Everyone, at some point in life, may have experienced a burning sensation in the anus either immediately after, or even during a bowel movement. More often than not, this reaction is caused by the consumption of foods or caused by gastroenteritis. When these two common reasons are not the cause, it may be a sign of proctitis, or the inflammation of the anus and rectum. Additionally, skin diseases can spread throughout the anus, and even into the anal canal, thus causing the burning sensation.Themes

Why Does It Burn When I Poop?

When you do have a burning sensation in the anus or rectum, including after or during a bowel movement, it could be caused by any of the following conditions:

Spicy Foods

Many people who eat spicy foods on a regular basis may begin to wonder, 'it always burns when I poop'. This happens because the chemicals that make spicy food spicy are actually irritants to the body's system that causes a burning sensation at the anal canal when those chemicals are expelled. Small amounts of spicy food will result in normal bowel movements that include burning poop while increased amounts can cause diarrhea.


Anal Fissure

An anal fissure occurs when there is a split inside the anus towards the back of the anal skin. Rather than a simple burning sensation, anal fissures feel like you are being cut by glass, which is worsened during a bowel movement. With an anal fissure, you may notice some blood after a bowel movement. These fissures tend to occur in young adults and teenagers, especially after they have been constipated. Childbirth can also cause fissures. In general, the fissure will heal on its own but it may take several weeks and the scar could split.


Bowel Problems

The bowel is connected to everything else in your body, especially the colon, rectum, and anus. When anything goes wrong in these areas, it often results in a burning sensation in the anus. The following are the most common types of bowel problems: inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroenteritis, rectal prolapse. Each of these conditions can lead rectal bleeding, pain, diarrhea, constipation, or mucus in the stool.


Anal Itching & Poor Hygiene

At times, a burning sensation may occur without any relation to the foods you have eaten, quickly leading to the question, "Why does it burn when I poop?" For example, pruritis ani, or itchy anus, can occur when you wipe excessively or if you have contracted something infectious. Excessively itching in the area will results in a burning sensation that typically becomes more aggravated with each bowel movement. Another cause may be that you are not adequately cleaning the anus by not wiping properly. Both of these causes can be relieved by following a proper hygiene regimen.


Herpes Virus Infection

The pain of a herpes virus infection will be similar to a fissure. At other locations on the body, a herpes infection forms in small ulcers, but at the anus herpes forms a crack. Once the crack has formed from the infection, the soreness will occur in several different bouts, each lasting several days. If you think this may be the cause of burning poop, then you should seek out a genitourinary medicine clinic which will check to see if you have contracted the virus.



Abscesses begin as a small pain that quickly grows into a throbbing pain over just a few days to the point of disturbing sleep. The abscess may feel like tender swelling either beside or inside the anus and will need a doctor’s attention in order to be removed successfully.


Proctalgia Fugax

This condition will cause severe pain inside the anal canal that lasts for a short amount of time, anywhere from a few seconds to half an hour, with absolutely no pain in between each attack. The level of pain felt can make you dizzy, give you a headache, and even wake you from a deep sleep. Those with proctalgia fugax typically only have 5 to 6 attacks each year. When an attack occurs, you may urgently feel the need to go, but nothing happens when you try.

Proctalgia fugax is mysterious and its causes are still unknown, although it is suspected to be a sudden spasm of the rectal and pelvic floor muscles. Try the following in order to relieve the pain: place pressure on the perineum, sit in hot water or apply ice, take two pain relief tablets (acetaminophen if possible) with a hot drink.



Typically associated with constant constipation and diarrhea, hemorrhoids refer to the swelling and weakening of rectal veins. While the above conditions are the most common cause of hemorrhoids, they are not the only conditions that can cause it. For those who have hemorrhoids, they unfortunately suffer from a variety of symptoms. These symptoms can include any of the following: rectal bleeding after bowel movement, constant burning sensations even when you are not needing to go, and itching. Sadly, hemorrhoids can cause pain throughout the day, not just in the bathroom.


Fecal Incontinence

This condition occurs when one has no control over when they have a bowel movement. For them, the question “why does it burn when I poop” is usually answered by the fact that fetal incontinence allows liquid fecal matter, or even entire movements, to pass against your will. As such, burning occurs due to the elements touching the anal skin that usually do not. Aside from being unable to control bowel movements, those with fecal incontinence do not always realize a bowel movement has occurred, meaning bowel bacteria may fester around the anal canal and cause a burning sensation.


Other Burning Anus Causes

While all of the above are typically the causes of the burning sensation you may feel during a bowel movement, they are not the only conditions that may cause such pain. For example, any skin diseases that are concentrated in the anal area may cause burning sensations. These skin diseases can include seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, or a pilonidal cyst. Furthermore, any type of infection may also result in anal burning.

What to Do

Although a single episode of burning anus in or after a bowel movement does not automatically signal a disease, it should also not be discounted. For example, burning sensations accompanies with any bleeding – either from the rectal area or in the stool – should direct you to get a doctor’s consultation.

Aside from seeking medical attention, you will also want to do the following at home in hopes to either prevent or alleviate any burning sensations when you poop:

  • Avoid constipation by maintaining a healthy diet full of fiber.

  • Practice proper hygiene in the area to keep it clean—consider using a bidet if needed.

  • Take warm baths twice a day with a handful of kitchen salt.


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