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5 Reasons Your Butt Is Itching Like Crazy

Plus, how to make it stop already.

Butt itchiness isn't cute, but hey, it happens. And since itching your booty in public isn’t as socially acceptable as, say, scratching your arm, it’s understandable that you’d want to get your rear-end itchiness under control ASAP.
While many people will experience a scratchy booty here and there, there’s a medical name for more intense cases—pruritus ani—and according to the National Institutes of Health, up to 5 percent of the American population suffers from the condition. Pruritus ani can be caused by many different lifestyle factors and medical conditions—most of which are fairly simple to soothe (phew).

But first, you need to know what’s causing your itchy butt so you can get it under control. Here are the biggest culprits of itching down there, plus how you can make it stop already.

You’re wiping too hard

This is the number-one cause of skin irritation and itchiness down there, according to Sarina Elmariah, M.D., Ph.D., a dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. If you tend to wipe a lot, she recommends using water to rinse off first (you can use a squirt bottle or invest in a bidet for your toilet) and then pat the area dry with toilet paper. If your TP tends to be on the scratchy side, it may be time to upgrade to something a little more plush—harsh toilet paper can actually leave micro-cuts on your tush that can get itchy.

You’re using the wrong kind of TP

Some people prefer to use flushable wipes, but they can actually cause irritation that leads to an itchy butt. “Many patients may be allergic to wet wipes they try to use in this area,” says Gary Goldenberg, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. The fragrances in particular are a problem, he says. If you can’t live without your wipes, try switching to hypoallergenic, scent-free variety and making sure you dry off before putting on your underwear—it should help.

You ate something spicy

he foods you eat can impact your number two and make it more or less acidic. Coffee, tomatoes, beer, and spicy foods can tip your poo into the acidic range and irritate to your skin down there, creating an itchy feeling, says Kyle Staller, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. If you find that you tend to scratch a lot after you eat spicy curry or have more coffee than usual, try scaling back and see where that gets you.

You have too much moisture down there

our butt can trap moisture, which can create an itchy feeling, says Goldenberg. “Dermatologists see anal itch periodically,” he says. “It's more common to see this complaint on the hottest day of the summer—from sweating,” he says. To lower your risk of developing anal itch due to moisture, make sure you towel off thoroughly after showering and try switching to cotton underwear if you know you tend to sweat a lot down there—it’s more absorbent than silky underwear and should help keep you dry.

You have hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum that can make it really uncomfortable to go poo. But they can also cause a little leakage of poop that can seriously irritate your skin. “Stool tends to be more acidic than your body likes,” Staller says. “In general, your body is quite happy having stool in it but when it’s on the skin part, that’s when you start to get irritation.” And that can itch like a mother. Hemorrhoids typically go away on their own, but a high-fiber diet and stool softeners can help move the process along.

If you have an anal itch and you’re really struggling, Elmariah recommends that you stop using all wipes and start using a barrier topical cream to protect your skin, like a diaper cream with zinc oxide. After you use the bathroom, rinse with water, pat dry, and then apply the cream. If it really sticks around after a week or two, call your doctor—you could have an infection that needs treatment.

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Women's Lifestyle: 5 Reasons Your Butt Is Itching Like Crazy
5 Reasons Your Butt Is Itching Like Crazy
Plus, how to make it stop already.
Women's Lifestyle
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