Itchy Bottom (Pruritus Ani)

This is a common problem and refers to itching around the anus. The skin in this area is sensitive and is regularly exposed to irritating digestive products in the stool.

  • Keep the anal area clean by washing after defecation.
  • Avoid medicated soaps which may cause sensitisation.
  • Dry the anal area by gentle dabbing rather than rigorous rubbing. Don't use lavatory paper - use moist tissues normally used for babies' bottoms.
  • Use only specifically prescribed ointments as some keep the skin moist and may be allergenic.
  • Donít use talcum powder as this can cause further irritation. It tends to form moist lumps.
  • Avoid impervious underwear such as acrylic and nylon garments which may trap sweat.
  • Maintain a regular bowel movement and avoid highly seasoned and spiced foods.
  • Wear cotton gloves at night to reduce the damage from subconscious scratching.
  • Keep an eye out for thread worms which are like threads of cotton about 6mm long (they move). You can get treatment from the chemist for these.

Further information

This article published on
26 January 2006

Next review date 1/1/2013


Embarrasing stuff
Embarrasing stuff
Embarrasing stuff

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Bottoms, willies and other bits

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