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Itchy Skin on the Buttocks

by
author image Melissa McNamara
Melissa McNamara is a certified personal trainer who holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and communication studies from the University of Iowa. She writes for various health and fitness publications while working toward a Bachelor of Science in nursing.
Itchy Skin on the Buttocks
An itchy buttocks can be an embarrassing problem. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Itchy skin on the buttocks can be an embarrassing problem that most people would rather not discuss. Psoriasis, shingles and jock itch commonly affect the buttocks region. Although the itching from these conditions can often be relived from home, seeking medical attention will prevent the itching from getting worse.

Causes

Psoriasis is caused by T cells, a type of white blood cell, mistakenly attacking healthy skin cells which causes your body to react by swelling and producing an excessive amount of skin cells. Psoriasis is commonly genetic and appears between 10 to 45 years of age, according to FamilyDoctor.org. Shingles is caused by a reactivation of the herpes zoster virus that causes chickenpox. Once you have had chickenpox, the virus remains inactive, but can reactivate later in life. Jock itch is caused by the fungi dermatophytes, which is the same fungus that causes athlete's foot.

Identification

In combination with itching, psoriasis appears as patches of red, dry and scaly skin that flakes. The skin may also burn or have pus-filled blisters. Jock itch has similar symptoms to psoriasis, though with a rash instead of raised patches of skin. With shingles, a rash most commonly occurs on one side of the buttocks or trunk, then turns into blisters. After approximately three weeks, these blisters crust over and disappear, according to FamilyDoctor.org.

Diagnosis

All three skin conditions can be identified by observation. However, a doctor may scrape an affected skin cell sample to examine it under a microscope, and may send the affected skin cells to laboratory for further testing.

Treatments

Corticosteroid cream may be prescribed to alleviate inflammation due to shingles and psoriasis. Psoriasis can be treated at home by bathing daily in Epsom salts or oatmeal to remove scales and redness, according to FamilyDoctor.org. Artificial light therapy can also be effective. Over-the-counter antifungal spray, ointment or lotion can be used for jock itch on the buttocks. If these are not effective, a doctor can prescribe a higher strength medication. Shingles will typically clear on its own.

Considerations

Regardless of what type of itching you have, seek medical attention if the itching interrupts sleep or distracts you from your daily routine. Also seek medical attention if at-home treatments fail and itching lasts more than two weeks. If symptoms worsen once treatment begins, talk to your doctor about other treatment options. Avoid scratching since this can irritate the skin.

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