Itchy bottom? Moist Toilet Tissues Can Cause A Rash

Itchy butts are part of my everyday. It shouldn’t be part of yours.

Itching on your bottom is usually a minor annoyance, but it can be debilitating. A patient of mine was unable to work because his derrière itching was so intense. A common cause of itching bottom, called pruritus ani, is allergic contact dermatitis.

Places where your skin transitions from outside to inside, such as lips or anus, are susceptible to dermatitis because your skin’s barrier is limited in these locations. Without a thick layer of keratin, irritants on the outside easily get into your skin. Moist toilet tissues, such as baby wipes or towelettes, might seem to get you cleaner than old-fashioned toilet paper, but chemicals in the wipes cause a rash in some people.

Preservatives such as methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI) or kathon CG are often used in packaged toilet wipes and are a common cause of allergic contact dermatitis. Many patients who have itching on their behinds fear that they are unclean, use more cleaning wipes, worsening their dermatitis. It becomes a vicious cycle. Avoiding all commercial wipes or towelettes usually resolves the rash and itching. If not, then see your dermatologist before you find yourself on extended medical leave.

Have you ever had an itch so bad that you thought you’d go mad?

Photo: RLHyde