Burning Anus, Rectum, Burning Sensation after a Bowel Movement

A burning sensation in the anus or during and after a bowel movement is not an uncommon experience and every person may experience it at some point in time. Often it is related to eating spicy foods or during and after a bout of gastroenteritis. At other times burning is sign of proctitis, which in inflammation of the anus and rectum due to a host of causes. Skin diseases may also spread around the anus and in some cases, even into the anal canal.

A single episode of burning in the anus or following a bowel movement, or even a day or two of irritation, is not always associated with a disease. However, a burning sensation accompanied by rectal bleeding, mucus or blood in the stool, abnormal bowel habit like persistent diarrhea or chronic constipation, should be investigated for a host of bowel diseases.

The rectum is usually empty of feces until the relevant defecation reflexes commence. Once the rectum  fills with fecal matter and if the situation is appropriate, defecation will occur. The distension of the rectum when it fills with feces, coupled with the passage of feces through the anal canal can elicit a number of sensations including pain, burning or itching if the surrounding tissue is irritated. The itching sensation itself cannot be felt in the rectum, but with deeper anal itching, it is often mistaken for itching in the rectum.

Causes of a Burning Anus

Burning in the anus or rectum, or a burning sensation during or after a bowel movement may be a symptom of a number of conditions. Some of the causes may include :

Spicy Foods

The chemicals present in spicy foods typically causes irritation of the tongue mucosa where it detected as being ‘hot’. This effect persists as it travels through the gut. If these irritants are not degraded or neutralized by the time it reaches the rectum, it will cause local irritation of the anal mucosa. The inflammatory response also causes redness and sometimes swelling of the affected area. The most common irritant foods is capsicin present in chilli and peppers but a host of other chemicals in foods can have a similar reaction. The burning sensation usually starts after a bowel movement and persists for a period of time afterwards. Spicy foods may also cause mild diarrhea which can irritate the anus and lead to burning.

Anal Itching

Pruritis ani (itchy anus) is often associated with excessive wiping, certain foods and sometimes skin diseases and infectious conditions. Repeated scratching of the anus due to itching may lead to a burning sensation. This is often aggravated after a bowel movement.

Poor Hygiene

Inadequate wiping and bathing can cause local irritation of the anal mucosa due to the presence of fecal matter and large populations of bowel bacteria. Itching is often reported and with secondary skin infections, a burning sensation may also be apparent. These sensations will ease with practicing proper hygiene and treating any complications that may have arisen.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are the swelling and weakening of the rectal veins, often associated with chronic constipation or diarrhea. It may also arise for other reasons. Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, is a common rectal condition and presents with a host of symptoms like rectal bleeding after a bowel movement, especially upon wiping, itching and burning. It is aggravated after a bowel movement but the discomfort (burning, itching, pain) usually persists throughout the day to varying degrees.

Anal Fissures

Minute tears in the lining of the anal mucosa often arise with chronic constipation and diarrhea. As with hemorrhoids, there are a host of other causes that may be responsible. Burning and pain are typical of anal fissure and tend to exacerbate after a bowel movement and persist afterwards for a period of time. Rectal bleeding and anal itching are often present as well.

Fecal Incontinence

With fecal incontinence, impairment of bowel control allows small quantities of the liquid fecal matter or a complete bowel movement to pass out of the anus involuntarily. Burning in the anus or rectum may be a symptom of one of the causes of fecal incontinence. It may also be related to the presence of fecal matter and bowel bacteria which is not removed from the area as a person may be unaware of the event.

Bowel Problems

A number of diseases that affect the colon, rectum and anus can cause a burning sensation. Inflammation or ulceration of the bowel  lining may also cause a number of other symptoms like rectal bleeding, pelvic and/or abdominal pain, mucus in the stool and abnormal bowel movements like diarrhea or constipation may also be present. Often these other symptoms may also lead to hemorrhoids, anal fissures or incontinence which contributes to burning of the anus or rectum.

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Constipation –  impacted feces
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Rectal prolapse

Other complications like a perianal abscess or anal fistula may also cause burning in the anus or rectum and needs immediate medical attention.

