Itchy Bottom

Updated on April 08, 2010
J.O. asks from Katy, TX
21 answers

So, my toddler (will be three in July) has been reaching down and itching and complaining of an itchy bum. She'll reach down her underpants and scratch with her fingers. I've tried to deter that habit by offering to help her wipe with toilet paper to relieve the itching between potty breaks. When I ask her where it itches so that I can wipe it for her, it's not her butt crack, but her anus that she points to. What could be causing this?

We recently started wearing underpants consistently (the past 4 or 5 days). Before that, she was still mostly telling me when she had to go potty, but I've kept her in pull-ups or diapers. This is a fairly recent issue, though I am not sure that it correlates directly to the underpants time frame. (We've used underpants for a day here and there before, and I don't really recall having this problem.) My mom mentioned that it might mean she has worms. Could it be itchy from over wiping and drying it out too much? I tried a little desitin the other day, and that seemed to help for awhile? It seems like she mentions this a couple of times a day the last few days.

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answers from Philadelphia on

have you changed anything while doing the laundry? My daughter was real itchy (in front though), and I thought yeast infection, UTI... had her looked at.. nothing. Then I realized I had tried a different detergent and I had been using a lot of oxyclean because her sister was potty training. haha!!! I went back to my normal soap and stopped using the oxyclean, and she stopped itching shortly thereafter.

now my other daughter is scratching herself, and took her to the Dr last week... everything is fine. I just went and bought All free and clear, and i will see if that helps. the Dr also recommended using some diaper rash cream (even though she is potty trained) because it will protect her bottom if there is something irritating her, or another Dr has given me a recipe of mixing a little anti-itch cream with vaseline.

also try toddler wipes (or baby wipes) instead of toilet paper... maybe that will help too.

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answers from Kansas City on

I had Pin Worms when I was little. Mom took me to the Ped and they cave me some pills to take....that was the end of that. Incidentally, they are small little white worms that you can see if they exit the anus. Kind of grubby looking, but thin.

Hope you find the answer!

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answers from Boise on

Pinworms can indeed cause itching, but usually it is most intense at night, when the worms crawl out to deposit their eggs around the rim of the anus.
You could stop in her room at night after she is sleeping with a flashlight and check the area for them.

Other things that cause itching is stretch marks, hemerroids, fungal growth or feces residue. Most likely it is fecal residue, possibly leaking if she had loose stools, or residue from not wiping around the immediate anal opening well enough. The average dry stool wouldn't leave much residue at all, where a sticky wet stool would. Try to use the diaper wipes for every potty break and dry with toliet paper after. Changing her diet to more fiberous foods should help,avoiding processed grains, and avoiding milks if she has lactose intolerance. Sometimes other food allergy or gluten intolerance can cause wet loose sticky stool.

I use tea tree oil for general skin itchiness, it works wonders, however, it can burn and tingle on application of delicate tissues,eventually leading to a numbing affect. (it does not damage tissues, but one has to be able to handle the burning sensation for the first 5 minutes) so it might not be advisable for children.

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answers from Casper on

If it is a fungus, try some alphacura products, they work very well and are worth the extra expense. Go to - and no, I don't sell these myself.

If it is pinworms, visit this link:

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answers from Cincinnati on

another way to check for pinworms is to examine her bowel movements right after she goes - you will see them moving around in the fecal matter.

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answers from Charlotte on

Your detergent may be irritating her bottom, she may not be wiping herself good enough, or it may just be dry. I doubt that it's worms. She'd have other symptoms (diarrhea, and in some cases you can see the worms in the toilet). Try keeping Vaseline on her bottom or changing the detergent you're using on her clothes.

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answers from Joplin on

Have your ped test her for pin worms


answers from Austin on

All good things to consider so far. Also make sure all soap and bubble bath has really been rinsed from her bottom.

Diaper wipes and bathroom wipes can cause some problems for a really sensitive bottom.

Also consider what kind of tub cleaners you are using, could be she is also sensitive to it ..

