People get bumps on bottom or buttocks that present as lesions of varying characteristics. This is because the bumps could be whiteheads, blackheads, boils, blisters of simply, rashes. Find out the meaning of these bumps, pictures, causes and how to get rid of them
Meaning-Are they normal?
So, what does it mean when you have bumps on your buttocks? Is it normal?
To start with, getting bumps on your buttocks is not normal and refers to you having a condition that needs dire medical attention.
Secondly, while it is abnormal to have bumps on your buttocks, the etiology of the bumps does not point out to a particular cause.
There are many causes of bumps on buttocks that may need to be explored by your physician and dermatologist so as to develop the right diagnosis.
In addition to this, the morphology and the behavior of your bumps will come in handy in making an informed conclusion. More to the causes of bumps on buttocks will be explored in the sections that follow.
In a nutshell if this could be the only section your will read, bumps on buttocks could mean that you are wearing tight clothing, you are excessively sweating on the butt perhaps as you walk, diseases such as shingles, boils, heat rash (miliaria), hives rash, fungal infections among others that shall be discussed in detail.
Pictures-What do they look like?
So how do bumps on your buttocks look like? As mentioned before, the bumps will bear a particular characteristic depending on the cause.
Some of the morphological characteristics that you will be able to observe in some bumps is a raised lesion that may be white, black or red and may be a cavity that has some blood, water or a yellow discharge.
Depending on the positioning along the layers of the skin, the bumps may be superficially located underneath the skin while others appear to be right above the dermis. Again, with regard to touching or palpating, the bump may be tender to touch or may be aching.
Here are some pictures that will help you identify bumps on your buttocks and be able to relate them to a particular cause.
Possible Causes-why do I get them?
Now that you are aware of the possible multi-etiology of bumps on buttocks, here are some of the causes that could explain their pathophysiology. To put it simply, the most prevalent causes will involve excessive sweating, excessive production of sebum and its entrapment underneath the skin, infections and ingrown hairs.
Your hair typically grows out through the skin upwards but when this hair follicle somehow finds its way into the skin and re-enters, then it is known as an ingrown hair. Some of the reasons you may get ingrown hairs include:
Wearing tight clothing
Tight clothing exerts a mechanical pressure on the hair along your inter-gluteal cleft. You therefore face a risk of getting ingrown hairs as a result of a backward curling of the hair follicle that eventually enters the dermis of the skin.
Not properly scrubbing the buttocks
It may seem rather weird talking about this. However, the truth of the matter is that if you do not scrub the inter-gluteal cleft well, you risk having an accumulation of dead skin and therefore a clog-up of the pores.
When the pores are clogged, the hair follicles hardly make it to the outside and end up curling underneath the skin.
You are obese
Being obese means that you have a crease or a deep-seated cleft that in addition to these abnormalities, are tighter. Therefore, the risk of getting ingrown hairs is higher.
Your body hair is thick
The more hair you have, the higher the chance that you are predisposed to ingrown hairs. This means that the surface area on which ingrown hairs can occur is increased.
Irritation and reflex scratching
Fungal infections and sweat may cause irritation. Fungal infections lead to drying of the skin and increased flakiness. It is normally less easy for hair to penetrate moisturized skin and thus, when dry, is able to beat the odds. Scratching aggressively may force a hair follicle into the skin and cause bumps on the buttocks.
Poor shaving and waxing
Poor shaving techniques include not moisturizing your skin before shaving, using a wrong razor, shaving against grain the direction along which the hair grows, shaving too close to the skin and not using an after-shave.
When it comes to shaving, bumps arising are referred to as razor bumps on the buttocks. Waxing is a technique used by those who want to bypass the hassle of having to shave. When done improperly and frequently, may lead to ingrown hairs.
An infection of the follicles in the skin that is mostly caused by normal flora of the skin including the Staphylococcus aureus. Since it is infected, it appears as a bump with a pus-filled.
Due to this characteristic, it is medically known as a pustule. MedicineNet informs that the pus-filled sac appears as a dot or ball of pus at the center top of the bump.
Therefore, on your buttocks, folliculitis will appear as whiteheads, which are tender to touch and fluid filled.
The main cause of folliculitis is clogged pores and a therefore accumulation of sweat and sebum. These set of conditions topped up with some warmth is conducive for the incubation and harbor of bacteria among other pathogens. Folliculitis could lead to a complication, commonly known as a boil.
It is important to realize that there are strains of bacteria that are resistant to the common antibiotics you have such as Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA), it is therefore important to have your bump checked out and scraped for culture.
Cycling and seating too long
Bumps on the buttocks can also result from seating on the saddle for too long. When too much pressure is exerted on the skin of the butt cheeks, the blood circulation is reduced that may lead to accumulation of dirt among other toxins in the skin.
Circulation is important for the proper excretion of toxins from the body through the sweat glands and if this is not entirely possible, then infections could arise and cause bumps on the buttocks.
Same applies to seating for too long. Irritation can also arise and scratching, as a reflex, leads to eruption of pimples.
