15 Skin Changes You May Notice on Your Butt

Learn how to treat and prevent common skin changes like pimples and stretch marks on your tush.

Changes to the skin can happen anywhere on your body—including your butt.

From pimples and stretch marks to contact dermatitis and eczema, some of those changes are completely benign (nonharmful), common occurrences, while others may be a symptom of an underlying condition.

Here's what you need to know about how to identify, prevent, and treat 15 of the most common culprits causing rashes in your anal region.

Pimples

Oil and dead skin clog the follicles on your skin, causing inflammation and stubborn, small red bumps on your skin—in other words, pimples.

Though you normally see them on your face, "you can get them anywhere you have hair follicles, including your butt," said Carolyn Jacob, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

Use a benzoyl peroxide cream to destroy acne-causing bacteria. And if that doesn't work, see your dermatologist for prescription topical antibiotics or a topical retinoid like Retin-A.

One way to stop pimples from popping up in the first place: Peel off your workout clothes immediately after exercising and jump into the shower. All that moisture creates a breeding ground for bacteria.

Stretch Marks

When your skin stretches from rapid weight changes (say, during pregnancy), it's not uncommon for lines to appear on the skin. At first, the lines can be red, purple, pink, reddish-brown, or dark brown, depending on your skin color—and the color fades over time, says the American Academy of Dermatology.

According to a study published in June 2022 in the journal Dermatologic Therapy, those lines form when elastin and collagen fibers just below the surface weaken and tear, leaving streaks of indented skin. Also, stretch marks tend to run in families, so if your mom or sister has them, you're more likely to.

Retin-A can fade stretch marks if they're pink. It stimulates collagen growth and helps plump out the skin. And according to the June 2022 study, laser treatment at your healthcare provider's office may help by stimulating collagen if they've turned white.

Keep in mind: Although some people may associate them with negative body images, stretch marks are completely normal. So, don't feel like you need to cover or get rid of your stretch marks. The unique imprints on your body are what make you...you.

Cellulite

Cellulite is a fancy name for the dimpled flesh caused by bulging fat cells beneath the skin. It appears bumpy because the fat is pushing against the connective tissues under the skin's surface.

"You can notice cellulite as early as your 20s when the skin starts to get lax," Dr. Jacob explained.

Cellulite is normal. Many people have cellulite on their bodies (regardless of age, gender, or weight). You should not feel ashamed of your body or feel like you need to get rid of cellulite.

An article published in 2018 in the journal Advances in Dermatology and Allergology explained that the appearance of cellulite depends on genetics, too. In fact, according to the article, 85% of all women over 20 have cellulite.

However, if you would like to minimize the appearance of cellulite, try applying a cream containing caffeine. This temporarily tightens skin, making cellulite less apparent.

Butt Rash

If a red, itchy rash develops between your butt cheeks, there may be several causes.

Contact Dermatitis

According to the National Library of Medicine, contact dermatitis occurs when your skin becomes red, painful, or inflamed after contact with an irritant or allergen.

Irritants that may cause contact dermatitis on your butt include shampoo or hair dyes. And allergens that may bring about a stubborn case of contact dermatitis include antibiotics, clothing, poison ivy, or fragrances in soaps or moisturizers.

After coming into contact with the irritant or allergen, make sure to clean the area with water thoroughly. Some cases of contact dermatitis clear up within one to two days without further treatment. If contact dermatitis persists, try using emollients or moisturizers for short periods to tame inflammation.

Or, consult your healthcare provider about using ointments, such as topical corticosteroid drugs, tacrolimus, or pimecrolimus. You would only need to complete a round of oral medications in extreme cases of contact dermatitis.

Eczema

Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema may show up on the butt. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, eczema is a chronic (long-lasting) skin condition that causes symptoms including:

  • Dry patches of skin
  • Red patches of skin
  • Rashes that ooze, weep clear fluid, or bleed if scratched
  • Thick and hard patches of skin

There is no cure for eczema, but antihistamines, steroid creams, systemic corticosteroids, and oral antibiotics or cyclosporine, among other treatments, can manage the condition. If you have eczema, consult your healthcare provider to determine what treatment is best for you.

