My son has strep in his anus! Whoa! What? I didn’t even know you could get it there.
Apparently, you can get strep just about anywhere and its more common than you realize. In fact, many of the anal infections get misdiagnosed as a yeast infection or diaper rash.
So how did my son get it? Well, you get it when you have strep on your hands (like from boogers or saliva from a sneeze) and then you touch your bottom. I can honestly say I never thought to wash my hands BEFORE assisting my older son in the bathroom. The other possibility was that he’s been a carrier of strep (most people have strep virus on their bodies but are able to stave off infection because they are healthy) and he got a common cold virus which weakened his immune system and thus the strep bacteria had the perfect environment to thrive (warm body, weakened immune system so not so many antibodies flowing through the system). It apparently happens frequently but goes unnoticed.
How did we notice? Well, for awhile now my son would occasionally complain that his butt (inside) was itchy. We assumed he wasn’t wiping that well. So we had started wiping his butt for him again. Yet, he would still complain periodically about his itchy butt. He also would get little bumps on his butt. He wears a diaper at night time so we thought it was just diaper rash. In fact, we had gone to the doctor before (different one than from today) and he had looked at it and said it was probably just diaper rash, too.
A few weeks ago, my boygs got sick – typical virus style sick – fever, sleepy, etc. After the fever went down he had the runny nose thing going on. Of course, our youngest son came down with the same exact symptoms 3-4 days later as is typical of a virus. Nothing out of the ordinary for flu season.
However, the runny nose has persisted. Both boys continued to have runny noses and the younger one seemed to be drooling a lot more. The older one would complain of his ear hurting sometimes. The younger would sometimes get a goopy eye for a little while. Their symptoms seemed to come and go. I’d think they were getting better, then they’d seem sick all over again.
Earlier this week, I was diagnosed with strep throat (I had a horrific weekend and there was no doubt that it was strep). While talking with one of Max’s therapists, she told me about how she had gotten a strep infection on her arm once. That was the first I had ever heard of strep anywhere other than the throat. I’ve had a LOT of strep infections in my life and was totally shocked to learn this.
Anyways, my husband has been sick right along with me but he had his tonsils removed when he was a kid so I didn’t know what strep looked like without tonsils. So this morning I was doing a search to find out what the symptoms were and an article had come up “Why Your Kid May Have Strep and You Don’t Know It.” And I had one of those “Aha” moments. I Knew without a doubt that Milan had peri-anal strep. I did a quick search and sure enough the images matched his rash on his butt and the symptoms were the same.
I also knew that our younger one had it, too. Because just the day before I had noticed one of those bumps on his butt just like his big brothers.
So I made an appointment to see the doctor this morning and she confirmed it. Both boys had strep butt!
In all of the many, many times I had researched my son’s butt rash, not once had strep ever come up in the search. We’ve dealt with our fair share of viruses, rashes and other typical childhood illnesses. I never once heard about strep in the peri-anal area. Well, that’s not exactly true. I do remember getting tested for it when I was pregnant. I remember the nurses telling me its actually quite common for women to have strep in the vagina or butt areas and that its important to treat it before they give birth.
As weird as all this is. And as cringe worthy as it all is. I felt it is VERY important for me to write this article. Who knows. There might be another mom out there searching for information about the “rash on toddler butt” just like I was and maybe this article will help.