It may seem like an issue of out-of-sight-out-of-mind, but 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 and itchy. And on occasion, they might even be a sign of a more serious health condition.
That's why, if anything happens to be bothering you in the buttocks region, you'll want to let your doctor know. But don't freak out — more than likely, these bumps won't be anything worth worrying about. It's pretty common to experience pimples on your butt cheeks, all thanks to sweat and friction that occurs in the area due to your clothes. If you have pimples, you can either ignore them, or treat them like you would regular acne on any other part of your body.
"I recommend topical medications in pad form because it makes it a little easier to reach [...] places on your back and butt," Dr. Neal Schultz, a board-certified dermatologist, 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. With that in mind, read on for a few more bumps that are totally normal, as well as ones you might need to pay more attention to.
1. Normal: A Red Rash After Using Cleansing Wipes
If you just got back from the gym, you might freshen up your whole body (butt included) with a cleansing wipe. And while that's fine, don't be surprised if your skin gets a bit bumpy and red as a result. "Wipes are super convenient, but because the chemicals are left behind on your skin, they can cause [irritation] or allergic contact dermatitis," Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist, tells Bustle.
While contact dermatitis is usually nothing to worry about, it is worth preventing this itchy red rash whenever possible by switching up your post-gym cleansing methods. Shainhouse recommends avoiding products containing methylchloroisothiazolinone. And if you have the time, you should also rinse your skin with water so the chemicals don't stick around.
2. Normal: Pimples On Your Butt
If you have little bumps on your cheeks, it could be due to a condition called folliculitis. "These pimple-like lesions can develop from friction, sweating and/or bacteria, and can be managed similar to acne," Shainhouse says. These are the bumps you might notice cropping up on your skin if you walk a lot, sweat a lot, or exercise.
They may not be ideal, but the good thing is they're usually easy to manage. "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," Shainhouse says.
You can also use an antibacterial body wash in the shower, Shainhouse says, or treat them with an OTC benzoyl peroxide acne cream.
3. Normal: Red Bumps If You Have Acne-Prone Skin
If you have pimples on your face, shoulders, or back, chances are you'll have them on your butt, too. And this is especially true since acne tends to crop up in areas that rub against clothing, which is highly likely in these areas.
"In someone prone to acne, anything that rubs against the acne-prone area of the body [...] will induce breakouts in the affected areas," Schultz says. Not only do clothes trap dirt and oil against your skin, but the friction does the added work of rubbing it all in, and causing inflammation.
While it's nothing to worry about, it can be annoying or painful, and may even warrant a trip to your dermatologist. They can help clear up an acne issues in this area, and help you feel better.
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 purple lump protruding from your butt region, you might have a case of hemorrhoids. And that's not something you should ignore.
"These are dilated blood vessels in the anus and rectum," Shainhouse says. "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. Other risk factors include sitting for long periods of time, eating a low-fiber diet, and having chronic diarrhea. While hemorrhoids will often go away on their own, especially if you use an OTC cream, Shainhouse says 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 says, scabies is caused by mites that burrow under the skin leading to a horrible case of itchiness — sometimes to the point you'll have trouble sleeping 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. A doctor will have to diagnose the issue, and treatments include applying medication lotions, and washing all your clothes, towels, and bedsheets.
6. Not Normal: A Herpes-Like Bump On Your Buttocks
When you think of herpes, you might imagine the classic signs, such as 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 in other areas, too, such as the buttocks, anus, and thighs.
"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. While there are other possible explanations, consider getting checked for this sexually transmitted infection, and if you have it, letting all partner(s) know.
While there is no cure for herpes, there are ways to manage your symptoms with antiviral medications, so go ahead and ask your doctor.
7. Not Normal: A Large, Tender Lesion
While it's common to get pimples on your butt, you certainly don't want to sit idly by while one grows to epic proportions. In fact, if you do 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. And this is yet another skin issue you won't want to ignore.
"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 on your butt (or anywhere, for that matter) that is warm to the touch, it's definitely time to see your dermatologist so they can take a closer look and determine the cause.
"Any bump which is warm, swollen, painful, or leaks pus may be a severe deeper infection that needs oral antibiotics," Dr. Sonam Yadav, a physician and medical director of Juverne Clinic, tells Bustle. So go get that checked right away.
It could be an infected pimple, or a more serious condition, such as cellulitis, which will need to be treated by a doctor. This is a skin infection caused by bacteria entering through a scratch other other wound, and typically affects the legs, buttocks, or head.
9. Not Normal: Moles That Are Changing Shape
Even though your butt is covered most of the time, and thus protected from the sun's damaging UV rays, it's still an area you need to check for skin cancer. And this is especially true if a bump or mole in that area has started bothering you, changing shape, or otherwise feeling different.
"Any new moles/pigmented patches or a mole which is changing color/shape/size, oozing blood, [or] newly itchy needs to be assessed," Yadav says. "Skin cancer — especially melanoma — can appear anywhere, including the butt. A regular skin exam helps screen suspicious spots."
From there, your doctor will have you come back for regular assessments, and let you know your best course of action.
10. Not Normal: Red Rashes Or Bite Marks
The butt area is a prime location for bites from ticks and bedbugs, Yadav says. If you've been outside, you'll want to give yourself a once over (and take a shower) especially during tick season. And if you happen to notice the telltale signs of bedbugs, you'll definitely want to investigate further.
These tiny parasites can live in your furniture and tend to bite while you're asleep. You might not see them, but you'll likely spot the aftermath, which can include red and itchy bite marks that often go in a line. If you're allergic, you might even break out in blisters or hives.
This will obviously require a trip to the doctor, and you will need to do thorough a bedbug treatment for your apartment to get rid of them.
11. Not Normal: A Rash That Is Spreading
Again, it can be tough to see what, exactly, is going on with your butt. But if you have annoying symptoms going on down below, it'll be obvious when you need to take a peek in the mirror, and assess what's going on.
If you spot an itchy rash, Yadav says it could be a sign of a fungal infection, or even psoriasis. Whatever the case may be, your doctor will be able to provide treatment and get things feelin' right again.
The last thing you want is to have pains (or blemishes) on your butt, especially since you need to sit on it. So do pay attention, and talk with a doctor, if any of these symptoms are bothering you.
Dr. Neal Schultz, a board-certified dermatologist
Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist
Dr. Sonam Yadav, physician and medical director of Juverne Clinic