There’s a reason that people sometimes refer to a difficult, unpleasant person as “a real boil on my butt.” Painful bumps on the butt are annoying and very uncomfortable. They’re also surprisingly common, especially in the summertime when heat, humidity, and sweat create ideal conditions for blemishes and boils to form. Most of the time, red bumps on the butt are simply acne or folliculitis, but sometimes they can be more serious and require a doctor’s attention.
When to See a Doctor
- You have a lump on or near your anus: If you have a painful lump close to your anus, this could be hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins, similar to varicose veins, that can occur both inside and outside of your anus. They sometimes form hard, painful lumps that can itch, bleed, and cause significant discomfort. If you have hemorrhoids then a doctor can provide the best advice and treatment.
- You have lots of small, itchy bumps: Many small, itchy bumps on the butt could be a sign of scabies or bed bugs. Scabies are burrowing mites that take up residence under the skin. They leave behind many small, red dots that are very itchy. Bed Bugs live in bedding and mattresses and feed off of human blood. They also leave trails of red bumps along the skin. If you have lots of itchy bumps on your butt, it’s a good idea to see a doctor to find out what kind of pest may be causing the problem.
- You have a large lump that is warm to the touch and expanding: An abscess is a large, swollen mass that is pink or red in color and very painful to the touch. These masses are full of pus and bacteria, and they can expand rapidly. It is common for abscesses to occur in the pubic, groin, armpit, and anal areas. If you have a large lump that is warm to the touch and doesn’t go away on its own after a few days, then seek medical care. Doctors can drain the pus and fluid out of abscesses through a small incision, or they may prescribe antibiotics. Untreated abscesses can spread bacterial infection into surrounding tissue or even into the bloodstream, creating a dangerous situation.
- When in doubt, have a doc check it out: There are a number of other more rare conditions that could cause an unusual bump to form on your butt. If you’ve never seen something like this on your skin before, then have a doctor take a look at it.
Most of the time, painful bumps on the butt are caused by acne or folliculitis. Typically, people with these conditions have many small to medium size blemishes, with the occasional blemish that gets very inflamed and becomes a large nodule or cyst.
The rear end is a common area for acne and folliculitis to form. Booty breakouts are embarrassing and can be painful, but most of the time they can be successfully managed with the right combination of skincare products and personal care routines. To clear up blemishes on the butt, try the following:
- Regularly apply an acne treatment product: Treat acne or folliculitis on your rear end the same way as you would on your face- by consistently applying the right treatment products. Serums, toners or creams that contain salicylic or glycolic acid are good choices, but mandelic acid is the best choice because its antibacterial and antifungal properties clear both acne and folliculitis.
- Shower or change clothes right after exercising. It’s tempting to grab a coffee or run some errands in your sweaty gym clothes, but this is bad news for booty blemishes. Sweaty, warm conditions are an ideal environment for bacteria and fungus to grow, and these invaders will make your breakouts much worse. After sweating, make sure to get out of your exercise clothes ASAP.
- Wear breathable clothing and underwear: Wearing cotton and other natural fibers allows your skin to breath. Avoid synthetic fibers in both your underwear and pants because they trap moisture against your skin. When possible, try to wear looser-fitting pants to give your skin some air and to reduce friction.
- There’s no need for harsh scrubbing in the shower! Your acne or folliculitis treatment product will exfoliate your skin, so don’t try to rub off dead skin cells by hand. Harsh scrubbing will only irritate your blemishes and cause bacteria and fungus to spread. Gentle cleansing is all that’s needed.