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Using Greek Yogurt to Ease an Itchy Bottom

A topical application of yogurt may help soothe an itchy bottom.
Using Greek Yogurt to Ease an Itchy Bottom

It can sometimes be difficult to figure out the cause of an itchy bottom, and without a clear diagnosis, treatment can also be challenging. One woman came up with an ingenious–if potentially messy–solution.

Q. I have had many vaginal yeast infections over the years, so when I developed severe anal itching I wasn’t surprised to learn that this might also be caused by yeast. Vaginal ointments such as Monistat did not seem to help.

I read that yogurt can often be helpful for vaginal yeast infections. I had some plain nonfat Greek yogurt in the fridge and tried applying it to my derriere. It provided immediate relief.

I applied the yogurt several times a day, and within three days I had no itching and was able to stop treatment. An added bonus: the cool yogurt provides immediate relief to the burning and itch. I would not use yogurt for vaginal infections since there are other less messy options. But for anal itching it worked great.

A. We are glad to learn that yogurt applied to your bottom was so soothing. We have to admit that we had never heard of such a treatment for hemorrhoids or itchy bottom (pruritus ani).

Eating yogurt with live cultures is sometimes recommended as a preventive measure for vaginal yeast infections. Perhaps that would be helpful in your case as well.

Your approach, while creative, sounds a bit messy. Other recommendations that some people find helpful include sitting in a warm bath with baking soda or Epsom salts, cleaning (gently) with witch hazel or using warm tea bags as a compress on the area.

Some readers report that acid-suppressing drugs such as esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) and omeprazole (Prilosec) may contribute to this problem.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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