What It Means If You Have Bumps On Your Butt: 8 Things It Might Be

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red bumps on butt

Unknowingly having mysterious bumps anywhere on your body can be unsettling. But when these unexplainable bumps make their way south of the border to our rear ends, it can leave us feeling uneasy and worried.

The reassuring aspect of having bumps on your butt is that they're way more common than we may think. 

We spoke to Beverly Hills-located Dermatologist and CEO of MBeauty Clinic, Dr. Tess Mauricio, on the many different reasons why there could bumps on your butt, as well as discussing symptoms, treatments and best practices to avoid reoccurring outbreaks. So, what could be causing your butt to bump?

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1. Folliculitis

Also known as hot tub rash. According to Dr. Mauricio, folliculitis is the inflammation of the hair follicle, usually caused by a bacterial or fungal infection (like staphylococcus aureus). These bump's outbreaks can vary anywhere from infecting one hair follicle to many.

The appearance in the first stages can look like red or pustule bumps around a hair follicle (can show in clusters creating a rash-like appearance). The infection can spread from one hair follicle to the next, resulting in the red bumps to turn into crusty sores which can be more difficult to treat, so it's important to see your doctor as soon as you notice these bumps appear and not clear on their own.

Treatment for folliculitis can be as basic as self-care to requiring antibiotics if the bumps do not go away on their own in a couple days. Folliculitis can be found in people who tend to wear tight clothing when working out, or have recently been in a pool or hot tub with unregulated Ph levels. These bumps can also occur under everyday care with activities like shaving or sensitivity to new soaps or creams.

2. Acne

Just like on your face, neck, and back, believe it or not, you can also get acne on your bum. Pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads can all cause bumps on your butt and can be treated similarly to those found elsewhere on your body. 

Treatment can be using topical benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and in severe cases oral antibiotics. While acne and folliculitis have similar characteristics, "the way to tell the difference between the two is by seeing if there is an appearance of a white head or surrounding blackheads," says Dr. Mauricio. If the bumps have a whitehead they're most likely acne and not a bacterial or fungal infection.

3. Heat rash or sun poisoning

While both heat rash and sun poisoning are very different, both can be caused by overexposure to the sun and heat outside, so it's important to always take precaution when spending the day outdoors. It would also be wise to know symptoms prematurely if planning to spend a day under the sun, this way you can take immediate steps in noticing any of the described symptoms and get yourself indoors and away from the sun.

Heat rash is caused by having blocked pores that trap sweat underneath your skin, the trapped pores can most notably be caused by friction from an article of clothing (like a bikini bottom or underwear). Those who have a heat rash outbreak can feel their skin becoming prickly with bumps and very itchy. Once noticing your skin develop a heat rash, it's important to get out of the sun and immediately begin to cool your skin. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, while some people are born with a predisposition to sun poisoning, some people can develop triggers from another factors (such as medication, new skincare products, or exposure to external plants, like limes). Symptoms of sun poisoning can be tiny bumps that can turn into raised patches that merge with one another creating an enlarged rash.

Important factors to decrease your risk of sun poisoning are: limiting your time in the sun, wearing protective clothing (this may also include adding a coverup to your Brazilian bikini bottom), and constantly applying SPF 30 or higher sunscreen. Along with preventing sun poisoning, these are also important steps to take and highly consider to avoid your risk of skin cancer as well. 

4. Staphylococcus Aureus

Giving off the appearance of boils or furuncles, Staphylococcus Aureus (also known as staph) can create bumps on your butt. These bumps or boils are notably "painful to the touch, with surrounding red, warm skin, and can secrete pus," says Dr. Mauricio.

Staph tends to come in a singular or individual bump, making the infection easier to identify. Surprisingly, staph is a flora that is constantly present in the body, but can be dangerous when the bacteria starts to develop toxins. The treatment of staphylococcus aureus requires antibiotics and, occasionally, a doctor may need to cut and drain the boil or bump to rid the body of the infection.

It's crucial to seek medical help quickly. If left untreated, staphylococcus aureus can cause severe symptoms such as pneumonia or even meningitis. 

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5. Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Also referred to as acne inversaHidradenitis Suppurativa is a serious disorder of the apocrine glands, according to Dr. Mauricio. The infection causes bumps, pustules, fistulas, and can eventually lead to scarring that can become permanent and build up over time.

With the presence of acne inversa on the butt or groin area, the infection can even lead to difficulty walking from the thick scarring. "This condition is difficult to treat once scarring is present, so early intervention is a must," advises Dr. Mauricio.

While the infection can be mistaken for many different conditions (like acne or folliculitis), people with Hidradenitis Suppurativa have been known to ignore premature symptoms thinking it would go away on its own. If noticing any of these symptoms it's important to reach out to a dermatologist to get a clear diagnostic and prevent any permanent damage.

6. Epidermoid cyst

An epidermoid cyst, also known as epidermal inclusion cyst, can occur as solitary bumps. As stated by Dr. Mauricio, "There is an invagination of the epidermis (also known as a movement of cells within the skin), causing a sac to form that continuously produces keratin, which is the same whitish material that you would find in whiteheads."

These cysts can develop after the skin experiences trauma; for example, acne, excess exposure to the sun, or an HPV infection. According to Dr. Mauricio, "cysts have to be cut out surgically to remove the sac, otherwise it can continue to recur even if the content is squeezed out of the cyst."

7. STDs

An important condition to talk about that can cause bumps on your butt is STDs. While some are tricky to spot and can go unnoticed if not regularly tested, some can make their appearance known and cause bumps to appear on your derriere.

The first STD we're mentioning is genital herpes, caused by both herpes simplex 1 or simplex 2; it's estimated that approximately one in every six people in the United States have genital herpes, according to the CDC. Given this statistic, it's important to practice prevention by wearing protection or having you and your partner get tested before engaging in sexual activity — for not only herpes, but all STDs.

Herpes can appear as painful and itchy sores that can be located on the buttocks, genital region, and even on parts of the upper thigh. While there is no treatment, the virus can lay dormant or further preventions can be managed with anti-viral medications. 

Along with Herpes, HPV can also cause the body to breakout in cauliflower-like bumps or sores on the buttocks region. The appearance of these signs or bumps should call the attention of a medical professional, as unmonitored HPV can lead to cancers such as ovarian and penile

8. Lipomas

Just when you though that the much unloved muffin tops were the most dreaded part of fat on your body, Lipomas came in for the win. According to Dr. Mauricio, "lipomas are benign fatty tumors that can usually cause a solitary well circumscribed, painless, mobile subcutaneous growth."

While lipomas are rarely cancerous and often times painless and can be left put, sometimes lipomas can grow in size and become dangerous if left on the body. When this occurs, the lipomas have to be surgically removed. 

Along with recognizing these eight common conditions that can cause bumps on your butt, it's important to perform regular body checks to catch early diagnosis and prevent conditions for worsening. While bumps on our butts are not a unique occurrence, and can happen to anybody — it's our responsibility to take care of ourselves and take proper steps to keep our skin healthy and bump-free. 

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Elizabeth Blasi is a New Yorker. A lifestyle , beauty & travel writer, who is often seen with a suitcase in hand jetsetting to her next location. But as a true Digital Nomad, her love of writing and romance novels means her laptop is always beside her.

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