Butt stuff is nothing to be embarrassed about, especially for gay dudes. Our community needs to divorce itself from the body shaming, homophobic views promoted by the larger majority, about the male body, anal sex and homosexuality in general. This attitude is unhealthy because it causes us to ignore or deny obvious signs of illness or physical distress.
Luckily, anal itch, unlike other intimate physical issues, is very common and for most people easily treated and cured. So, let’s dig into some facts.
Pruritus ani is the medical term for the feeling of a lingering itching feeling around or even inside of your anus. We are not talking about your normal scratch as you take a piss in the morning, or feeling the need a few times throughout the day. Anal itch is more of a long term sensation that does not go away on its own.
For most guys, their first thought is that it must have something to do with a sexually transmitted disease. This might be true, but there are some other, every day factors that can be causing this anal agitation as well. Yes, we are going to discuss STDs that can cause anal itch but we are also going to dive into other possible causes of this feeling.
Before we begin, the first thing you need to stop doing, is scratching along, around or inside of your anus. This will only make your situation worse. Yes, we know it feels good, but there are other solutions that will provide you with better and longer lasting relief.
What is Anal Itch?
There are actually two types of anal itch.
- Primary (idiopathic) pruritis ani: There’s no diagnosable cause to your itching. This is much more common than itching caused by a condition for about 50-90% of cases.
- Secondary pruritis ani: There’s a diagnosable cause to your itching, such as an STD, skin condition, or immune system condition.
This means that most guys will not be able to pin point a cause for their personal itch, but for all others, if there is a cause, there will also be a solution and most likely a cure.
Anal itch is defined by:
- Itching around the anus.
- Anal itching might also include burning and pain if the skin is traumatized by scratching.
- The diagnosis of the cause of pruritis ani requires examination of the anus for common anal problems such as hemorrhoids or fissures, skin conditions such as psoriasis or cancer, infectious diseases such as pinworms or yeast, and leakage of stool.
- Treatment of an itchy anus depends on the cause.
Some guys may also experience related symptoms, such as:
- Blood In Stool
- Rectal Bleeding
- Penile Itching
Like we promised, we are going to examine the types of sexually transmitted diseases that may be causing your anal itch. But, remember that most males will not experience any STD symptoms, so make sure to get tested every three months, no matter what.
The sexually transmitted diseases that are known to have symptoms of anal itch are:
- pain in your anal area
- lesions and ulcers that appear near healed blisters
- scab development near ulcers that you’ve picked or scratched until they bleed
- abnormal changes in your bowel movement habits
Many people with gonorrhea do not exhibit any symptoms. Common symptoms for males include:
- having to pee more often or more urgently
- whitish, yellowish, or greenish pus or discharge leaking from your penis
- redness, irritation, or swelling at the tip of your penis
- testicle pain or swelling
- throat soreness
They may not cause you any pain or discomfort at first, but they can grow and become increasingly itchy. They can also spread from your anus to areas nearby, including your genitals.
Anal warts may occur only in one spot, or may spread to different parts of the genitals and anus over time.
Other, more serious symptoms of anal warts include:
- discharge from your anus
- feeling like there’s a lump in your anus
- new warts on your genitals, thighs, or groin area
Better known as crabs. They’re tiny bugs spread through sex that can colonize your genitals and, in some cases, your anus, especially the hair around these areas.
They live off your blood, and the tiny holes and burrows they make to consume it and to live in your skin can cause irritating itching.
Other common symptoms of a pubic lice infestation include:
- low-grade fever
- feeling irritated
- dark-colored spots where you’ve been bit
You may click on any of the above to gain more information about that particular STD, including prevention and treatment options.
Other Medical Causes
Outside of STDs, there are other maladies that can cause your anal itch. The three most common are:
Hemorrhoids are swollen, enlarged veins that form inside and outside the anus and rectum. They can be painful, uncomfortable and cause rectal bleeding. We’re all born with hemorrhoids, but at baseline, they don’t bother us. It’s only when they become swollen and enlarged that they produce irritating symptoms.
Who might get hemorrhoids?