Sweating after exercise
You sweat after exercising or working out. This may happen in your butt crack and butt cheeks. The dampness and excessive oil produced may lead to bump pimples.
This is due to the incubation of the normal flora. The most common type of bump on the buttock arising from sweating is the Pityrosporum folliculitis which is a type of acne.
Candida albican infection
Dampness and warmth are the perfect conditions for the growth and colonization of yeast. When there is an overgrowth of yeast cells, they could result in bumps on the buttocks that are excessively itchy and further, a rash could form.
It has been mentioned by Vazquez, J. A., & Sobel, J. D. (1995) that there are certain mycotic infections such as mucocutaneous infections that occur in diabetics.
Though the other forms of mycotic infections occur, they are milder in manifestation and in fewer diabetics.
The reason this occurs in diabetic patients follows a genetic susceptibility to infection, an altered immune response and reduced blood flow and nerve damage.
Another skin condition that can cause bumps on the buttocks of diabetic patients is impetigo. It also manifests with pus in the bump and commonly erupt.
Dry skin in diabetics can also predispose to scratching and bump formation.
Bumps on the buttocks could also result from an infection that is caused by a virus.
Shingles is an infection that is caused by the varicella-zoster virus and is mostly prevalent as an opportunistic infection in immunosuppressive states such as in HIV/AIDS and in cancer or when taking medications that are known immunosuppressants such as corticosteroids. Those who are 60 years and older are most predisposed to shingles.
Herpes simplex virus
Genital herpes may result from HSV-1 and HSV-2 and one of the signs that you have it include white bumps on the skin. They may appear on the buttocks.
The bumps may turn into small boils or blisters and these may lead to scabs when they crust over. In HIV patients, this is a common feature and can be confused with pimples.
Other sexually transmitted infections include gonorrhea and syphilis which can cause itchy bumps on the skin of the buttock.
These are boils (furuncles) in a cluster and may appear on the buttocks. They are commonly red inflammations or swollen cysts. They may extend in to the inner thighs too and are really painful to touch. The boils can also occur on the butt crack or creases of the buttock.
Bumps on Buttocks STD (Herpes)
As mentioned before, bumps on the buttocks can also occur due to a sexually transmitted disease (STD) such as herpes, gonorrheal and syphilis. The strains of herpes simplex virus that can cause bumps are both the HSV-1 and 2.
This virus enters your body through breaches in the skin and is highly contagious. The disease mostly presents asymptomatically but when you have symptoms and signs, the following will be visible:
- Bumps in the genital area, inner thigh and anal area which are small and red. They may also appear as blisters and ulcers. The latter refers to open sores. It may appear in other areas alongside the buttocks such as around the vagina and the cervix in women as well as on the penis and the scrotum in men.
- The bumps are painful and itchy.
What does it indicate
Bumps that are itchy and recurring could be a result of a herpes infection, allergies or creams that you use. Herpes infections only subside when the colony population is below the viable number required for an infection. However, on incubation and increase in the colony population of the virus, the herpes may recur.
When you have an allergy to particular food such as gluten in oats or barley or eggs among many others, it could be a recurring itchy bump. This is what is known as hives occurring whenever you have had the food.
It could be the creams you are using too. You will therefore need to check for any chemical to which you are allergic to and cut it down.
If the bumps are painful
Painful bumps is due to an inflammation. Inflammation involves inflammation markers that include pain mediators. Therefore, most inflammations are associated with pain and so are all the bumps unless it is a cancerous tumor. Bacterial activity increases the pain profoundly and may make sitting uncomfortable.
Bump on hole (anal opening)
Bump on hole is commonly due to a boil or an ingrown hair. This is because the anal opening could harbor infectious pathogens that could result in a boil.
The most prevalent pathogen located in such creases is the Staphylococcus aureus. When there is a breach of the skin at the anal opening such as happens during constipation, then the pathogen could cause an inflammation. The inflammation could lead to a furuncle (boil).
Another common explanation to the occurrence of a bump in the anal opening is an ingrown hair. Since the inter-gluteal cleft has some hair, the follicle may be forced backwards into the skin leading to folliculitis.
If the bumps are hard
Hard bumps are a common feature of a boil in its early stages. This happens within the first 3-5 days of its course. This is why you are advised to warm compress the boil before lancing it or wait for it to take its course and after ripening, draining can be instigated.
Hard bumps may also be due to a hematoma. In a hematoma, the blood underneath the skin has clotted and therefore hard to your touch.
If the bumps are small or big
Bumps on the buttocks, whether small or big, are dependent on the causative factor. A small rash or hive could be considered small bumps.
When you have an allergic reaction to some food component or the cream that you apply, it is expected that you will get small bumps. Larger bumps may be associated with boils, carbuncles, folliculitis and hematomas.
Pimples are small bumps and a general term referring, interchangeably to comedo. Comedones are hair follicles that are clogged in the skin. They can be open or closed.
What you might call a whitehead is a closed comedo and is pus filled hence a pustule while a blackhead is an open comedo.
This however does not mean that you have acne as there are not always directly related, as supported by National Library of Medicine. Therefore, if you have bumps that do not look like pimples, then you are talking of other differentials including a boil, hives, herpes infection, shingles and etcetera.
