During coronavirus

You can often do simple things yourself to ease an itchy bottom (anus). See a GP if the itching does not stop.

gently wash and dry your anus after pooing and before bed

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keep cool avoid clothing and bedding that makes you overheat

have cooler, shorter showers or baths (under 20 minutes)

eat plenty of fibre such as fruit and vegetables, wholegrain bread, pasta and cereal to avoid runny poo orconstipation

do not wipe your bottom after pooing wash it with water or pat it clean with moist toilet paper, then pat dry

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do not scratch if you cannot stop, keep your fingernails short and wear cotton gloves at night

do not strain when you go to the toilet

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do not use scented soaps, bubble bath or bath oil

do not use perfumes or powders near your anus

do not eat spicy food or drink lots of alcohol and caffeine these can make itching worse

You can ask the pharmacist if they have a private area where you can speak. They can suggest:

An itchy bottom thats worse at night is often caused bythreadworms, especially in children.

Children under 2, and pregnant and breastfeeding women, cannot usually take medicine for threadworms see a GP, midwife or health visitor instead.

more than 1 cream or ointment at the same time

any cream or ointment for longer than a week they can irritate your skin and make things worse

See a GP if you have an itchy bottom and:

it worries you or makes it hard to sleep

you have itching elsewhere on your body

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: how to contact a GP

Its still important to get help from a GP if you need it. To contact your GP surgery:

Find out about using the NHS during COVID-19

The GP will try to work out the cause of your itching. They might need tocheck your bottom (rectal examination).

Depending on the cause, the GP might:

Tell the GP immediately if a medicine, cream or ointment makes the itching worse.

You can also go to a sexual health clinic if you think your itchy bottom might be caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI) for example, if youve had unprotected sex. They can provide the same treatments you would get from a GP.

Many sexual health clinics offer a walk-in service, where you do not need an appointment. Theyll often get test results quicker than a GP.

During coronavirus, call a sexual health clinic if you need help or advice. Only go to a clinic if youve been told to.

Theres not always a clear cause of an itchy bottom. If it gets better quickly, it might have been caused by something that does not need treatment, like sweating a lot in hot weather.

If it lasts longer, you might be able to get an idea of the cause from any other symptoms you have. But do not self-diagnose see a GP if youre worried.

A table showing possible causes of symptoms.

Gets worse at night, worms in poo (they look like small pieces of thread)

threadworms, especially in children

Lumps, bright red blood and pain when pooing

Poo leaking or pooing you cannot control

ringwormor asexually transmitted infection (STI)likegenital warts

skin condition, such aseczemaorpsoriasis

side effect of steroid creams, some gels and ointments foranal fissure, and peppermint oil

Its unusual for an itchy bottom on its own to be related to something more serious. But rarely, it may be a sign of something like anal or bowel cancer, so its important to get it checked by a GP.

Page last reviewed: 28 September 2020