Online Dermatologist > Rash on Butt: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Rash on Butt: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

by | Oct 9, 2023 | Blog, Rash

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A rash or sores on your buttocks can occur for a variety of causes. They might be caused by skin abrasion and discomfort from tight clothing or bicycle riding. An allergic response, a chemical irritant, or a viral, fungal, or bacterial skin infection can also cause it. Scratching might aggravate symptoms.

A rash is any spot of your skin that is itchy or inflamed. Rashes are frequently uncomfortable and painful, and their appearance varies according to skin tone. While they are commonly characterized as red, they may look purple, grey, or white on skin of color.

There are different ways to describe a rash:


  • Macules: Flat lesions less than 10 millimeters (mm) in diameter
  • Papules: Raised lesions less than 10 mm in diameter
  • Plaques: Flat or raised lesions over 10 mm that have a different texture to the surrounding skin
  • Nodules: Firm lesions or bumps that extend into the lower layers of the skin
  • Vesicles: Clear, fluid-filled blisters less than 10 mm in diameter
  • Bullae: Clear, fluid-filled blisters over 10 mm in diameter
  • Pustules: Vesicles that contain pus
  • Urticaria; Raised welt with well-defined borders (also known as hives)
  • Ulcers: An open sore that extends to underlying layers of the skin [1]


Common Causes of a Butt Rash or Sore

The most common cause of a rash on the buttocks is skin irritation. But there are other causes like infections and abnormal immune reactions that can also cause butt sores and rashes.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a common type of rash. It appears when your skin comes into contact with a substance that irritates the skin. Some contact dermatitis rashes appear immediately, 

There are two types: allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis. Common symptoms of both can include:

  • Swelling
  • severe itching
  • Dry, scaly, or cracked skin
  • Bumps and blisters
  • Oozing, crusty skin
  • Pain, burning, or tenderness
  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis)[2]


Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis, often known as eczema, is a chronic skin disorder characterized by itchy, dry skin.

Atopic dermatitis is the most prevalent kind of eczema and is commonly referred to simply as eczema. Eczema is most frequent in newborns and children, but it can appear at any age.

Among the symptoms are:

  • Dry, itchy patches of skin
  • Skin that weeps clear liquid when scratched
  • Crusty, scaly skin
  • Skin that swells and itches more after scratching
  • In lighter skin tones, it can appear red, and in darker skin tones, patches of eczema may be red, pink, magenta, or darker than the surrounding skin.[3]


Yeast infection

A yeast infection arises when Candida multiplies at an uncontrollable rate and infects the body. Candida is a fungus that thrives on the skin and in the body without creating any problems. When it develops too large, it causes candidiasis, an infection.


Heat rash

Heat rash is a frequent skin irritation that produces itching and a rash. Small lumps may appear on your skin, making it feel prickly or unpleasant. Heat rash is more common in hot, humid conditions. Heat rash can also occur when you sweat excessively.[4]


Genital herpes

Genital herpes is a virus that can cause rash-like symptoms on your buttocks, anus, or thighs. Herpes can be transmitted through any type of sexual contact, including vaginal, oral, or anal contact.


Keratosis pilaris

Keratosis pilaris is caused by a buildup of keratin on the skin. Keratin is a protein that protects your skin from harmful irritants and infections.



Shingles is an infection caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have chickenpox, the inactive virus remains in your body for years and can reactivate in adulthood. It typically appears as a painful rash on one side of the body.[5]



Intertrigo is a rash that forms in the folds of the skin. When skin rubs against skin, it causes friction and creates a warm, moist environment that’s ideal for fungal and bacterial growth.

Intertrigo is common in the skin between the buttocks (butt crack), which can become very raw, itchy, and painful.



Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disorder that is persistent. When you have psoriasis, your immune system assaults your skin cells by mistake, causing them to develop quickly and bulge.


Ringworm (also known as jock itch)

Ringworm is a fungal illness that affects the skin on various regions of the body.

People of all ages can be affected. Ringworm, which gets its name from the circular rash it causes on the skin, is also known as jock itch or athlete’s foot depending on where it occurs.[6]



People frequently confuse butt acne with normal acne. Pimples on your buttocks do not form in blocked pores like acne on your face. They instead develop in blocked hair follicles.