Other Burning Anus Causes

There are host of other causes that may also contribute to a burning sensation in the rectum and around the anus which may or may not be associated with bowel movements. Some of the causes may include :

  • Skin diseases
    • seborrheic dermatitis
    • psoriasis
    • eczema
    • pilonidal cyst
  • Infections
    • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – genital herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia
    • Other infections – intestinal parasites, candida (immunocompromised patients), streptococcal dermatitis, tinea crura/corporis (fungal)

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  • Very informative article for the average patient with negligible medical knowledge.

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  • Hala

    Hello. I have had constipation a few weeks ago. Now, it burns and itches from the inside. I am using hemorrhoid cream. However, when I have a bowel movement, it starts burning and itching again. What can I do?

  • HI Hala. This is in not uncommon for hemorrhoids. The symptoms will often exacerbate after a bowel movement. While hemorrhoids is a common condition it is advisable that you have it assessed by a doctor. Severe cases may require procedures like a rubber band ligation or even surgery in some instances. Your constipation would need to be treated and you should also change your habits like sitting on the toilet for too long or straining excessively which will worsen the hemorrhoids. A sitz bath may also help. Speak to your doctor for more specific advice for your case.

  • Tristan

    IT BURNS!!!!

  • Mi Li

    Hello,
    I get extremely sick with bowels, ending on the floor in bathroom. starts with cramping gets worse like labor pains , I vomit get hot almost passing out if didn’t grab a fan. The pain is extremely excruciating, sometimes I end up on the floor too weak too painfully agonizingly to get to toilet. I get lightheaded and my arms starts tingling the fan keeps me from passing out. Takes 2 -3 hers to get thru. then I burn at the end.. What is that? How can I help myself..pepto does nothing…

    Thanks

  • Hi Mi Li. I’m assuming that you mean bowel movements end up on the floor and not your bowels itself. This could be any number of conditions from the symptoms that you described. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are two possibilities. The severe pain associated with the abdominal cramps can cause symptoms like lightheadedness and feeling hot. From what you say this seems to be going on for a while. If it just started then it is more likely to be an infection. However, there are other possibilities that need to be investigated including a hiatal hernia, narrowing of the stomach, gallbladder disease and pancreatitis. There is no way of saying for sure. You need to consult with your doctor and possibly see a gastroenterologist as well.

  • Trina

    Hi,
    My 2yr old as been suffers with extreme bowel discomfort for the pass 3wks, maybe a month. Every bowel movement is diarrhea, he is still urinating regularly. In the beginning, I consulted with his pediatrician and he told me to give him Miralax because I thought he was constipated; he hadn’t had a bowel movement in a few days. When I found out that the Miralax wasn’t helping, I took him to the hospital and they took an xray of his stomach and intestines and said he didn’t have a blockage anywhere. Then they prescribed my son with an over the counter medicine called Mylanta. Then, I spoke with his doctor again and this time they told me to give Florastor for kids, 1packet a day for 3-5 days. His doctor told me that the reason for his bowel discomfort may be from a lack of good bacteria in his intestines and the acid from his intestines may be burning his colon or anus. I hate seeing my son in pain and this discomfort has postponed his potty training. I need some insight on what I may be dealing with and what to do about it.

  • Hi Trina. Despite the different medication recently, it is possible that his current symptoms are unrelated to it. The fact that he is experiencing persistent diarrhea is a cause for concern and needs to be investigated. You should see the pediatrician again. Since he is still urinating he is most likely not severely dehydrated as yet. However, dehydration can settle in quickly with diarrhea and this is one of the main complications you want to avoid, apart from relieving his symptoms of pain and discomfort. Diarrhea is a very common symptom seen in many different acute and chronic diseases. Since all the investigations are clear and there is no definitive diagnosis as yet, it is difficult to comment further. The pediatrician will advise you accordingly.

  • Bharat Singh

    Hi ,
    I m 18 yr old and suffering from burning sensation around anus and blood on stool(( although very little).
    I m facing this for past 2 days and faced it earlier many times.
    I also have very sedentary lifestyle.
    Is this matter of high concern.
    Please tell me. Im afraid.

