A continually itchy bum could be a sign of hemorrhoids
There are many causes for the occasional itchy bum such as hot and sweaty weather.
But if you are one of those unfortunate people that seem to be forever trying to discreetly jiggle around to stop the annoying itchy bum, you may be one of the 8 million people in this country that suffer with piles.
How can I relieve the annoying itchy hemorrhoids?
There are a number of creams and ointments that you can buy over the counter, that will help you reduce the itchy soreness that can flare up from time to time if you suffer with piles.
These treatments won’t cure your itchy hemorrhoids but will help manage the symptoms.
The active ingredient in most over the counter treatments is hydrocortisone. These come in the form of creams, ointments, suppositories and foams.
These are applied 2-3 times throughout the day, from first thing in the morning, to last thing at night and after you have opened your bowels. The hydrocortisone that you find in over the counter products is in quite small doses, but as it is a steroid you should avoid using these products for longer than recommended as they can make the skin around the anus sensitive and the skin to become thinner.
The hydrocortisone products are available under in various brand names, including Anusol, Preparation H, Anugesic HC, Germaloids HC, Perinal, Proctosedyl, Uniroid, Xyloproct and Proctofoam HC.
Could the itchiness be a sign of anything else?
If you mainly experience itchiness at night when in bed, then it could be associated with a threadworm infection. Whilst this is more common in children, as they do seem to get their sticky fingers into places that an adult would stay clear of, it isn’t unheard of for adults to get this too.
The way to spot threadworm is by looking at your stool (poo) before you flush. If you notice what looks like pieces of white thread in the stool, then that may well be threadworm. A quick trip to the pharmacy will sort this out with over the counter medicine. It’s important to treat everyone in the household to make sure there has been no cross contamination.
It is very unusual for an itchy bum to be related to anything more serious like cancer, but if it does persist then it is best to get examined by your GP. Other causes of irritation include inflammatory dermatoses such as eczema, psoriasis or lichen planus, for example, which might require onward referral to a dermatologist (skin specialist) for an opinion and treatment advice.
Other common signs of hemorrhoids
One of the other signs of having hemorrhoids is when you wipe your bottom and you notice spots of fresh blood. The sight of the blood is often quite a worry, even the medical term for it – rectal bleeding – is enough to give you a sleepless night. Whilst it is something you need to get checked out with your GP, it’s best not to get too stressed, as it’s more likely a case of hemorrhoids.
You should be examined by your GP as soon as you can just to rule out anything else and to get advice on how to treat your hemorrhoids.
Some Do’s and Don’ts that will help itchy hemorrhoids
- Gently wash your bottom after going to the toilet and before bed time
- Wear loose fitting cotton underwear
- Have cooler shorter showers and baths (under 20 minutes)
- Consider using emollient/moisturising soap substitutes in the shower or bath
- Eat plenty of fibre – fruit, wholegrain bread, pasta, cereal – and drink plenty of liquids
- Wipe your bottom after having your bowels open. Instead wash with water and pat dry
- Strain when you go to the toilet
- Use scented soaps, bubble bath or bath oil
- Use perfumed powders
- Eat spicy food or drink lots of alcohol or caffeine
Is there a permanent fix for piles?
If you are looking for a cure, unfortunately it doesn’t exist. There are however a number of procedures that will eradicate the haemorrhoids you have at any given time.
These range from invasive surgical procedures to non-invasive non-surgical methods. The main options can be found here – hemorrhoid treatments
One of the least invasive, safe and effective treatments is hemorrhoid electrotherapy treatment.
It’s one of the newest treatments to be introduced to the UK and has been given positive NICE guidance. Electrotherapy can treat internal piles from grade 1 to grade 4 and, for half of all patients it only requires one treatment, with 80% requiring only two treatments.
See the benefits of eXroid electrotherapy treatment read our useful at a glance guide below.
eXroid electrotherapy is NOT a heat treatment
No preparation (e.g. no enema)
No anaesthesia and no hospital stay
Non-invasive – no cutting or needles
Each treatment takes 10-30 minutes
Usually painless/causes minimal or no discomfort.
Nearly all patients resume normal activities the same day
50% of patients cleared with one treatment, 80% with two
Approved for reimbursement by all major insurance companies
Appointments usually within two weeks of booking
Positive NICE guidance