Candida yeast infection of the skin

Candida is a fungus that commonly affects the skin, especially in warm, moist places like the buttocks and groin. In both newborns and adults, Candida is the most prevalent cause of nappy rash. People who have diabetes, are obese or are taking antibiotics are at a higher risk.


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Patient History Assessment:

  • Onset: When did the rash first appear?
  • Symptoms: How does the rash feel? Is it itchy, painful, or causing any other discomfort?
  • Aggravating or Alleviating Factors: Have you noticed anything that worsens or alleviates the symptoms?
  • Prior Treatments: Have you sought any treatments before? What were they and what was the outcome?
  • Your healthcare provider will meticulously examine the rash. If the cause remains elusive, a referral to a dermatologist might be suggested for a more specialized examination.


Diagnostic Procedures

  • Medical History and Physical Examination: An initial step to understand the possible causes and to observe the extent and characteristics of the rash.
  • Rash Culture: Conducted to identify any bacterial, fungal, or viral infections that might be present.
  • KOH (Potassium Hydroxide) Test: Employed to ascertain the existence of fungal elements on the skin.
  • Allergy Testing: Utilizing skin prick or patch tests to identify potential allergens triggering the rash.
  • Blood Test for Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA): Conducted to detect any autoimmune diseases that might be causing skin reactions.
  • Skin Biopsy: A sample of the affected skin is collected for laboratory analysis to better understand the rash’s nature and underlying cause.


When to Seek Medical Attention?

It’s prudent to consult with a healthcare professional if you’re experiencing a rash on your buttocks, especially under the following circumstances:

  • Rapid Onset and Spread: If the rash emerges suddenly and proliferates swiftly across the skin.
  • Blisters and Open Sores: Development of blisters that burst, creating open sores which might be prone to infections.
  • Severe Discomfort: If the rash becomes exceedingly painful or causes severe itching or burning sensations, it’s crucial to seek medical advice.
  • Signs of Infection: Look out for symptoms indicative of an infection such as yellow or green discharge, swelling, crusting over the rash, or heightened discomfort. Infections can exacerbate the condition and may require prompt medical intervention.[7]

It’s advisable not to ignore these warning signs as they might point to a more serious underlying issue or could lead to further complications if left unattended.


Home Remedies for Butt Rash

Natural and home remedies can offer relief for minor rashes on the buttocks. They may help soothe irritation, reduce inflammation, and in some cases, treat the rash.


  1. Tea Tree Oil:
    • Known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties, it may help in treating minor skin irritations and fungal infections.
    • Dilute it with a carrier oil before applying to prevent skin irritation.
  2. German Chamomile Tea:
    • Possesses anti-inflammatory properties that may help soothe skin irritation.
    • You can brew the tea, cool it, and apply it to the affected area with a clean cloth.
  3. Fragrance-Free Moisturizers:
    • Helps in keeping the skin hydrated, which is crucial for healing and preventing further irritation.
  4. Coconut Oil:
    • Its moisturizing and antimicrobial properties can be beneficial in treating dry skin and minor fungal infections.
  5. Colloidal Oatmeal:
    • Known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.
    • You can add it to a lukewarm bath and soak the affected area.
  6. Aloe Vera:
    • Provides a cooling effect and helps in reducing inflammation and irritation.
    • Apply the gel directly from the plant or use a pure aloe vera gel.
  7. Witch Hazel:
    • Its astringent properties can help in soothing the skin and reducing inflammation.
  8. Honey:
    • Particularly Manuka honey, is known for its antibacterial and wound-healing properties.
    • Apply a thin layer on the affected area and cover with a bandage or leave it open to air.


