What Causes Itchy Anus in Children and How is it Treated?
The anus is an opening at the lower end of the digestive system from where the waste is expelled out of the body. Itchy anus brings in the frequent urge to itch the skin around the anus.
What Causes Itchy Anus in Children?
The itchy anus is a symptom of an underlying condition. The various conditions which can cause itchy anus in children are:
- Bacterial Infection: Streptococcal infection is a type of bacterial infection which can cause an itchy anus.
- Skin Conditions: Atopic eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, lichen sclerosis are a few skin conditions which can lead to an itchy anus. Psoriasis leads to red, flaky and crusty patches of skin around the anus. Dermatitis occurs when the skin reacts to certain substances causing the skin to get inflamed. Lichen sclerosis is a long term skin condition which causes itchy, sore, white spots in the genitals. Atopic eczema is a condition in which the skin becomes dry, red and flaky.
- Hemorrhoids: These are the swollen and enlarged veins around the anus. They cause itching and bleeding from the anus.
- Threadworms: This is the most common cause of itchy anus in children.
- Diarrhea: Long term diarrhea, passing loose watery stools can lead to itching around the anus.
- Hygiene: When children are trained to use the toilet independently, often they are not able to clean or wipe properly which can make the anus itch.
- Constipation: Not being able to empty the bowel or hard stool irritates the hemorrhoids if present and can cause them to itch.
How is Itchy Anus In Children Treated?
The itchy anus in children can be easily treated at home. Their following remedies can soothe the child’s bottom.
- Keep the fingernails of the child trimmed so that he does not hurt himself while scratching. Clean them daily with antibacterial soap and a soft nail brush.
- Make sure they clean the area properly after a bowel movement. Help them out for some time while potty training.
- Witch hazel is mild and gives a soothing effect to the itchy anus. It can be applied with a cotton ball or a pad.
- Prepare a bath and let the child soak in for 15 minutes. You can also put baking soda or oatmeal in the bath.
- Make sure to keep the anal region completely dry, as moisture provides an environment for the yeast growth. Change the panty frequently as during potty training days small leaks can lead to an infection.
- For washing a child’s garment, use dye-free and perfume-free soaps. If using toilet paper, go for the plain varieties without scents and dyes.
- Wash the bed linens and towel in hot water.
- Make the child wear breathable clothing. The clothes should not be tight which adds to the discomfort.
If the itching doesn’t go with these home solutions consult a pediatrician. He might prescribe a cream or an ointment to be used along with the precautionary measures.
In the case of streptococcal infection oral antibiotics along with topical application would be given.
If your child is showing signs of anal itching ensure that he is clean and dry. Make sure to discuss with the doctor to get to the cause to provide an early relief to the child.