I have a terrible, itchy rash around my anal area. ACK, help!

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stressed girlI have a terrible, itchy rash around my anal area. I’ve tried over-the-counter medicine for diaper rash which kind of works, but has a strong smell and leaves white cream all over my underwear, which bugs me. ACK, help!

Anal itching is common and is often a sign of inflammation which can be caused from a number of things that come in contact with your anus (the opening where you poop out of). It’s best to see your health care provider and get checked out.

Some of the more common causes of anal itching are:

Skin conditions: The skin around your anus may be sensitive to anything that comes in contact with it such as toilet paper, underwear washed with certain detergents, harsh soaps, bubble bath and dry skin, or skin that has too much moisture. Allergic rashes and a skin condition called lichen sclerosis can also cause anal itching and/or irritation.

Constipation or frequent bowel movements: Sometimes if a person hasn’t had a bowel movement in a few days, or if they have diarrhea or many bowel movements, it can cause irritation inside the rectum (the canal inside) and cause hemorrhoids. The hemorrhoids can swell from irritation and cause itchiness around the anus.

Infections: Pinworm and yeast infections commonly cause anal irritation and itching. STI’s may also cause symptoms.

Anal itching can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but it’s important to talk with your health care provider, especially if you don’t notice an improvement in your symptoms after changing your soap and detergent for your clothes.