Itchy bottom (pruritus ani) is characterisedby astrong urge to scratch the skin around youranus.
The anus is the opening at the lower end of the digestive system, where solid waste leaves yourbody.
As itchy bottom is a symptom rather than a condition itself, many cases have an underlying cause, for example:
In children, an itchy bottom is often caused by threadworms .
But not all cases of itchy bottom have an identifiable cause.
An itchy bottom can be made worse by:
You may feel awkward, but it's nothing to be embarrassed or worried about, as this is one of the most common examinations GPs carry out.
If necessary, you may be referred to a specialist for further investigation and treatment.
An itchy bottom is usually easy to treat at home. Some ways of easing an itchy bottom include:
Your GP can prescribe creams or ointments to help relieve your symptoms while the above self-care measures are taking effect. Check with your GP or pharmacist about how long you should use them for.
If your itchy bottom is caused by an underlying condition, such as abacterial infection or piles, it will also need to be treated.
Read moreabout treating anitchy bottom .
Frequently scratching your bottom may damage or tear the delicate skin around your anus. This maylead toproblems such as:
The earlier these complications are diagnosed and treated, the quicker you'll recover. You should visityour GP if the skin around your anus changes or feels painful.
If the cause of your itchy bottom can't be identified and treated, it may last for long periods of time (known as chronic itchy bottom). This may cause youto feel embarrassed, anxious or depressed.
As the urge to scratch is often worse at night, your sleepmay also be disturbed, leaving you feeling tired during the day.
Speak to your GP if your itchy bottom is making you anxious or depressed, or if it's significantly affecting your sleep.
Read about itchy bottom (pruritis ani), a symptom that produces a very strong urge to scratch the skin around your anus
The cause of itchy bottom isn't always known. However, it can sometimes be a symptom of another problem or underlying condition.
Read about treating itchy bottom, which usually responds well to simple self-care measures and, if necessary, medication.