Anal Itching

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Dr Dan Bunstone

Medically reviewed by:

Dr Dan Bunstone -

Updated: Aug 18, 2021
Next review: Aug 18, 2022

Everyone scratches their bum once in a while, but for some, the problem can become persistent and this is known as anal itching or pruritus ani.

There can be a range of potential causes and the treatment needed to relieve the condition will vary depending on this.

If you’re suffering from an persistently itchy bottom, don’t delay - speak to our doctors online within minutes.

Our GPs can discuss your symptoms, examine the affected area and diagnose what’s causing the problem. They’ll also be able to advise on treatment options and if needed, issue prescription medication to help relieve the condition.

An especially itchy bottom can be caused by a variety of conditions, so it’s important to speak to a doctor to make sure you’re getting the correct diagnosis. However, some of the most common causes include:

Piles (haemorrhoids): Caused by swollen blood vessels, piles can be brought on by straining, sitting down for a long time and a range of other things that can put pressure on your bum.

Bacterial or fungal infection: It can be fairly easy for the bacteria that naturally inhabit our bottom to grow out of control, especially following a bout of diarrhoea or mild incontinence. Antibiotics can also sometimes kill off bacteria in the area, letting a fungal infection set in.

Any moisture in the area can increase the chances of infections developing, so it’s vital to ensure the area stays as clean and dry as possible.

Skin conditions: Other issues like eczema and psoriasis can affect the skin around your bum, causing discomfort and itching.

While an itchy bum will tend to clear up on its own after a few days, if it continues to itch after a few days, you should speak to a doctor.

The treatment needed to tackle the problem will depend on the cause, so they’ll usually investigate the skin around the area, find out if you’re taking any other medication and discuss any other symptoms you may be experiencing.

In some cases, prescription medication or creams may be required, but initial treatment is often focused on relieving the symptoms and allowing the issue to resolve itself.