Rash on Buttocks


What is Rash on Buttocks ?

The skin is considered as the largest organ of our body and there are a number of eruptions and rashes that are seen on various parts of the body. The nature and location of the rash help us to reach the diagnosis. It can affect toddlers and adults alike. There is no predominance in males or females. The other name for it is butt rash. There are many causes behind it. They can range from a simple viral rash, heat rash, allergy or at times sexually transmitted diseases. The rash can lead to a lot of skin changes. The affected skin becomes reddish, blotchy and inflamed. The rash could be in patches that are bumpy, scaly and in some cases, even filled with pus. Here we will discuss the details of particular type of rash which occurs on the buttocks.

A very common cause of such rashes is skin allergy or contact dermatitis that is caused by an adverse reaction to something that has come in contact with the skin in the recent times. The commonest culprits are soaps, fragrances, perfumes, detergents etc. This type of reaction could be in the following conditions:

  1. Females are prone to getting such a rash if they wear underwear or pants that have been washed by a particular detergent or by a soap containing some kind of chemical. Another common cause is the cleaning agent that is used to clean the toilet seats. When the skin of the buttock comes in contact with it, a rash develops on that particular area. This is very common in western countries where the western seat type of toilets are predominantly in use.
  2. These rashes are also common in toddlers and babies and is identified as a diaper rash. It may lead to itching and redness of the buttocks, thighs and at times the abdomen. To avoid such a rash, you must ensure that the baby’s diaper is changed frequently and the skin of the buttocks does not remain in contact with the stool for a long time. The bacteria in the stool lead to infection and a rash is formed.
  3. In men such type of a rash is seen associated with other skin conditions like impetigo, psoriasis and eczema. Some of these skin troubles are chronic in nature with waxing and weaning of the symptoms periodically. The symptoms tend to get better on their own after a while. The rash could also occur after contact with some detergent, perfume or medication. This condition is called as contact dermatitis.

Most of these conditions are mild but is the allergic reaction is triggered, there could be a spasm of the throat muscles which is life threatening.

Rash on Buttocks

Nature of Rash

The rash is mostly diagnostic in nature. Butt crack rashes can be single or clustered reddish spots or bumps that lead to itching of the skin. They usually appear on the butt crack or the opening of the anus or even around the butt cheeks. In adults, the location, pattern and extent of the rash can vary from individual to individual. Rashes on the butt can be simple or at times, an indication of something serious like a systemic illness.

Causes of Rash on Buttocks

If you notice a rash on the buttocks or inner thighs, there could be a number of possible causes behind it. The causes can range from simple allergies, viral infections, heat and sweat to systemic diseases. The commonest cause is the presence of allergens (they are the agents that are responsible for causing the allergy). Other reasons are autoimmune diseases, infections or even stress. Some times sexually transmitted diseases are a major cause or rash on the buttocks and genital areas. A rash seen around the bikini area in a women are mainly due to an infection from the sanitary pads that are used during the monthly menstrual cycles. The area remains wet and leads to a fungal infection in that area. This rash at times extends to the buttocks also. Here are the causes according to the category.

(1)Inflammatory or Allergic causes:

A rash on the buttocks can be a result of contact dermatitis. The common exciting factors include:

  1. Eczema
  2. Atopic dermatitis
  3. Poison ivy
  4. Contact with a Copper wire or other metallic substances
  5. Detergents or cosmetics used for facial treatments or bleaching products
  6. Grooming products like hair dyes, shampoos, soaps, waxes and creams
  7. Other allergic causes include food allergies and insect bite allergies.

(2) Infections

Skin eruptions and rashes on the buttocks and thighs can be seen as a result or as a part of certain infections like:

  1. Shingles or chicken pox
  2. Impetigo
  3. Measles, mumps and rubella
  4. Scabies
  5. Ringworm
  6. Yeast infections that are common in areas where sweat tends to accumulate.
  7. Lymes disease.

(3)Autoimmune disorders:

Autoimmune disorders are those where the immune system of the body turns hostile and attacks the cells and tissues of the body. Some of the common diseases that are associated with rashes are:

Psoriasis- It is a skin disorder associated with excessive flaking of the skin from the psoriatic patches along with itching.

