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Got an Itchy Butthole? Here are 10 Common Culprits

It won't stop itching, and with every step, it's getting more intense. Your butthole is begging your finger to give it some relief.

But there's no way you can risk getting caught picking your ass by your date. You still have at least three more blocks till you get to the bar, duck into the bathroom, and dig for gold. 

For the next few minutes, you're stuck with the psychic terror of an itchy butthole, meditating on what you did wrong to endure such a fate. You blame many culprits, but it doesn't matter because you can't even name the enemy: pruritus ani

Wait, There's a Scientific Name for an Itchy Butt?

That's right—pruritus ani means "itchy anus" in Latin, and according to the Cleveland Clinic, it affects up to 5% of the population and is four times more likely to occur in men. Aside from chronic itching, the most common symptom is red, irritated anal skin that usually flares up at night.

Pruritus ani creates a vicious circle of itchy hell because when you scratch your perianal area, it causes tiny anal fissures (tears) that also begin to itch, which cause you to scratch even more. 

But what exactly causes this terrible pox to wreak havoc on your third pit? We have several theories.

10 Common Causes of Anal Itching

Your itchy bottom can be triggered by anything from lackluster self-care to more serious medical conditions. Let's take a look at some possible causes.

     1. You're Wiping Too Hard

Overzealous wiping, especially with standard toilet paper, increases your odds of developing Polished Anus Syndrome, characterized by a blotchy, red, irritated, or even bloody b-hole. 

     2. You're Wiping Too Little

On the opposite end of the spectrum, half-hearted wiping leaves fecal matter festering around the anal area for hours. You might think you're saving money by skimping on toilet paper, but you pay the price with a chronically itchy ass (not to mention skid marks.)

     3. Your Diet

Capsaicin, the compound in many spicy foods, can't be fully digested by humans. Accordingly, traces will come while pooping, hence the dreaded spicy butt. You'll have to decide for yourself whether a four-alarm fire in your pants is worth the plate of hot wings.

Other foods known to induce an itchy anus include citrus fruit, coffee, chocolate, and alcoholic beverages.

     4. Contact Dermatitis

Your laundry detergent, body wash, or ball deodorant could have irritants that can cause an allergic reaction or contact dermatitis, a skin condition characterized by a red rash and itching. Switching to natural products without parabens or artificial colors will likely do the trick.

     5. Your Underwear Is Too Tight

According to Harvard Health, people who routinely wear tight-fitting underwear (like tighty whities) are more prone to experience an itchy butthole.

     6. Skin Conditions

Disorders like psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (eczema) can certainly cause your butt to itch. However, these conditions typically manifest themselves on several parts of the body, not just the anal area.

     7. Hemorrhoids

These are caused by inflamed blood vessels in the anal area or rectum. Symptoms include chronic itching, painful bowel movements, and blood when wiping. If you've got hemorrhoids, warm water, and moisturizing soap will be your best friends until they clear up.

Pro tip: ditch your two-ply and grab some DUDE Wipes Medicated with Witch Hazel.

     8. Infections and Parasites

These include scabies, pinworms (common amongst kids), pediculosis, and yeast infections, though these are pretty rare.

     9. Sexually Transmitted infections

Anal itching can be a symptom of several STDs, including Human Papillomavirus (HPV), anal warts, anal herpes, gonorrhea, or pubic lice. If you think you fall into this camp, stop scratching and get help from a healthcare professional.

     10. Conditions Involving the Rectum

Localized conditions like skin tags, rectal fistulas, anal fissures, and (rarely) anal cancer have itching as a symptom but are usually accompanied by more severe side effects. Anal leakage and fecal incontinence are additional culprits that you should talk to your doc about. Common symptoms include gas, bloating, constant diarrhea, and constipation.

How to Relieve Your Itchy Butt

Most of the time, an itchy butthole will resolve itself within a day or two. But what if you can't stop scratching?

Home Remedies

Upgrading your personal hygiene can work wonders in terms of soothing an itchy butt. Here are a few tips you can quickly implement next time you're in the bathroom:

Up Your Underwear Game

If you're wearing the same disgusting cotton underwear you've worn since high school, you're basically asking for an itchy butt. With all that sweat that accumulates down there, you need underwear that can keep your third pit dry. DUDE Boxer Briefs are spun with silver ions that fight bacteria, so you don't have to fight swass and stank. 

Over-the-Counter Creams

Zinc oxide and hydrocortisone cream are both commonly used to treat temporary skin irritation. You can pick up a tube for a few bucks at your local drugstore or grocery store.

Remember: having an occasional butthole itch is fine; it happens to all of us. But if it becomes a chronic "thing," find a solution, so you're not walking around picking your ass all day. You've got a day to crush. The last thing you need is an itchy butt to throw you off your game.

Itch No More, Dude

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