Treatments for butt rash

The treatment regimen for a butt rash is contingent on the underlying cause. Some conditions may respond well to over-the-counter (OTC) medications, while others necessitate a doctor’s prescription. Here’s a breakdown of treatment options:


Over-the-counter (OTC) Medications:

  1. Hydrocortisone Cream:
    • A topical steroid that helps alleviate itching and inflammation.
  2. Antifungal Creams and Ointments:
    • Effective against fungal infections like ringworm or yeast infections.
  3. Antibiotic Creams and Ointments:
    • Useful for treating minor bacterial infections.
  4. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs):
    • Help reduce inflammation and pain.
  5. Antihistamines:
    • Can alleviate itching, especially if it’s due to an allergic reaction.


Prescription Medications:

  1. Steroid Cream or Ointment:
    • Prescribed for reducing itching and treating inflammation from various rashes.
  2. Corticosteroid Ointments or Creams:
    • For conditions like lichen sclerosus, a longer-term treatment of about 3 months may be necessary to prevent recurrence.
  3. Oral Steroids:
    • Employed in severe cases to diminish inflammation.
  4. Oral Antibiotics:
    • Aimed at combating bacterial infections.
  5. Immunomodulators:
    • Used in severe allergic contact dermatitis cases to regulate the immune response to allergens.
  6. Antibiotic Creams:
    • Prescribed for bacterial infections such as intertrigo or folliculitis.
  7. Antifungal Creams:
    • Effective for treating fungal infections including intertrigo and ringworm.
  8. Oral Antivirals:
    • Employed to mitigate the duration and severity of shingles symptoms.
  9. Retinoid Creams:
    • May reduce inflammation and are potentially effective in treating psoriasis and lichen sclerosus.
  10. Immunosuppressant Drugs:
    • Can aid in alleviating symptoms of severe psoriasis by modulating the immune system.

It’s imperative to consult with a healthcare provider to obtain an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. Self-medication, especially with steroid creams or other potent medications, without professional guidance may exacerbate the condition or lead to unwanted side effects.


Preventing Butt Rash

Preventing a butt rash largely hinges on the specific type of rash you have experienced in the past, as well as your skin’s sensitivity. However, certain general practices can help maintain skin health and prevent irritation. Here are some proactive steps you can consider:

  • Maintain Good Hygiene Post-Exercise [8]
  • Choose Fragrance-Free Laundry Detergents
  • Use Gentle, Fragrance-Free Cleansers
  • Regular Moisturization
  • Employ Moisture Barrier Ointments


  1. Esser PR, Mueller S, Martin SF. Plant Allergen-Induced Contact Dermatitis. Planta Med. 2019 May;85(7):528-534. [PubMed]
  2. Anderson LE, Treat JR, Brod BA, Yu J. “Slime” contact dermatitis: Case report and review of relevant allergens. Pediatr Dermatol. 2019 May;36(3):335-337. [PubMed]
  3. Bingham LJ, Tam MM, Palmer AM, Cahill JL, Nixon RL. Contact allergy and allergic contact dermatitis caused by lavender: A retrospective study from an Australian clinic. Contact Dermatitis. 2019 Jul;81(1):37-42.[PubMed]
  4. Kimyon RS, Warshaw EM. Airborne Allergic Contact Dermatitis: Management and Responsible Allergens on the American Contact Dermatitis Society Core Series. Dermatitis. 2019 Mar/Apr;30(2):106-115. [PubMed]
  5. Shane HL, Long CM, Anderson SE. Novel cutaneous mediators of chemical allergy. J Immunotoxicol. 2019 Dec;16(1):13-27. [PubMed]
  6. Stibich AS, Yagan M, Sharma V, Herndon B, Montgomery C. Cost-effective post-exposure prevention of poison ivy dermatitis. Int J Dermatol. 2000 Jul;39(7):515-8. [PubMed]
  7. Vernon HJ, Olsen EA. A controlled trial of clobetasol propionate ointment 0.05% in the treatment of experimentally induced Rhus dermatitis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1990 Nov;23(5 Pt 1):829-32. [PubMed]
  8. Zander N, Sommer R, Schäfer I, Reinert R, Kirsten N, Zyriax BC, Maul JT, Augustin M. Epidemiology and dermatological comorbidity of seborrhoeic dermatitis: population-based study in 161 269 employees. Br J Dermatol. 2019 Oct;181(4):743-748. [PubMed]

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