Rheumatoid arthritis-It is an autoimmune disorder characterised by joint inflammation mainly affecting the small joints along with other systemic problems.

Kawasaki disease-It is a rare and serious disorder that is characterised by inflammation of blood vessels, mucous membranes and presents with high grade fever.

These disorders are associated with severe itching making it very difficult to carry out the routine activities. It becomes impossible for you to take showers, use the washroom and do other routine tasks. The constant itchiness makes you unable to concentrate on what you are doing and it also leaves you in an awkward position when you cannot itch in front of other people.

(4)Herpes Zoster

It is a type of herpes infection that has a viral aetiology. It causes shingles in adults and chicken pox in children. The classic appearance of herpes is a reddish rash which goes on to become water filled leading to the formation of blisters filled with a clear liquid. It is characterised by burning, itching and pain. The lesions spread by itching as the liquid within is contagious.

Herpes zoster is a very painful condition as the nerves are affected and there is severe pain along with blisters which are spread out along the course of the affected dermatome. The pain persists even after the blisters have gone away.

(5)Miliaria

This is basically a heat rash which occurs when the openings of the sweat glands are blocked because of humidity and heat. It is characterised by the appearance of a red rash that is made up small little bumps. The itching that is present along with the rash is mainly because of the sweating and it can be mild or extremely annoying and uncomfortable for the person.

This condition is not life threatening and once identified, it can be kept under control by wearing loose cotton clothing and staying away from synthetic under garments. Keep the area clean and stay away from hot places.

(6)Fungal infections

Fungal infections are very common in areas where sweat accumulates like folds and joint bends. There are many fungi that can produce a rash on the buttocks and thighs. The infections include ringworms, yeast infections and jock itch. There are multiple reasons that fungal infections occur. The typical rash is reddish and raised from the skin. It has rounded edges, itching and a peculiar odour.

These are rather stubborn to treat and respond well to antifungal sprays and powders. The treatment may be supported with oral antifungal medicines in severe cases.

(7)Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin condition that is characterised by raised reddish patches on the skin with silver scaling. The cells multiply at a very fast rate leading to excessive shedding off in the form of scales. The exact cause is not known but there is a familial tendency. It has waxing and waning periods. Treatment will depend on the severity.

(8)Contact dermatitis:

Contact dermatitis is a kind eczema that occurs as the skin comes in contact with some kind of allergens and irritants. The rash on the buttocks results from contact with such irritants. It leads to severe and uncontrollable itching. At times there could be oozing and redness. The commonest irritants are scented soaps, perfumes etc.

Symptoms of Butt Rash

There are many symptoms that are found associated with a rash on the buttock. The accompanying symptoms will vary in women, men and toddlers. There could be additional systemic symptoms if the rash is a part of an autoimmune or allergic disorder. Along with the rash there can be some localized symptoms that are:

  • Itching and redness of buttocks.
  • Discharge of pus from the affected site
  • Bruising due to repeated itching.
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Redness and warmth.

There can be additional symptoms that can occur along with the rash like headache, cough, fever and chills, joint pains, stiffness, sore throat etc

Complications of Buttock Rash

If the rash is simple with an allergic aetiology, it will resolve once the irritating agent is taken care of. But if the rash is part of a systemic problem that can lead to complications it should be treated at the earliest. For example infectious diseases like measles, mumps can have serious and permanent damage. Lymes disease has known to cause cognitive and other functional impairments. If the cause of the rash in toddlers is established, then you need to follow the treatment plan as advised by the paediatrician. Some of the potential complications seen with butt rash are:

  • Stillbirth or miscarriage
  • Arthritis
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Permanent hearing loss
  • Meningitis
  • Secondary infections at the site of the rash due to repeated itching

Treatment of Butt Rash

A butt rash is a simple skin disorder but it can be disturbing as the itching is continuous and irritating. There are many medical and home based treatments for butt rash. We shall discuss the details of both here:

Home Based Treatments for skin rashes

It is a very commonly seen skin condition where there is itching of the buttocks. It can be seen in adults as well as babies. There can be many reasons for it and if a baby gets it then it then it does not mean that the baby is not cared for properly or his care is unhygienic.

The rash is identified by an inflammation of the skin and redness along with itching. If the area affected is the buttocks, then the upper thighs and genital areas also tend to get involved due to the close proximity.

