By Stella Naigino and Elizabeth Namazzi
Anal sweating and itching can cause discomfort. However, maintaining good hygiene, deworming, watching your diet and dressing appropriately can save you from going through the dilemma
I have discomfort of sweating from my anus,” one of our readers wrote. “What could be the cause?” According to Paul (not real name) he gets the problem after working for long hours. When it first happened, he found his boxers wet around the anal opening. At first, he thought it was related to sweat arising from hard work. However, his worries increased when the problem persisted.
“Whenever I wipe myself, I smell the odour,” he says. “I cannot help it, so I try to dry myself regularly when it feels damp. I am worried because the wet patch, which often appears on my boxers, does not smell like sweat!” he says.
Paul drinks alcohol, so he first thought that this was the cause of his predicament. But he was wrong.
Main cause of anal sweating
According to Dr. Stephen Mukasa of St. Vincent Hospital in Nsambya, anal sweating is a condition where a person’s anal opening produces a liquid in form of sweat that comes with bad odour.
The sweat is primarily caused by worms that move out of the intestines when it is time to hatch and lay their eggs around the entrance of the rectum. “While here, the worms lay eggs because the anus has a lot of heat, which is enough for the eggs to hatch. It is this heat that comes out in liquid form, causing the sweating,” he notes.
Oftentimes, Paul shares, the sweat starts with itching before the liquid comes out. “When the anus starts itching, some people damage the anal opening by scratching too much,” Mukasa says.
Dr. Vincent Karuhanga of Friends Poly Clinic, Kampala, adds that all parts of the body, except the nails, have many sweat glands concentrated in specific areas. It is for this reason that people who have many sweet glands around the anal area sweat a lot.
“Sometimes people sweat a lot because of the way they dress. They wear tight fitting clothes that leave no breathing space for their bodies. It becomes worse if the clothes cannot absorb the sweat which comes with a bad odour,” Karuhanga observes.
He adds that people with big bums can also get this problem, so Karuhanga advises that they should adhere to proper hygiene.
“If proper hygiene is ignored, you can get fungal and bacterial infections, so you need to clean the area properly. However, when the sweat goes out of hand, seek medical attention.”
Dealing with anal sweating
For anal itching caused by excessive sweating, Karuhanga advises that one has to avoid wearing tight-fitting underwear and put on cotton, rather than synthetic undergarments. “In case you get scratch damages, seek advice from the doctor on the right ointment that can be applied lightly to help soothe the skin and protect it against further irritation,” he says.
It also helps if you use talcum powder to absorb the moisture. However, before applying the powder, clean the area gently with water-moistened cotton balls or a warm washcloth. Dry your rectal area after cleaning and apply the powder.
It is also important to break the itch-scratch cycle because, Karuhanga notes, further scratching leads to more itching. It is also important to trim finger nails regularly to avoid damaging the anal opening when scratching.
If the discomfort of anal sweating and itching is caused by worms, you can take a few simple measures to keep worms out of your body. Often, worms get into the body as a result of eating dirty foods or failure to observe proper hygiene.
The starting point is washing your hands with clean water and soap before eating, preparing or serving a meal and after visiting the toilet. Always wash raw foods, fruits and vegetables before eating and ensure that your meat is thoroughly cooked to avoid getting tape worms.
If you love swimming, make sure the swimming pool is treated because you can get worms by swimming in a pool with untreated water.
Signs and symptoms of worms
Anal sweating and itching aside, you can tell that you have worms if you notice any of the following signs and symptoms:
Loss or sudden increase in appetite
Anaemia since worms feed on blood. This, however, happens if worms are left untreated for long.
Feeling hungry minutes after eating
Gas (flatulence) and stomach bloating
etting flue-like symptoms
Lack of concentration since the worms’ waste products irritate the nervous system and cause anxiety and nervousness.
In children, other signs of worms other than anal itching are:
Nose, gum or rectal bleeding.
Grinding teeth at night
Blisters on the inside of the lower lip
Wiping the nose constantly.
Some children become hyperactive
More episodes of bed wetting
Sensitivity to light.