Heat Rash

Also known as miliaria, heat rash develops when your sweat glands and ducts become clogged, per StatPearls. That blockage causes sweat to build up, which brings about small pimple-looking bumps on the skin. Heat rash commonly occurs during the summer months, when it's especially hot and humid.

To avoid heat rash, wear breathable clothing during the summer months, exfoliate the skin, and remove or regularly change items that irritate the skin (like bandages).

Like other rashes on your butt, you can treat heat rash by applying topical corticosteroids or, if bacterial infection occurs, antibiotics, such as clindamycin.

Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that spreads through vaginal, oral, or anal sex and may bring about a rash on your butt.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no cure for genital herpes. Still, you may treat the condition using antiviral medications. Those medications also limit the spread of genital herpes. But always remember to use condoms properly while engaging in any sexual contact.

Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris occurs when keratin (one of the proteins found in your skin) builds up and plugs your hair follicles. Per the National Library of Medicine, keratosis pilaris commonly causes rough, small pink bumps that look like "goose bumps." Though commonly found on your arms and thighs, those bumps may appear on your butt, as well.

To treat keratosis pilaris, apply moisturizers, lotions, and creams on the affected areas.

Shingles

According to the National Library of Medicine, shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is an infection that occurs when the chickenpox virus becomes reactivated. Shingles is most common among people with weakened immune systems and people over 50 years.

Shingles causes a rash accompanied by fever, headache, chills, and upset stomach.

If you have shingles, your healthcare provider may recommend anti-itch cream or lotion, cool compresses, antiviral medicines, and steroids, among other treatments.

Intertrigo

According to a 2022 Sports Health review article, intertrigo is a rash that appears when warm, moist skin rubs together, commonly after a workout.

To treat intertrigo, shower immediately after exercise and dry yourself thoroughly. You can also apply a small amount of hydrocortisone cream, but only for a short amount of time. Also important is that if intertrigo is caused by a fungus, steroids like those in hydrocortisone cream can make the rash worse.

Bottom line here, if the rash does not disappear in a few days, see your healthcare provider to rule out a fungal infection. Also, that area is a classic place to see skin conditions like psoriasis, so it's important to rule those out.

Psoriasis

Per the CDC, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease characterized by thick red rashes and silver scaly patches on the skin. The immune system mistakes healthy skin cells for an invader (like a bacterium or virus) and attacks them.

Consult your dermatologist if you are experiencing symptoms of psoriasis. Healthcare providers typically treat the chronic condition by prescribing creams, ointments, ultraviolet light therapy, or medications.

Ringworm

Also known as jock itch, ringworm commonly occurs on the genitals, butt, and thighs. It's characterized by a ring-shaped rash that may become red, flaky, or scaly.

According to the CDC, treatments for ringworm depend on the location and severity of your rash. Still, some examples include oral or topical antifungal medications.

Lichen Sclerosus

One inflammatory disease that causes rashes near the genital and anal areas is lichen sclerosus.

Although uncommon, lichen sclerosus may cause atrophy (loss of tissue) if left untreated. Per StatPearls, treatments may include topical agents and surgery. If you have lichen sclerosus, it may also help to avoid common irritants and allergens, like certain shampoos and soaps.

Yeast Infection

Also called candidiasis, yeast infections are fungal infections typically affecting the genital and anal areas. You may experience itchiness, red skin rashes, and small, red bumps on the affected area.

According to the National Library of Medicine, keeping the skin clean and dry is essential to preventing yeast infections. Common yeast infection treatments include oral or topical antifungal medications.

Incontinence

If you experience urinary or bowel incontinence, you may develop a rash on your butt. That's because moisture in the groin or anal area stimulates the growth of harmful invaders, like bacteria and fungi, according to one study published in 2015 in the Journal of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing.

Antifungal medications are some of the most common treatments for incontinence-related rashes.

A Quick Review

Skin problems can happen anywhere on your body, including on your butt. Several culprits may cause a rash on the anal area, and they usually aren't very concerning. Some problems clear up on their own or with the help of topical creams, ointments, or lotions.

Still, you should consult a healthcare provider if your rash increases in size or spreads and covers your body. If you have a fever, develop painful blisters near your genital or anal region, or notice signs of an infection, consult a healthcare provider immediately.

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