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You know that itchy bum hole that’s been causing you lots of frustration and, probably, a burning sensation between your cheeks? Yeah, it’s miserable. But, guess what, you’re not alone in the fight against anal itching, because it happens to plenty of guys — and we’re all looking for a reason (and solution) to it.

While we may not have an easy fix to stop the itchy bum hole — other than some hemorrhoid cream and, yes, ice cubes or cold water — thanks to our friends over at Men’s Health, we have an idea as to what might be causing all of that annoying anal itching. But before jumping into the causes of an itchy bum hole, just do you don’t feel weird about having one, here’s what Dr. Mitchell Bernstein, an associate professor of surgery and director in the division of colon & rectal surgery at NYU Langone Health, had to tell Men’s Health about how common an itchy bum really is.

“Anal itching is quite common, and for some people, it can feel incredibly frustrating. Some people even start scratching in their sleep, and of course, too much scratching just makes it worse.”

So, remember, stick to the general rule of any itch — scratch it and it’s sure to spread. Now to some of the things that are causing your itchy bum hole!

Laundry detergent

Although not super common, you itchy bum hole could be from your choice of laundry detergent, which is causing irritation because of the chemicals in the ingredients. Yes, it’s possible to get a skin rash on your anus, and, in some cases, it’s because of the detergent you’re using. To alleviate this problem, use a fragrance- or dye-free detergent instead.

Anal fissure

This might be the most common cause of an itchy bum hole, as anal fissures occur when you pass hard or large stools during pooping, which can cause a small tear around the anus. The tear can become sensitive and, thus, cause your anal itching.

Not wiping well enough

If you’ve got an itchy bum hole for a day or two, not wiping enough is, more than likely, the cause of your scratchy ass, as irritation can occur due to dried fecal matter remaining in your anus. Look, we get it, some bowel movements are messier than others, and, if that’s the case and you have the opportunity to, don’t be afraid to jump in the shower or moisten some toilet paper to help clean things up down there.

Overwiping

The skin around your anus is extremely sensitive, and, if/when you overwipe following a bowel movement, you can open yourself up to anal itching. This can be from the amount of pressure you’re using, but, more commonly, could be the fault of your toilet paper, which may be too hard or dry.

STDs

Just last week, we told you about some of the common signs of gonorrhea — which you should definitely read, you know, to educate yourselves. In that very article, we talked about how, in some cases, an itchy bum hole can be a symptom of the STD. With the, unfortunate, commonality of STDs, inflammation in the rectal area can lead to anal itching, as well as the potential of warts. Obviously, see your doctor ASAP if you experience any of these symptoms and think it may be from unprotected sex.

What can I do to alleviate an itchy bum hole?

First of all, don’t freak out; remember, this type of anal itching is common. That said, if the problem continues for more than a week, you’ll probably want to go see a doctor. However, before doing so, there are some home remedies that can help the itch bum hole a little bit.

The first is the easy solution, a hemorrhoidal cream, which will provide temporary relief and help soothe the area thanks to vitamins and such. However, be careful with how much you’re applying each day, otherwise you could dry the natural oils out down there too much, which will only lead to more itch.

Another home remedy is an ice cube. Yep, much like you’d use ice to decrease swelling elsewhere on your body, doing so on your bum hole can lead to soothing the itch, too. Just make sure to wrap a couple in some paper towels and sit on them somewhere for 10 minutes or so.

Lastly, change up your diet and drink more water! There’s a good chance that you may need more fiber or are just dehydrated, and adding these things to your body won’t immediately decrease the anal itching, but it can be a good first step in solving the big problem.

(H/T Men’s Health)

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