In reference to the previous section, pimples being whiteheads or blackheads could be due to clogging of pores of the skin on the buttocks.
This means that you will have an accumulation of sebum and sweat underneath the skin. This is how the bump forms.
Folliculitis also presents with rather smaller lesions as compared to boils and may be misrepresented as pimples. Ingrown hairs also present as small bumps and may be regarded as pimples.
Red bumps on buttocks could mean that the lesion is blood-filled. This occurs when there is a breach on the vasculature or when the inflammation contains some blood in a sac as may be seen in a pilonidal cyst.
Red bumps on the buttocks that are painful are predominantly folliculitis and could occur in a baby, toddler or a child’s buttocks. When the red bump appears with a whitehead, it could be blood filled with some pus. Folliculitis bumps on the buttocks are red bumps that are non-itchy.
Pus filled bumps
This is a good indicator of an infected bump. This is due to the presence of pus which is a cocktail of dead white-blood cells among other inflammatory markers.
Blood filled bumps on the buttocks mostly point out to pilonidal cysts. They are sacs that are filled with hair and some skin debris just above the sacrum of the buttocks.
Apart from being a painful abscess, they discharge some blood when ruptured. The risk factors predisposing to pilonidal cysts include being overweight, thick body hair and a history of pilonidal cysts.
Cluster of bumps
Cluster of bumps is common for many of the causes mentioned. This means that it could be an infection which is diffuse or spreading. Infections are the biggest culprits of clusters. Single bumps may be a boil not complicated into a carbuncle, hematoma or folliculitis.
Razor bumps on buttocks
Razor bumps are due to improper shaving technique. It could be that you did not shave according to a rules such as:
- Moisturizing your skin before shaving
- Selecting a sharp razor
- Shaving along the grain
- Not shaving too closely
- Not applying an aftershave or an exfoliating agent
How to get rid of bumps
There are home remedies and conventional treatment methods that will help you get rid of bumps on the butt. Conventional treatment methods will be detailed in the subsequent section.
Home remedies are most interesting for they are just close to you while some are your day-to day routine. Some of them include:
- Try out a warm compress: this method involves soaking a clean towel into a basin of hot water then letting it cool to warm. Apply and gently press the warm towel over a boil or a folliculitis so as to soften the lump. This is good if you want to lance a boil.
- Do a cold compress: this induces analgesia. Cold compress is good for an aching bump and especially good if you do not want to take the conventional analgesia. Just cool some water and dip a towel into it then apply on the paining bump on your buttock.
- Try tea tree oil: since tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial, it could help with fighting the bacteria. You can use this on whiteheads and when blackheads have formed. Use a cotton ball to apply it on your buttock then allow to sit for about 30 minutes before rinsing with clean warm water.
Treatment (medication) Options
Infections are treated conventionally with antibiotics of the isoxazole derivatives such as flucloxacillin, cloxacillin and ampicillin or a mixture of either two.
These are the only antibiotics that are known to penetrate the connective tissue into the location of the bumps. These are orally taken. There are topical applications of antibiotics too such as fusidic acid that can be used. It is better to get these prescribed after you have had a diagnosis from a doctor.
For infections involving HSV, there are antivirals for that. However, this does not mean that the viral infection will be completely treated.
The best it can do is to reduce the viral load. Some of the antivirals that are indicated for the treatment of shingles and herpes are acyclovir, famcyclovir and valacyclovir. With these infections, you need to apply some moisturizer or a humectant such as petroleum jelly.
There are some over-the-counter medications that contain benzoyl peroxide and are really good antibiotics. Most of them are indicated for the treatment of bumps such as pimples on the buttocks and the inner thighs. They are also good for a recalcitrant folliculitis.
Pain management can be done through oral intake of analgesics such as paracetamol and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. Your doctor may want to avoid aspirin for bumps that are red and bleeding as this may be worsened.
How to prevent
If you can be able to prevent bumps on buttocks from appearing, then you would be exercising some wisdom. To prevent such bumps:
- Learn to take a shower after working out: since sweat accumulates in the inter-gluteal cleft after working out, it would be prudent to wash away all the dirt.
- Ensure that you exfoliate your skin often: this will help reduce on the possibilities of ingrown hairs leading to folliculitis. This should help with the aftershave too. With exfoliation, you can take a long hot shower then soap your washcloth. Do a gentle scrub on the skin of the buttocks so as to remove the dead skin. Do this often.
- Check on your diet. If there is anything that you are allergic to, then it is time to take it off your menu.
- If you have a cream that you suspect could be giving you the hives, consult a dermatologist or simply make a change into another product different from the initial then observe for any changes.
- Reduce on the tight clothing as this could result in ingrown hairs or accumulation of sweat and therefore bacteria.
Learn some proper shaving techniques. Adopt the pre-shaving preparations to your skin including moisturizing it then properly shaving while avoiding close shaves or use of blunt razors. Then afterwards, you need to exfoliate. Learn to map the growth of the hair and shave with the grain.