  • Hi Bharat. It is always advisable to have this checked. One of the common causes is hemorrhoids (piles) but with the risk of conditions like rectal cancer you should get it checked up. Fortunately colorectal cancer is not common in your age group but nevertheless see a doctor.

  • Bill Wattman

    Hello, I experience diarrhea and multiple bowel movements a day (5, 6 or more some days). At times these bowel movements come on very quickly so I must be aware of my surroundings, IE: have a bathroom nearby. I can feel the build up of gas and at times if I do not get near to a toilet the pressure gets so bad it pushes on my bladder making me feel I have to urinate. I can go from okay to 30 minutes later having to run for the bathroom or else. It seems to be very acidy and leaves me burning and blood when I wipe. I wipe thoroughly until I am clean and I still find at times I leak so now I am experiencing itching. Very rarely do I have a solid bowel movement. I have been to doctors, dieticians, stomach doctors. Some days I eat a food and all is well and another day I eat the same food and the problem occurs. I have been experiencing this for years (4-5), I have had my gall bladder out and due to cancer in my family I have a regular colonoscopy. I am really at a loss as this affects my life so dramatically at times, I hope you can give me some guidance. I have not been to the doctor in a year in regard to this, last time it was suggested I take probiotics which seemed to help but no longer.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated, I am not ready for diapers yet as I am relatively young.
    Thank you

  • 3.71_GPA_ATC

    Why does this crap have to happen to me!!

  • Hi Bill. If no bowel disease can be identified and you are keeping to a low fat diet (due to your gallbladder removal) then it is possible that you have IBS. Your bowel symptoms does sound a lot like IBS but it could also be due to diseases like IBD. Of course the repeated colooscopies would have revealed if it was IBD. The burning and bleeding that you are experiencing could simply be hemorrhoids which is very likely to occur given your repeated diarrhea. Isolated and treat the cause of the diarrhea and the burning and bleeding should resolve with time. If your hemorrhoids are very severe then it may be necessary for minor surgery. However, the advice that we have provided it based on the information you have offered. It is best that you speak to your doctor about it. Hopefully you are seeing a gastroenterologist who is monitoring your condition on an ongoing basis.

  • Jack Tripper

    I use the bathroom twice a day. i have no bloating or diarrhea but i have a serious case where it itches afterwards. it seems as though I can’t ’empty it all’.its like my anus too tight for everything to pass out.. i don’t know what to try.. i use tissue and follow that up with wipes but i still be itchy.i drink plenty of water.When I use tissue I end up with a blood. i hope i find a solution soon it is interfering with my daily life

  • Kristofer

    Hello! I was wondering if you can help me with this topic by answering a question or two.
    So the story is as so:
    I am a lifelong IBS sufferer up until recently when a certain prescribed medication sorted the problem.
    Needles to say the problem with hemorrhoids followed the symptoms but when the IBS stopped the hemorrhoids continued.
    Now when I look back at it, it seems that no matter if I had an IBS attacks or regardless of a season I was in (cold or heat does not effect) or the type of stool I was having, the problem of hemorrhoids occurred randomly and lasted sometimes up to two moths and sometimes less. I also noticed that when the problem occurs it gets worse with every bowel movement but not right after it but some 3-5 hours later. Also there is a burning feeling during and after the defecation but the stool is quite normal in both consistency and color.
    So my main question would be, is there any substance in the digestive tract that is triggered by some sort of change in diet or even weather that can cause these symptoms? May it be that an excessive stomach acid or some other acidic matter can cause this discomfort?
    I have been to a physician and endured the colonoscopy and nothing unusual was found apart from the IBS narrowing and a ring of hemorrhoids around the anus.
    I do not smoke, drink coffee, alcohol, eat hot or spicy and any ointment or cream is helping until the next bathroom visit.
    Thank you in advance and I bid you a good day.

