Complications of itchy bottom 

If you frequently scratch your bottom, you may damage or tear the skin around your anus.

This can sometimes cause problems such as:

  • thick and leathery skin (lichenification)
  • sore and broken skin (ulceration)
  • top layer of skin being worn away (excoriation)
  • infection

The earlier these complications are diagnosed and treated, the quicker you'll recover. Visit your GP if the skin around your anus changes or feels painful.

Long-term itching

Your GP may not be able to identify the cause of your itchy bottom. If the cause can't be identified and treated, your bottom may be itchy for long periods of time (known as chronic itchy bottom).

If you have chronic or severe itchy bottom, you may feel embarrassed, anxious or depressed. As the urge to scratch is often worse at night, your sleep may also be disturbed, leaving you feeling tired during the day.

Speak to your GP if your itchy bottom is making you anxious or depressed, or if it's significantly affecting your sleep.

Page last reviewed: 26/06/2014

Next review due: 26/06/2016