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Medical Condition:
Anal Itching or Pruritus Ani
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Also Known As:
Pruritus Ani



Having an itchy bum or itchy bottom can be very irritating and made worse by the itch, scratch, itch syndrome. This can be one of the symptoms of haemorrhoids it is often made worse by being undiagnosed and treated with over the counter creams - More is not always better. Your doctor will be able to determine what the cause of your anal itching is and may well be able to offer a more appropriate form of treatment.

Causes of anal itching
The area around your anus is very sensitive and the inflammation can be due to a variety of reasons such as

  • Not having cleaned the anus adequately after passing a stool (faeces/poo).
  • Mucous from the anal canal can lead to irritation as the anal sphincter may not be effective allowing faecal leakage which can cause irritation on the skin surface.

  • It can also be due to constant washing with perfumed soaps, washing after having your bowels open is a good idea if you suffer from itching but it may be the soap which is causing the problem. Another option is baby wipes they have to be very gently and do not contain any harsh cleansers so may well be the answer.
  • The irritation may also be due to a fungal infection called Candida Albicans / thrush which can be easily treated with an anti-fungal cream from your chemist.
  • Scabies, genital warts, herpes and other STI’s (sexually transmitted) diseases may also cause itching, if you believe this is the cause visit your GUM clinic for further investigations
  • Your bottom may be sore and itchy due to excess perspiration; this can be due to the climate or your work environment. Regular personal hygiene may well be the answer here.

It may be that there is no medical reason for your itchy bottom in which case it is referred to as idiopathic which means it is of unknown cause or origin, this can make treatment more challenging.

Treatment for Itching

Personal hygiene – this means being meticulous about washing after you have had your bowels open. That does not mean being rough as this will aggravate the itching gentle soap, unperfumed or just water is needed to gently remove any remaining faecal matter.

Dry your anal area gently not vigorously with a rough towel (this would make the itch, scratch, itch syndrome worse) pat it dry, do not apply talcum powder.

Wearing clean cotton underwear which is regularly changed is advised

If the symptoms remain after three days you will need to visit your doctor for a diagnosis to the problem



Please Note: The information provided here should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A medical practitioner should always be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of all medical conditions.

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