Anyone can get symptomatic hemorrhoids, even teenagers. (Because hemorrhoids take a while to develop, they’re uncommon in children.) You may be more at risk if you:
- Are overweight or obese.
- Eat a low-fiber diet.
- Have chronic constipation or diarrhea.
- Regularly lift heavy objects.
- Spend a lot of time sitting on the toilet.
- Strain while having bowel movements.
What are the types of hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids can happen inside or outside the rectum. The type depends on where the swollen vein develops. Types include:
- External: Swollen veins form underneath the skin around the anus. . External hemorrhoids can be itchy and painful. Occasionally, they bleed. Sometimes they fill with blood that can clot. This is not dangerous, but can result in pain and swelling.
- Internal: Swollen veins form inside the rectum. Internal hemorrhoids may bleed, but they usually aren’t painful.
- Prolapsed: Both internal and external hemorrhoids can prolapse, meaning they stretch and bulge outside of the anus. These hemorrhoids may bleed or cause pain.
Treatment for hemorrhoids will vary depending on the severity of your condition. Your medical provider may suggest anything from chemical (usually a topical cream) and laser removal options to surgical interventions.
Pinworm infection is the most common type of intestinal worm infection in the United States and one of the most common worldwide. Pinworms are thin and white, measuring about 1/4 to 1/2 inch (about 6 to 13 millimeters) in length.
Pinworm infection occurs most often in school-age children, and the tiny (microscopic) eggs are easily spread from child to child. But, guys who are live with children, are caretakers or uncles should be aware of this infection due to the speed of its contagion. Treatment involves oral drugs that kill the pinworms and thorough washing of pajamas, bedding and underwear. For best results, the entire family should be treated.
Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease that primarily affects the skin in about 3% of people in the United States. Psoriasis is characterized by skin cells that multiply up to 10 times faster than normal. When these cells reach the surface and die, raised, red plaques form that are covered with white scales. Psoriasis begins as a small scaling papule. When multiple papules coalesce, they form scaling plaques. These plaques tend to occur in the scalp, elbows, and knees.
Treatment for psoriasis requires a trip to the dermatologist. The most common intervention is a medicinal topical cream or lotion.
Not surprisingly, basic hygiene, or lack there of, can cause anal itching, But, what some may find surprising is that both ends of the clean bum spectrum can cause these symptoms.
Dryness & Irritation
In our society’s ever increasing need to be as sanitary as humanly possible, anal itch is becoming a larger problem. The body, including the anus, has a natural balance of moisture that should be maintained for a healthy system to function properly. The use, and often times, over usage of bath soaps and body washes causes a dryness of the anus.
A healthy anus is naturally oily, as this creates a barrier to protect against the irritation of bowel movements. Repeated cleansing or showering will remove these oils and can lead to a cycle of itching and scratching.
Other activities such as vigorous scrubbing with a washcloth or rough toilet paper can cause irritation. A hypersensitivity reaction may occur if perfumed powders, lotions, creams, ointments, or other products are applied to the anal region.
The male anus is not just a necessary part of our digestive system but for many, an erogenous zone and important part of our sexual health and enjoyment. For this reason, great care should be taken when cleansing this area. Like with your penis, the skin is so sensitive that harsh chemicals, soaps and scented products should be avoided.
- If you are experiencing anal itch, you also might want to look into the products you wash your undergarments in for harsh chemicals, irritants and allergens.
- If you wear underpants, make sure they properly fit, as too tight undies can cause excess perspiration or moisture to become trapped in the anal area.
- Some medications like antibiotics are known to cause anal itch, but this condition is temporary and will stop after you cease using the medication.
- Certain foods, such as coffee, tea, cola, alcoholic beverages, chocolate, tomatoes, spicy foods, and large amounts of vitamin C are also known to cause anal itch.
Before you go…
Anal itch, for most guys, will turn out to be nothing serious, if anything at all. But, if the symptoms are consistent, it is important to seek the advice of a medical professional to ensure that your anal and overall health is well. To learn more about your anal health, digestive system and other issues that can effect your butt, we strongly recommend checking out these articles from us: