Buttocks-located bumps are often not serious, but they can be quite irritating. They may be brought on by pimples caused by plugged pores, cysts that are deeper than facial pimples, and pimples elsewhere on the skin.
Photo of bumps found on buttocks
Pimples on the Buttocks: What’s the Problem?
Buttock bumps are usually caused by one of two problems, and they are both common:
Also known as boils, these will feel like painful knots beneath the skin, rather like cystic acne. They may occur when folliculitis goes out of control and turns into a deeper infection.
This is the medical name for hair follicle inflammation. It can happen anywhere. It may begin with ingrown hair, tight clothing or friction caused by clothing. This is more a surface issue. Dermatologists describe folliculitis as shallow bumps filled with pus. They also explain that it causes more irritation or itching, rather than actual pain.
Formation of Dark Pimples
Dark bumps found on the buttocks are usually normal, and no reason to worry. Most cases can be easily treated at home. If they do get infected and become boils, they may require medical treatment from your physician.
Some dark pimples on the buttocks begin just outside hair follicles. They are generally caused by a bacterial infection, irritants or a fungus that has penetrated the skin surface.
There may be a pus point or pustule located on the skin where the infection source is. It can drain without being treated. If the infection or inflammation goes deeper or further, the pimple may form an abscess or boil.
After the boil problem has been resolved you may develop a dark, hard pimple under your skin. This may disappear with time, as well.
Can STD’s cause Bumps on Buttocks?
Genital herpes is highly contagious, and brought on by the herpes simplex virus. It can enter your body through mucus membranes or small skin breaks. Many people with HSV are not aware that they even have it, since it may occur with no symptoms or signs, or mild symptoms that remain unnoticed.
Photo of bumps from acne on the buttocks
Fungi and bacteria feed on debris and dead skin cells, so they can infect clogged pores. That can infect follicles, too, if you create an abrasion by scratching the inflamed, itchy bumps that occur on your buttocks. Organisms can also infect traumatized or irritated skin found outside hair follicles.
The most common organisms of infection are:
- Staphylococcus aureus
This is more commonly found than other types of bacteria on the skin. It frequently causes folliculitis. They are found in highest numbers in the nasal canal, so if you happen to pick your nose and later touch your buttocks, you can infect them.
- Pityrosporum ovale
This is a common yeast of the skin, which may infect your hair follicles and thus lead to folliculitis. The problem is more often related to the back and upper chest than the buttocks, but they have been known to cause bumps on buttocks, too.
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
This is a bacterium that isn’t found as commonly. It may be picked up from contaminated spas or pools that are not properly treated with chlorine. This infection usually creates multiple red buttocks bumps. They may also be found on the back and in other areas. These bumps usually become darker as they are healing.
This yeast of the skin may cause pimples or a rash if it causes an infection in the follicle.
You can pass these infectious organisms to another.
Other Potential Bump Causes
Besides infection, other things that may cause dark buttock bumps include:
- Scratching or rubbing the buttocks
- Skin trauma resulting from long periods of sitting
- Long term steroid use, including injections, creams or oral steroids
- Sleeping without clothing on bed linen that may have fungi and bacteria on it
- Allergic reactions to drug exposure, products or environmental factors
- Bacteria and moisture that becomes trapped under tape used for wound covering
Non-Pimple related Bumps on Buttocks
These may occur during humid, hot weather or after you exercise. They form as red, itchy patches or bumps from sweating or skin that is covered tightly by socks and pants. They may also occur on the face. The rash is caused by clogged or inflamed sweat glands.
Bumps on Thighs & Buttocks
People notice the hands, face and legs more readily than the thighs and buttocks. That’s why irritation is not found as quickly in the lesser noticed areas. You will be reminded quickly if you develop pimples or rashes. Moisturize the skin frequently. A lotion that includes tea tree oil helps distressed or irritated skin, since it has antibacterial properties.
Bumps on Buttocks – Getting Rid of them
Photo of painful bumps on the butt
It’s important to dry your skin well after you shower, swim or bathe. This is true of all skin, but make sure you don’t miss the skin of your thighs and buttocks.
- Apply the ointment carefully.
- Allow this ointment to fully dry before you get dressed. Otherwise, your clothes could be bleached by the benzoyl peroxide.
- Products with Tretinoin can also be used for acne-related bumps.
- Check with your physician to find out which product will be best for you.
Exfoliate your buttock skin at least one time each week.
- Use soaps that contain benzoyl peroxide. This cleans out any excess oils and will help in clearing up the pimples.
- Use a cream that will not clog pores. Exfoliation gets rid of skin cells that could otherwise clog your pores.
Apply topical lotions or ointments after showering.
- Use an ointment with salicylic acid, alpha hydroxyl acid or benzoyl peroxide. These products are found in some over the counter (OTC) brands, including Proactiv.
- You may also use products specifically made for bumps found on the buttocks, like Butt Acne Clearing Lotion, made by Green Heart Labs.
- Some toothpastes also contain peroxide that may be used on the buttocks.
Get an injection of steroids
- If your pimples are cystic, large and painful, a steroid injection may help. It can help in reducing the pain and size of pimples in one day or less.
Take prescribed antibiotics
- Some pimples may require oral antibiotics. Ask your physician about the proper antibiotic for your condition.
- If your physician prescribes antibiotics for you, take the full number of pills, even if the skin is clearing up well. You need the full course of antibiotics, or the pimples could return.
Bumps on Buttocks – Treatments
Common pimples should not concern you a great deal, if they resolve easily. However, if you have a history of infections, trauma or breakouts, there may be an underlying cause for the problems.
If your situation is difficult to diagnose, you may need to be examined by your physician. If you have an infection, the pus can be cultured to identify the causative bacteria. Your physician may also use a microscope to examine your hair follicles, which can be helpful in identifying fungal infections.
In many cases that involve dark buttock pimples, they will heal without the need for treatment. Otherwise, you may be able to treat them with OTC medications and home remedies. Combinations of treatments may be recommended.
Medications purchased Over-the-Counter
These medications can be used along with DIY remedies to help in getting rid of bumps found on the buttocks. Use the products until the bumps have healed. Make sure your skin is clean and dry before you apply any products. Massage the medication in thoroughly but gently.
- Salicylic acid helps in dissolving skin cells and unclogging your hair follicles. It can be used from 1-3 times each day.
- Benzoyl peroxide will kill the bacteria on the skin that is causing your bumps. It also lightens any hyperpigmentation that may occur. You can use it from 1-4 times every day.
- Miconazole or other anti-fungal creams can be used if the rash or bumps are symptomatic of a yeast infection. These creams work well for fungal infections. You can use it twice daily.
- Use antibiotics like Bacitracin or Neosporin if your rash or bumps show infection signs. These ointments help clear up mild infections and aid in the prevention of scars. You may use them 2-4 times a day.
- After your bumps have begun healing, you can use Hydrocortisone 1% or 2% lotion or cream. It decreases inflammation and may lighten any hyper-pigmentation. Use twice a day, but sparingly. If the pimples were caused by steroids, do not use this type of cream.
- 2% hydroquinone creams can also be used after the pimples have healed completely. Use this product twice a day, and use it sparingly, as the ingredient is strong.
When should you consult your physician?
See your physician for diagnosis and a treatment plan if:
- OTC drugs and home remedies do not help
- Pimples form hard, large knots that are painful and won’t go away
- Pimples become very painful or large with pus, which suggests an abscess or boil
- Pimples get worse and you have a contributing medical condition that causes additional risks
- Pimples repeat frequently, which makes it hard for you to sit
Your physician may lance a boil or abscess to allow drainage of pus. You should NOT do this yourself. You may be prescribed oral antibiotics. If your doctor believes that a fungus is involved, you may also be prescribed an oral anti-fungal medication or a strong anti-fungal cream.
Potential Risk Factors
If you frequently get pimples on your face, you may also get them elsewhere. Medical conditions may also put you at a higher risk for darker pimples:
If you have diabetes, you have a greater risk for infections of the skin.
If you are overweight, you may sweat more, and this traps more moisture in your clothing, leading to infection.
- Immune disorders
If you have HIV/AIDS, blood disorders or cancer, you may be more likely to develop folliculitis. If you take anti-cancer drugs, these may increase your risk, as well.
- Hormonal disorders
If you’re a female with a physical problem that increases your body’s production of male hormones, like polycystic ovarian syndrome, your skin may be quite oily and this makes you more likely to develop folliculitis.
Other factors that can lead to a higher risk of bumps on buttocks include:
- Trauma from skin being scrubbed roughly
- Dirt that remains on your skin for a lengthy period of time
- Rubbing or scratching your skin
- Trapped moisture and heat from prolonged wearing of tight clothes
- Friction from exercise or bike riding that can lead to abrasions and infection in the skin
- Inflammation and friction from your wearing no underwear, coarse underwear or tight jeans
Prevention of Bumps on the Buttocks
- Wash your skin gently to avoid cuts or abrasions.
- Shower every day to keep your skin free from dead skin, dirt and other potential irritants.
- Keep your skin dry.
- Change your bed linens often.
- Don’t use products if they cause a breakout even once.
- If you sit or ride a bicycle for long periods of time, wear breathable, soft clothes, to prevent abrasions and friction-caused skin irritation like chafing.
- Avoid ointments or oils that contain petroleum jelly or coal tar. They could clog your pores.
- Avoid sharing wash cloths and towels or other personal type items, to prevent any spread of fungi and bacteria.
- Wear cotton underwear. This makes it harder for warm moisture to cause bacteria growth on your skin.
- Don’t squeeze or pick pimples, to prevent any bacterial infection or skin darkening.
If your infections recur, check chlorine levels in any spas, pools or hot tubs you use. Shower well after you use them.