  • Ian_D_T

    Two possible suggestions:
    1. Barley for a soft but firmer “result”
    2. A small amount of ginger or ginger tea with or after a meal. Ginger is believed to stimulate the release of bile which improves digestion. There are recommendations to avoid spices including ginger so this may appear counter-intuitive but if it helps to release bile at the right time it may be a useful remedy.

  • Hi Jack. If you are going to the toilet enough times in a day and passing a sufficient amount of stool, then it may not be an issue of the stool being stuck in the rectum as would be the case with constipation. From what you are describing it sounds a lot like hemorrhoids (piles) which can be itchy, bleed and makes you feel like you haven’t completed the bowel movement. There are many treatment options for piles and you should speak to your doctor. Sometimes other rectal and anal problems could also be the cause but piles is by far the most common.

  • Hi Kristofer. While IBS as with many other gastrointestinal conditions can lead to hemorrhoids, this does not mean that hemorrhoids will definitely resolve once the IBS resolved. Your hemorrhoids may now be a condition on its own. All the symptoms that you are describing correlate with hemorrhoids. So first try to get the hemorrhoids treated before you consider other possibilities. It is unlikely that stomach acid would reach the rectum in large quantities without being neutralized along the way down. Hemorrhoids does cause this type of burning and some people do find that their hemorrhoid symptoms worsen with certain foods. Speak to your doctor about your options to treat the hemorrhoids. Minimally invasive procedures like rubber band ligation may be a consideration since the hemorrhoids are not resolving. Your doctor will advise you accordingly.

  • Liam

    I have had severe burning and itching immediately after passing stools, which continues throughout the day. This has been ongoing now for 3 years. On occasions fresh blood is present on the tissue paper. I have had hemeriods removed twice, 3 scopes and no fistula or fisher has been found. I have been to dermatologists and tried numerous medications, all of which have failed to fix the problem. I am now at the end of the road and have nowhere else to go.
    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • Kristofer

    Thank you kindly for the answer! Every bit of information helps.

    Have a good day!

  • Santhosh Kumar J

    Hi there,

    First of all thank you for being so detailed and informative with the topic,

    Now coming back to my issue, Whome to contact for this issue, Which Doctor or Specialist can address this issue.

    Kindly help I am in great pain on concern because of this issue.

  • Hi Liam. Have you seen a proctologist or gastroenterologist? This does sound a lot like hemorrhoids but there are many other rectal and anal conditions that can cause similar symptoms. Don’t pass it off just because you have had hemorrhoids before. Rather get a professional opinion after further diagnostic investigation. With the frequency and severity of colorectal cancer for example, it is always advisable to be cautious.

  • Michelle

    My husband has had a very soft stool for 6 months to a year. He goes at least twice a day and it has a lots of yellow in it.Its been burning just recently as he goes. He is going to see a gastronomy Dr. In a month. Is there something we can do now to help?

  • Hi Michelle. Soft stool is not considered to be a bad type of stool unless you mean that it is water. Going twice a day is also not a problem. Yellow stool can occur for a number of reasons as you can read here http://www.healthhype.com/yellow-bowel-movement-cause.html. It’s good to know that he is seeing a gastroenterologist and since he has contended with these symptoms for so long, it is best to wait and see what the doctor says after investigation rather than making any changes at this point.

  • lia

    Hi, I’m currently in a bad way. I suffer from chrons disease and have been for the past 10 years. I’m experiencing some excruciating pain in my anus and this only occurs after I’ve been to the toilet. The pain will linger for at least 2 hours and it’s like a burning sensation. I am in a lot of discomfort that I’ve cried a few times because of the pain. I’ve booked an appointment to see my GP, but that’s not until another week, can anyone suggest anything in the meantime?

  • fnu

    After delivery when ever I do poop my place is burning , now my baby is almost 12 weeks old but still same condition is going on .. I’m so worried , I did vaginal delivery and had 2 or 3 stiches . …plz suggest me what I have to do.