It may take a while to pinpoint all of his, so you may want to keep a chart.


answers from Topeka on

You will probably need to have your child checked for worms. Itching is one the major side effects of having worms.



answers from Joplin on

I'm thinking either pinworms or yeast. The two most common causes.



answers from Kansas City on

I would try using a hypoallergenic detergent first, if you dont already. I dont know about the anus, but my husband gets pretty itchy if we use anything on our clothes that has a perfume or anything.



answers from St. Louis on

Yeah, could be worms, but hopefully not. Easy to get rid of but not pleasant for your little one! My initial thought was that perhaps it is from not wiping completely. My little guy --depending on who helps him-- sometimes doesn't get it all. When he wore diapers, he laid down and it was easy for us to get it all off him/out of every nook/cranny. Now that he wears big boy underwear and goes on the potty (and even in his pants when he has an accident), he stands to be wiped. He's come home from preschool with stains in his underpants from them not wiping well. So maybe check to see if that isn't the issue. Good luck!



answers from Provo on

Sounds like a yeast infection. Little girls get them easily, especially if they eat a lot of sugar. When my little girl got one I didn't know what it was for quite awhile, and when I finally took her to the doctor they gave me Nystatin cream. This took the infection away within a week. She has had recurring infections, but eating yogurt every day helps a lot. Hope this helps!



answers from Lawrence on

I would definitely take her to the doctor to see if she has pinworms. Although like other posts states, they are most intense at night, but can itch really at any time. Pinworms can only be treated with an antibiotic and the whole family will need to take just a couple pills. You will need to wash pretty much all the bedding and you will want to be careful when gathering it all up. Ensure everyone is practicing good hand washing and try to keep their hands out of their mouths. Even if it turns out that it is just a dirty bottom, it is definitely worth the trip to the doctor. Worms are extremely uncomfortable and contagious. Good luck!



answers from Las Vegas on

it's probably a bit of a yeast rash? which can be hard to get rid of since yeast like warmth... and grow in it quite well. I would suggest giving your child LOTS of water... and avoid fruit juices... so often parents think they are doing their child good by giving them all this fruit juice, but once fruit juice is processed.. it doesn't have a ton of vitamins.. like they would have you believe.. but more importantly, yeast LOVE sugar.. whether natural or processed.. so give your child water.... also, other things that can make yeast grow... MOLD.. mold is in so many things, from peanut butter to tea bags etc etc.. not to mention, yeast loves fermented foods.. and of course, white flour.... so things like pasta and or bread can also be a problem, esp bread since yeast is already used in it.. lastly.... don't let her sit in a hot tub for too long.. again, yeast and many other types of rashes LOVE that warm water and all too often, the warmth will ignite the rash.....
best of luck to you



answers from Los Angeles on

My 3 1/2 year old has this once in a while, it has never crossed my mind that it was worms! I put a little hydrocortizone cream as close to the itchy part(anus) as I can and it relieves it. It is very sporadic when he says it itches so I don't really give it much thought. If it still bothers here and you've tried the cream, take her to the pediatrician and have them check it out for peace of mind, if nothing else.



answers from Dallas on

My son had an itchy bottom and I tried a few different things. He kept complaining and his bottom was very red. Finally went to the dr and they treated him for a perianal strep. Basically Group A strep infection present in the anal region. Meds cleared it up right away. I hope that is not your case, but wanted to share my experience as I had never heard of strep in the bottom and was glad I didn't spend too much time trying to figure other things out.


answers from Kansas City on

Could be your detergent or the material of the underwear. I would take her for a worm check first though, then before that I would wipe her each time she goes with a baby wipe and be sure she is dry after that and see if that helps. Do take her to be checked though just to be sure and safe.



answers from Kansas City on

Get some flushable wet wipes and have her use those for wiping, especially after pooping. Talk to her about how to wipe to make sure she gets everything. It's probably irritation after not wiping well. If you notice any red areas (like diaper rash) then put some diaper cream on it. Give that some time and see if it works before going to the doctor.



answers from Seattle on

I think that worms are most itchy at night when trying to go to sleep or even waking you up in the night because of itching. What about soap or not wiping good enough?



answers from Kansas City on

It sounds a lot like worms. Check her bottom at night with a flashlight, they sometimes come out then, or you can just call your doctor. A prescription and they go away quickly.

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