Itching in or around the rectum is common in both adults and children. The itching may be due to various things, such as the skin around the rectum opening being washed too often, hemorrhoids or tapeworms. It can also itch without any cause. You can relieve the itching in different ways.
Sometimes it can itch more when you or the child lies in bed. Itching often worsens as you itch because the skin is even more irritated.
When and where should I seek care?
Most people who get itching in the rectum do not need to seek care. The trouble usually goes by itself.
What could it be?
It can scratch in or around the rectum without any reason. The most common reason is otherwise itching because the skin has become dehydrated and irritated.
To wash too carefully
It is very common for the skin around the rectum to become dry because they have been washed too often or too carefully. Many people wash more when itching, and it causes the skin to dry out even more.
Eczema can also develop around the rectum opening if you wash too often or too carefully.
That it leaks fluid
Liquid leaking from the rectum can irritate and dry out the skin. This can happen if you or the child have diarrhea, for example in the case of stomach ailments.
It can also leak in stool incontinence. Stool incontinence means it leaks fluid and sometimes poop without you being able to prevent it.
Hemorrhoids can make it itchy. Then it also often hurts to poop and there may be pale red blood coming from the rectum. The blood is not mixed in the pouch, but more on the pouch or on the toilet paper as you dry.
Springworm is a common cause of itching around the rectum opening in children. It usually itches most in the evening and at night, when the baby is in bed.
Adults can also get a tapeworm, but it is not as common for itching in adults as in children.
A fungal infection of the abdomen can sometimes cause it to itch around the rectum. You can get fungal in the genital area after using antibiotics.
It can also itch if you have condyloma or herpes in the genital area. Condyloma can be called genital warts.
Crack in the rectum – anal fissure
You can get a crack in the rectum opening that itches. Other symptoms are that blood may come and that it can hurt a lot. Both children and adults can have a crack in the rectum, for example in the case of a constipation.
A crack in the rectum opening is also called anal fissure.
Fistula at the rectum opening
A fistula is a small duct between the rectum and the skin outside the rectum. It can leak any fluid from the rectum through the fistula. A fistula is usually caused by a boil. Both a bulge and fistula hurt a lot.
Read more about bulbs and fistulas around the rectum opening here.
What can I do for myself?
Wash the buttocks and the skin around the rectum more rarely if you think the trouble is because you have washed too carefully. It is enough to wash every other day. Use only water or a mild soap or laundry oil. You can buy laundry oil at pharmacies. Then dry gently by patting dry with the towel instead of rubbing.
You can relieve the itching by lubricating with a greasy cream or ointment. Use zinc-containing ones. You can also use ointments for hemorrhoids. Ask a pharmacy if you are unsure of what you or the child should have.
Try not to itch. Itching makes the skin more irritated, which makes it itch even more. It can help to have short cut nails, especially on children.
When you come to the doctor you will be told about your symptoms. Then the doctor examines the rectum opening.
The doctor may also want to examine the rectum using a so-called proctoscope or a recto scope. This is done if you have other symptoms from the rectum, for example if you bleed from the rectum .
Treatment of itching in the rectum
What treatment of itching in the rectum you or the child receives depends on what has caused the itching:
- Spray worm or an infection is treated with drugs.
- Hemorrhoids are treated with softening creams or suppositories. Hemorrhoids may sometimes need surgery.
- Stool incontinence may need surgery.
- Boils and fistulas are usually operated.
Influence and participate in your care
In order for you to be involved in your care and treatment, it is important that you understand the information you receive from the healthcare personnel. Ask questions if you don’t understand.
You have the opportunity to get help from an interpreter. You also have the opportunity to get help from an interpreter if you have a hearing loss .