Knowing your perianal area looks red is a tricky business unless you itch, feel pain or some other problem around the anus. Learn more about the underlying causes of redness around the anus, symptoms and cure or remedies.
Red skin around the anus can be caused by a number of reasons.
1. Yeast infection
Yeast infections are caused by the overgrowth of Candida sp. This overgrowth is influenced by or can occur under certain conditions which will see shortly.
To be clear, yeast infection of the perianal is possible in both males (male yeast infection) and females (vaginal yeast infection). Sometimes, anal yeast infections occur after the candida spreads from the vagina or penis or rectum areas.
The redness around anus due to candida infection can occur because of irritation and sometimes itching or scratching.
Have you had or diagnosed with a yeast infection before? You are more likely to get yeast infection due to:
- Taking medications such as corticosteroids or antibiotics
- Weakened immune system
- Being diabetic or having diabetes
- Being pregnant
- Consuming a lot of sugary foods
- Lubricating the abdomen including the buttocks more often
According to health information courtesy of the Patient, thrush and fungal infection around the anus can cause anal itch (pruritus ani). Lack of sleep is another possible factor which can affect people with this problem.
Common symptoms or signs of anal yeast infection by candida include:
- Soreness and irritation around the rectum
- Burning around anus
- Redness may occur especially if itching intensifies
Treatment aims at controlling candida overgrowth in order to get rid of its activity that causes discomfort like itching on the bums or around the anus.
Topical medication can be applied locally to the skin around the anus for a specified period. These are mainly antifungal creams or gels.
In case of a persistence in symptoms, a systemic form of treatment should be administered. These include oral drugs, pills, and tablets, and they are usually given under doctor’s prescriptions. These are more effective however, most systemic treatments come with side effects.
Remedies and preventive tips
Remedies, in this case, can be looked at as preventive measures which comprise the following changes in health or lifestyle and practices.
- A cut-down on amount of sugars
- Scrapping tight underwear and undergarment made of synthetic fiber especially during sleep
- Living in less-warm and cool weather as opposed to hot environments
- Avoiding situations that increase sweating
- Frequent change of diaper in babies
- Regularly keeping your body clean by practicing good personal hygiene especially during pregnancy and after workouts/exercises
- Keeping the anus dry and avoiding lubricant application
- Avoid hot public tubs or showers
2. Skin rash around anus
Certain skin conditions can cause a red rash around the anus and butts. These include:
a). Atopic eczema
Atopic eczema is a skin condition symptomized by the dry, itchy and red skin. In severity, cracking and itching may be intensified.
Anyone including young children and adults can suffer from atopic eczema.
The best treatment for atopic eczema is avoiding the triggers. Steroid creams and emollients can be applied to prevent inflammation of the skin in affected areas.
Avoiding scratching is amongst the best remedy for atopic dermatitis. Additionally:
- Avoid use of detergents and fabric conditioners as wash agent for your undergarment
- Avoid exposure to too hot or cold temperatures
- Use soft and less irritating clothing such as those made from cotton.
b). Perianal streptococcal dermatitis
Perianal streptococcal dermatitis is often a bright red rash around the anus that is caused by group (A) beta-hemolytic streptococci.
It is understood that it can produce a rash which is sharply demarcated. This skin rash is tricky to identify but can be symptomized by the following.
- Itchiness and pain in your rectum
- Stool that is blood-streaked is sometimes a possible symptom
- Papules around anus which may also spread to the vulva or ventral area of penis
- Discharge (mucous-like) and crusts that are yellow can also be evident
It has reported, through the clinical presentation, that fever or like-symptoms are absent therefore helping rule out a possibility of viral infections.
Who gets perianal streptococcal dermatitis? Perianal streptococcal dermatitis occurs at early infancy to early childhood life. It may also affect adults.
In some cases, perianal streptococcal dermatitis poses a challenge when it comes to treatment more so when it is misdiagnosed.
In most cases, treatment is by the use of amoxicillin or at times penicillin is also very effective. Other treatment options depending on age and recurrences include:
- Topical use of mupirocin also Bactroban
- Clindamycin phosphate or Cleocin Phosphate
If you have or you observe some of the symptoms make a follow-up and contact a medic.
c). Anal herpes
Herpes infection can also spread to the anus. Like genital herpes or oral or lip herpes, this kind of infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus.
Common symptoms include a red rash characteristic of small red bumpy rash, itchy blisters which may cause pain on the bums. Anal herpes also produces painful symptoms due to ulceration.
3. Other possible causes
Other possible reasons for redness around anus especially in adults include redness after shaving, HIV infection, genital warts, scabies mites infestation and parasitic worms.
In babies or children
With sensitivity in skin and exposure to harsh external condition and without proper care, babies’ skin is susceptible to many things including skin rashes. Main causes of redness around the anal area including the buttocks include the following.
a). Diaper rash
What causes a diaper rash? Skin wetness and urinary soaked in diapers can increase friction between the butt lips. Similarly, pH is raised and as a result an increase in skin permeability. Also, enzymes in stool or irritants such as wiping solutions can lead to a diaper rash.
Skin conditions such as seborrhea, intertrigo, and psoriasis are other risks.
Besides irritation on bum lip skin and perianal area, diaper rash can appear reddish in color.
b). Heat rash
Heat rash is also common in babies and children especially those worn in swaddling and sweaty and tight clothing.
The common symptom of a heat rash is marked by tiny blister-like bumps. These bumps sometimes may be itchy.
Besides the face which is the more common area affected by heat rash, this temporary condition is also possible around the anus and the butt crack.
Common remedy for heat rash
This problem may not necessitate any treatment. Heat rash does not cause any significant serious symptoms besides itching that may occur in some small children. Here are remedies for heat rash.
- Keeping babies in less or light clothing (including underwear) that do not soak easily
- Staying in a cool place
- Avoiding things that increase sweating especially in babies
c). Other risk factors
Besides what we have discussed, other possible things that may lead to redness in the anal area include;
- Poor hygiene conditions in babies
- A dry skin
- Skin conditions such as perianal streptococcal dermatitis (see below)
Redness with pain
Some of the reasons for painful redness around the anus include the following factors.
- Consuming too much of spicy food. Try cutting down on spices, especially chili. Such food are known to cause irritation around the anus.
- Dry skin around the anal opening- This could have been caused by frequent washing or wiping. Try applying some lubricant to the skin there.
- Irregular bowel movements due to diarrhea or constipation
- Inadequate fiber can also lead to constipation
- Being overweight is another risk
- Fatty or junk foods
- Pain and irritation of the rectum could also be due to hard stools
Managing pain with redness around anus
Managing perianal pain can be short-term or a long-term in the long run. However, this depends on what really causes or leads to pain.
The short-term solutions include finding out why you are suffering from things such as constipation every other day. Thus, you may want to twist ingredients while cooking so that you include fibers. Drink lots of water and avoid spices for some time.
If you are overweight get the right approach is to lose or cut down on weight. Lastly, think of spending much of your time while seated.
Avoid anal sexual activity if you are currently experiencing redness around anus until your physician informs you about your healing.
- Anal Itch (Pruritus Ani). Drugs.com https://www.drugs.com/health-guide/anal-itch-pruritus-ani.html. Health Havard Publications.
- NATURALLY CURE AN ANAL YEAST INFECTION: How to Stop Anal Yeast Infections and Anus Itching
- Diaper Rash Causes: http://www.parents.com/baby/diapers/diaper-rash/causes-of-diaper-rash1/
- Perianal Streptococcal Dermatitis. American Family Physician. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0115/p391.html. Accessed online on 3rd March 2017.