  • Fixman

    Hello. I just read your article, and it seems that you may be able to solve two problems I’ve been having for a long time. These are:

    A. Sometimes, like every three-four weeks, I experience a mild-to-medium burning pain in the anus, precisely on the ring. This usually occurs during defecation (hurts a lot then) and stays on for at least two hours, declining in intensity over time. There is no blood, and the stool is long and a bit cracked. This phase would go on for, oh, maybe a week or less. During this time my anus will be unusually tight.I did try to put a finger in, experimentally – and immediately regretted it.

    B. My lifestyle does not need me to go out much. If I do have to go out, especially for something important, my body seems to be under some compulsion to empty the bowels absolutely – even it requires going twice or thrice and some loose motion. There might even be a desire to vomit, as if the body wants to empty the belly one way or another! As a result I would get hungry and thirsty very fast that day. It seems like this may be a mental thing, a friend once told me. Another thing – I don’t know if it’s related or not, but in those days I would almost definitely have a headache at night.

    General info: I am male, 30, thin and rather on the weak side, due to lack of exercise. I generally go once a day, but I am very irregular. My diet usually
    consists of rice, grains and greens, cooked mostly spicy, but not much animal food. I
    drink about 1.5 liters of water per day.

    Can you help me with this, please?

  • Michelle

    If I have burning anal do I see my doctor it gynecologist?

  • malcolm smith

    I have a question I have been sufferring for 3 years from this it has gotten better since but. I had an std and I took the medicine. I have had anal burnning and itching every since. I may have took too much of the medicine, and it may be something to do with my skin im not sure. So what should I do?

  • Hi Malcolm. It is unlikely a drug-related reaction could be causing ongoing itching in this region ever since. What is more likely is that the STD has recurred. It could even be an entirely different condition like hemorrhoids which you may be associating with your past STD. Best that you see a proctologist for further assessment and advice.

  • malcolm smith

    My friend said the same thing about the recurring std part. I think maybe I got the std on my anus. I also had problems using the bathroom during this std so it may as well be hemorrhoids. I wasnt having a vowel movement for a long time and I was constipated.

  • Hi Michelle. It may be advisable to start with your family doctor and if necessary he/she will refer you to a proctologist. If you are going to consult with a gynecologist then you should mention your symptoms so that he/she can advise you further. Diagnostic investigations may be necessary though to identify the exact cause. You don’t mention other symptoms but take note of it because these other symptoms can help your doctor identify a possible cause.

  • Hi Malcolm. Yes, it is a possibility. It’s advisable that you have it checked up by a doctor. Treat it as soon as possible so that it does not spread any further or lead to complications.

  • marissa

    my husband has had anal pain for quite a while now, sometimes it can last for days or just hours, he explained to me that he feels like a little ball inside when he cleans himself, I automatically suggested it might be a hemorrhoid so he has taken several OTC medication but nothing has helped, I (his wife of 22 years ) have checked him and I do not see anything wrong on the outside but he feels the pain and burning sensation inside, it is so bad he said the pain is radiating down his leg, can someone relate to these symptoms? I know he needs to go to the dr but to a family dr?? please help.

  • joe perez

    I have been suffering with severe rectal discomfort. Severe itching and burning after a bowel movement. Its about 50 50 when it comes to normal versus constipation. When i wipe i see small streaks of blood on the tissue but not regularly. Sometimes i have to wipe gently due to pain. Feels as if a section of skin is sticking out. Is there an over counter treatment for these types of symtoms?

    Thanks

  • Marcus_Z

    No. go to the doctor.

  • Sandy

    Hi guys so I need help because I had anal sex with my boyfriend like 3 days ago and ever since then every time I poop it is an unbelievable excruciating pain I need to know what medicine to take or creams

  • Hi Sandy. There is trauma to the area and may need to take a few days to heal. However, a severe injury and the possibility of an infection may require medical treatment. Since the symptoms are not subsiding you most likely will need to see a doctor before any complications arise.

