What is causing my bottom to itch?!?!
Well, since I discuss all kinds of butt-conditions here at Hemorrhoid Talk, I suppose I’ll talk about my itchy bottom. Having had 4 hemorrhoids, I am very sensitive to anything unusual going on down there. I follow a simple plan to prevent hemorrhoids, but I do follow it religiously. A crucial step is paying attention to anything unusual. This itchy bottom that I have been experiencing for the last few days (the medical term for an itchy bottom is pruritis ani or anusitis) merits attention.
I am 100% certain that I have a healthy bottom. I just had a colonoscopy last month, and everything was perfect. I’m examining my behavior in the last week or so to think about what could be the cause of this itching. The first thing that comes to mind is that I have been changing soaps and showering at the gym (using the soap in the shower dispenser). I can’t say for a fact that this is the absolute cause, but for now I will return to the good old white Dove Bar which has been recommended over and over by every dermatologist I have ever encountered.
Taking a look at what are the common causes of itchy bottom, the Mayo Clinic provides four categories of causes:
Personal care habits. Your skin care routine may include products or behaviors that irritate the skin. These include washing too much, washing too little, and using soap, moist wipes or toilet paper with dyes and perfumes.
Infections. Sexually transmitted infections may involve the anus and cause anal itching. Pinworms can cause persistent anal itching. Other parasites may cause similar itching. Yeast infections, which usually affect women, can also cause itching in the anal area.
Skin conditions. Sometimes anal itching is the result of a specific skin condition, such as psoriasis or contact dermatitis.
Other medical conditions. These include chronic diarrhea, hemorrhoids, anal tumors and diseases that affect the whole body, such as diabetes.
Source: Mayo Clinic
Sounds like I’ve possibly identified the cause. Infections, Skin Conditions, and Other Medical Conditions are highly unlikely considering the results of my recent colonoscopy, so it seems that Personal Care is the current main suspect. I’ll ask the gym what kind of soap they use in their shower dispensers, and I’ll be bringing my dove-in-the-ziploc to the gym starting now.
The Wikipedia page on Pruritis Ani describes an interesting phenomenon:
a common view suggests that the initial cause of the itch may have passed, and that the illness is in fact prolonged by what is known as an itch-scratch-itch cycle. It states that scratching the itch encourages the release of inflammatory chemicals, which worsen redness, intensifies itchiness and increases the area covered by dry skin, thereby causing a snowball effect.
That’s a possibility. I have been scratching a little bit. Point taken, no more scratching. For now, I’ll be switching from Wet Wipes back to Medicated Wet Wipes, and I’ll be applying some Preparation H pre-poop. I’ll report back in a week or so. – RG