It may seem like an issue of out-of-sight-out-of-mind, but trust me — there are plenty of reasons to pay attention to your bum. This is especially true if you have bumps and blemishes on your butt, since these pimply issues can become painful, itchy, and are sometimes a sign of a serious health condition.
That's why, if anything is bothering you in the buttocks region, you should definitely see a doctor ASAP. But don't freak out — more than likely, your bumps won't be anything worth worrying about. It's pretty common to experience pimples on your cheeks, all thanks to sweat and friction from your clothes. If you have these kind of bumps, you can either ignore them, or treat them like you would regular acne.
"I recommend topical medications in pad form because it makes it a little easier to reach the difficult [to reach] places on your back and butt," board-certified dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz tells Bustle. "Over the counter exfoliants like glycolic or salicylic [acid] are readily available in pad forms, as are topical antibiotics available by prescription." These treatments, whether they're OTC or provided by your dermatologist, can help clear up the blemishes and make you feel way better. Read on for a few more bumps that are totally normal, as well as the ones you might need to worry about.
1. Normal: A Red Rash After Using Cleansing Wipes
If you freshen your butt area with a cleansing cloth after a trip to the gym, don't be surprised if your skin gets a bit bumpy and red. "Wipes are super convenient, but because the chemicals are left behind on your skin, they can cause [irritation] or allergic contact dermatitis," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse MD, FAAD. While it's nothing to worry about, it is worth preventing this itchy red rash. Shainhouse recommends avoiding products containing methylchloroisothiozolinone, as well as rinsing your skin with water after wiping.
2. Normal: Pimples On Your Butt
If you have little pimples on your cheeks, it could be something known as folliculitis. "These pimple-like lesions can develop from friction, sweating and/or bacteria, and can be managed similar to acne," says Shainhouse. "Prevent them by changing out of sweaty pants/underwear after working out and changing into a dry bathing suit after a dip in the pool." She also recommends using an antibacterial wash in the shower, or treating the bumps with benzoyl peroxide.
3. Normal: Red Bumps If You Have Acne-Prone Skin
If you have acne on your face, shoulders, or back, it's likely you'll have it on your butt, too. This is especially true since acne tends to crop up in areas that rub against clothing. "In someone prone to acne, anything that rubs against the acne-prone area of the body ... will induce breakouts in the affected areas," says Schultz. While it's nothing to worry about, it can be annoying and may even warrant a trip to your dermatologist.
4. Not Normal: A Purple Lump That Makes It Difficult To Sit Down
If it hurts to sit down, your butt is itchy, or you notice a protruding purple lump from your anus, you might have a case of hemorrhoids. "These are dilated blood vessels in the anus and rectum," says Shainhouse. "These vessels can enlarge and engorge and often protrude from the anus (hard, purple lumps)." If you're pregnant or constipated, it can increase your chances of developing hemorrhoids. They often go away on their own, but Shainhouse tells me some do require surgery.
5. Not Normal: An Extremely Itchy Rash
If you have extreme itchiness on your butt cheeks, it may be time to get checked for something called scabies. As Shainhouse tells me, scabies is caused by mites that burrow under the skin and cause horrible itchiness — often to the point you won't be able to sleep at night. "The itch will last until you treat the mites with a prescription cream, so see your dermatologist ASAP," she says. And remember that it's incredibly contagious, so tell your partner to get checked and treated, too.
6. Not Normal: A Herpes-Like Bump On Your Buttocks
When you think of herpes, you might think of a lip sore or bumps on the vulva or penis. And while those are signs of the virus, it's important to remember it can crop up on your buttocks, too. "If you have a painful 'pimple' that keeps popping up in the same place every once in a while, it may not be a 'pimple,'" Shainhouse says.
7. Not Normal: A Large, Tender Lesion
While it's normal to get pimples on your butt, you certainly don't want to sit idly by while one grows to epic proportions. If you have a large sore, it could be an abscess. "This super-sized acne-like lesion often starts as a tender, pink bump on or under the skin, but rapidly becomes a large, painful, swollen ... lump," Shainhouse says. "The best treatment is to have it opened and drained by your doctor." But until then, Shainhouse suggests using ice packs or warm compresses to soothe it at home. And whatever you do, don't try to pop it.
8. Not Normal: Any Bumps That Are Warm Or Sore
If you have a bump that is warm to the touch, it's definitely time to see your dermatologist. "Any bump which is warm, swollen, painful, or leaks pus may be a severe deeper infection that needs oral antibiotics," Dr. Sonam Yadav, medical director of Juverne Clinic, tells Bustle. So go get that checked right away.
9. Not Normal: Moles That Are Changing Shape
Even though your butt is covered up all day, it's still an area you need to check for skin cancer. "Any new moles/pigmented patches or a mole which is changing color/shape/size, oozing blood, newly itchy needs to be assessed," says Yadav. "Skin cancer — especially melanoma — can appear anywhere, including the butt. A regular skin exam helps screen suspicious spots."
10. Not Normal: Red Rashes Or Bite Marks
The butt area is a prime location for bites from ticks and bed bugs, Yadav tells me, so let your doctor know if you have any marks that look like a rash or a bite. It may need further medical attention — and you may even need a bed bug treatment for your apartment.
11. Not Normal: A Rash That Is Spreading
Again, it may be tough to see what, exactly, is going on with your butt. But do check in the mirror and note any rash that seems to be spreading — especially if it's itchy and pinkish. As Yadav tells me, it could be a sign of a fungal infection, or even psoriasis. Whatever it is, your doctor will be able to provide treatment and get things feelin' right again.
Because that last thing you want is to have pains (or blemishes) on your butt. So do pay attention, and talk with a doctor if any of these symptoms are bothering you.
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