  • Bi0 Hazard97

    Well when I poop I have to do it every 30mins and its a liquid poop and every time it comes out its hot then my anus starts burning then after I wipe I look at the paper and theres little bits of blood on it so idk what I have and im only 18 years old

  • Hi Bi0. There are two aspects that need to be considered here – the diarrhea that you are experiencing and the bleeding. It is very likely connected. This diarrhea that you are experiencing needs to be investigated. Diarrhea is a symptom that is seen with various diseases, and will only resolve when the disease that causes it is identified and treated. Bleeding piles (hemorrhoids) often occurs with diarrhea. Sometimes it may have been present for long periods and just aggravated with diarrhea. Or long standing diarrhea could have caused the piles. However, other conditions that can cause both symptoms need to be considered. For example, diarrhea and bleeding from the bowel may occur in conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Consult with your doctor as further investigation may be necessary to diagnose the problem.

  • Pavan India

    Sir ,
    I am not fluent english . So if have any errors plz sorry for those.

    Actually I am faceing burning sensation too much and coming smell as bad like drain. I am Vegeterian and take food normal with Fruits. I felt bad in office on daily bases . I am using soap for daily bath and after toilet using tissuepaper.

    I feel constipation but take medicine and feel relax in constipation. but not in anus area.

    When I seat on the chair in office then surrrounding area is feel as hot and my anus is too much hot like Smoke are passing to chimni.

    and feel smell as bad when i using fruit in night then definitly unknown smell are coming.

    When I go doctor then given constipation medicine.

    I am too much irretated and not speak to anyone. And getting frustration only

    Please give me right suggestion.

  • Breighanna

    Awkward but in the past week or two it feels like there is pressure in my butthole even when I wipe completely. Now I feel some pain when I wipe my buttocks hole in the past few days.

  • HI Pawan. There are a host of rectal and anal conditions that may cause these symptoms. Since you are constipated it is possible that you have developed hemorrhoids (piles) which could account for many of these symptoms but there are also other conditions that could be the problem here. It may be advisable to consult with a gastroenterologist (stomach and bowel specialist) at this point. Without knowing the exact cause, it is difficult to make any further suggestion.

  • Hi Breighanna. As you can see from the article above there are many possible causes but hemorrhoids (piles) is one of the more common conditions that may present with these symptoms. In mild cases there may be no blood or itching of the anus as is typically described with hemorrhoids. Another possibility is that you are injuring the are when wiping. It may be advisable to consult with a doctor. Early treatment for hemorrhoids, for example, can avoid complications that may later require surgery.

  • Asad Raza

    Hi there,Please please please help me i am too much worried,2 years back i was itching my anus and next day i had a severe burning when i poop then i apply some ointments and take some antibiotics my doctor gave me after some days or months the burning was reduced by i noticed a swelling coming from my anus.It is a swelling which i can touch it looks like it is deeply inside my anus and i take warm baths but swelling is not going…Because of that swelling my stools are now narrow and i am very much scared because narrow stools are not good.I also had a stool test and count blood cell test but all the tests were normal..what is the cause of that swelling in my anus i never had a blood in stool and thats why i cant say its hemmorroid..can u help me out with this? really worried and is there any link between my problem and rectal cancer?? i am 18 years old please reply my comment as soon as possible

  • Trevor

    Im 27 years of age and was givin a shot from a gastroenterologist at age 25. This “gut shot” is only to be givin to men after age 65. The Dr. gave me this “shot” and I was assumming I was just getting a physical. It completly changed my anus for ever. 2 years after the shot I am experiancing burning in my anus so bad that i cannot achieve an erection. Is this becuase i have cancer growing in my anus?

  • Hi Asad. We cannot diagnose you but it does sound a lot like hemorrhoids. There doesn’t have to be bleeding for it to be hemorrhoids and it is important for you to consult with a doctor who can examine the area further. There is no reason to focus on rectal cancer just yet. While it can be a possibility, it is uncommon in people of your age.So do not worry too much until a doctor does further tests and then confirms the diagnosis. You may need further investigations like a colonoscopy and this may mean that you need to see a gastroenterologist. Your doctor will advise your accordingly.

  • Ivory

    What if it is your stomach also? When I have to go my stomach burns every single time then afterwards my anus is burning and I feel so much Relief in my stomach but it’s never short lived, I go through this multiple times a day.