Itchy bottom, intestinal parasite: Strange diseases you’ve never heard of
But because they’re so common, you may have contracted them without even realising…
“Stress urticaria” results in an itchy red rash. It’s also called “stress welts” because of the red raised lumps it can temporarily leave on your body and is treated with antihistamines.
The “blastocystis hominis” parasite can cause an intestinal infection. You catch it by drinking contaminated water or by submerging in infested swimming pools, spas and bathtubs. It can result in greasy stools that tend to float, and treatment usually involves antibiotics.
Fungal nail infection
Onchomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail. The nail becomes thickened and discoloured either white, green, yellow or black. Mild cases can be treated with antifungal nail polish, creams or oral medications. If severe, the nail may need to be removed.
Deformed red blood cells
Sickle cell anaemia is an inherited condition in which the red blood cells become deformed or “sickle” shaped. This causes them to clump together, making blood flow very sticky and ineffective at carrying oxygen around the body. The treatment is to manage the symptoms as there’s no cure.
Pruritis ani, AKA “itchy bottom” syndrome, is more common in men than women and the key symptom is an urge to scratch your anus (no surprises there). The main causes include dermatitis, a threadworm infection, STD or haemorrhoid. It can be a vicious cycle to manage as it often gets worse the more you scratch. The treatment depends on the cause.
Tip: If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions, it may be worthwhile to have a check-up by your GP. After all, what seems odd to you is quite common to us.