought some nappy cream. This helps as the problem seems to be almost like ulcers (little sore depressions) I am almost seventy so things are wearing out. Of course a lot of people never reached my age so I cannot complain too much. Unfortunately down south one cannot really wear a kilt!





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I had an itchy bottom for years. It felt like an internal high up itch. I tried everything. It tended to be worse at night but not always. I took portion which gad a drowsy effect and helped me sleep but when I woke up I would often struggle to sleep because of it. I was referred by the doctor who put a camera up there and after months and months of tests it never got fixed. I was 29 then and keen to have kids and they warned me the itching would likely get worse. Anyway it didn't. It got better. For the next year maybe longer following the birth I was itch free. I stopped breast feeding after about 14 months, my periods returned and so did the itching. I don't know when it did return but it wasn't as intense as before. Then approx a year later I got pregnant again, breasted for 12 months and my periods returned. This time tho I rarely itch. I am convinced I had a hormonal imbalance. I was on microgynon before kids and when I stopped breast feeding after my first. I am not on the pill now (not trying for kids but my husband has had the snip). Food wise I have ate heathy for the past 12 years so I don't think it was related to that. Am a normal bmi and have been all along. I know it's not helpful for the men posting but might help some woman.





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i have this itch for 24 years now,it has become normal to scratch the hell out of my arse.believe me guys,i have tried every thing from creams to doctors.there is no cure.mostly happens when lying down in bed.can anyone relate to this and can anyone help me.it so gets me down........michael





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After trying various over-the-counter creams from the Chemist with no result, I went to my doctor who prescribed a cream called Ultraproct. This was a life-changing moment! Fantastic stuff. You can only use it for a limited time but for me, that was enough to cure the problem. If I get the odd day when I feel the itch returning, one application of the cream is usually enough to stop it again.





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Ive been suffering with an itchy bottom for months. Its that bad I cause it to bleed. Its also embarrassing as the feeling will just come on and I have to try and escape, I also get a leaking feeling. I have plucked up courage to make a doctors appointment and forcing myself to go.





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I've have a problem down below my bottom and it's really sore and painfull as well but i might have the Menopause





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hi , not sure if its ok to name products but ive found an amazing cream called analcare which when applied daily stopped my itch all together, just google it for many stockist , hope it manages to help at least one person as i know what a nightmare this can be





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I have had an itchy anus for over 15 years, been to several doctors and only ever got told to wash it three times daily. This never worked for me, i have tried every cream and changed foods from my diet but still have the itch every day. This itch bleeds every day and has become part of everyday life for me. what can i do????





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I also have suffered for 15 years. Try anti his tablets such as piriton or anthisan cream. It always gets rid of the itch temporarily (12 hours) so if you struggle sleeping with this condition this may help. I too have seen countless gp's regarding my condition but nothing has been identified as the cause to date which is incredibly frustrating.

I have been having bottom troubles for about 5 months now, it started as constipation which I am prone to then what my specialist says was a fissure, also which I have had before but not like this, I am at my whit's end. I have had most of the potions and lotions but nothing seems to work, I had a heart attack in October and was stented and I take all the regular hear drugs and am nervous about taking anything that I do not get the go ahead from m doctor to take, I am under a specialist at the moment for my bottom troubles and he's given me Diltiazem hydrochloride cream 2%, and also instillagell to use to numb the area. Still nothing seems to be working. I have seen my regular gp again after noticing split skin on my foreskin he said it was thrush and gave me the canestan cream with hc, now after reading I am wondering if my bottom problem could also be related to the thrush problem? the next step my specialist wants to do is the botox if the cream does not work but I am very anxious because I believe it can be very painful, the only other option is the lateral sphyncterotomy which they sad they don't want to do because i would need a general anestetic and there unwilling to take that risk at the moment because of my heart cause I could have a heart attack or a stroke? again not really alleviating the problem or my anxiety, please any help would be appreciated. I should also mention the specialist hasn't even had a look yet, when I se him next I am going to ask for the camera also which hasn't been don yet.





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I have exactly the same symptoms and have just had my GP have a look it was piles which I have now had banded. I tried everything from creams to suppositories but I swear by increasing your fibre intake. I have all bran, drink lots of fluids, avoid coffee and you try creams and ointments such as germoloids etc but as I also had the itch at night and slept on the sofa. I put distilled witch hazel on a pad and slept like a baby. It isn't a fix but it soothed the itch. Good luck I strongly recommend you visit your GP they know what they are doing, try not to be embarrassed they are there to help x

I have had an itchy bottom since I had my daughter 3 years ago. I was put on iron tablets in the last few weeks of pregnancy which made me constipated. Since having my daughter I haven't been going to the toilet (number 2) as often as I should. I empty my bowels once a week if I'm lucky. I think this is the cause for my itchy bottom but I'm not completely sure. I've noticed that I itch more at night time which is really horrible as I am too embarrassed to tell my partner, therefore I spend most of my nights downstairs on the sofa. Please can someone recommend something for me to stop this as its ruining my life.





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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