In babies also a similar distribution of the rash is seen if the gets a diaper rash. Many of thes home remedies can help you to get rid of the rash.

  1. Vinegar:

In babies wearing diapers, the stale urine and stool remain in contact with the delicate skin of the buttock and cause a rash. The alkaline ph of the urine is responsible for this. Vinegar can be used very effectively to balance out this ph.

Directions of use: If you are using cloth diapers or reusable diaper pads, then you can rinse them in a solution of water and vinegar. It helps to remove the smell and also eliminates any soap that is left behind during washing.

Another use of vinegar is that a weak solution in water can be used to wipe the baby’s buttocks during a diaper change. This will prevent fungal infections from taking place.

  1. Baking soda:

Baking soda has many helpful properties and helps to heal the buttock rash.

Directions of use: Mix two tablespoons of baking soda in four cups of water and use the solution to wipe the rashes. You can also add baking soda to a tub of water and use it to take a bath. It can be used three times a day and after the bath the area should be patted dry and not rubbed with a cloth.

  1. Petroleum Jelly:

Petroleum jelly is a very good lubricant and many paediatricians recommend applying it during every diaper change as it helps to prevent a diaper rash by forming a protective layer and preventing the urine and faeces from touching the skin. Thus the irritant is blocked and the rash can be avoided.

Directions of use: First remove the diaper and wash the baby’s buttocks with warm water and dry it using a cotton towel. Then apply a thin layer of the jelly in the diaper area and then put on a fresh diaper.

  1. Cornstarch:

It is very commonly recommended as it plays an important role by absorbing the moisture and making the area dry. Rashes tend to reduce if the area is kept dry around the buttocks. If there is no moisture then the chances of infection also go down.

Directions of use: When using it for a baby, wash the diaper area with warm water and dry it using a cotton cloth. Let the area dry completely before you apply anything otherwise you will not get optimum results. Then sprinkle some cornstarch before you put on the new diaper. Repeat this during every diaper change.

  1. Oatmeal:

Oatmeal is very high in protein and so it helps to soothe the skin by acting as a natural barrier between the skin and the irritant. Oatmeal is known to contain a chemical compound called saponin. This chemical helps to remove the dirt and oils from the pores of the skin.

Directions of use: You can take a spoonful of dry oatmeal and add it to the bath water. Then allow the body to soak in it for some time. After the body is soaked properly and completely, you will feel a soothing and calming effect. Repeat this bath twice a day and then gently dry the body. Avoid rubbing the skin dry.

  1. Coconut oil:

Coconut oil is the best treatment for a number of skin troubles. It contains antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It eases out the itching immediately and helps to soothe the skin.

Directions of use: Coconut oil can be used just like any other moisturiser. Apply it gently on the affected area. Do not rub it in and let the quantity be a little more. Then leave it like that without washing. This is very effective in dealing with the fungal infections too and is equally effective in babies and adults.

  1. Breast milk:

Breast milk helps in fighting infections and also helps to soothe the skin. It is considered as the best and most economical way for a mother to tackle a diaper rash. The best thing about breast milk is that it can never cause an allergic reaction in the baby and make the rash worse.

Directions of use: The application is very easy and the mother has to rub a few drops of the breast milk in the area that has the rash. Allow it to air dry and then put on a fresh diaper. It is very common for babies to have diaper rashes as the skin remains in contact with the urine and stool which irritates the delicate skin.

  1. Plantain oil:

Plantain oil has been known to be very useful in treating rashes on the buttocks in females. It is recommended by many health experts. This oil is specifically helpful in treating allergic skin rashes. The skin conditions that arise out of some kind of allergic reaction also benefit by the use of this oil. It has soothing properties that relieve inflammation and reduce the redness and swelling. In rashes caused in females by irritation of sanitary pads, this oil can prove to be helpful.

Directions of use: Take a bunch of clean plantain leaves and crush them using the hands. Once they are crushed, place them on the affected area and then take a bath or wash the area. Another option is to apply the plantain oil directly on the skin when you change the underwear.

  1. Shea butter:

Shea butter is a wonderful and natural remedy that has anti inflammatory and antifungal properties. It contains beneficial vegetables in it. It is very useful in treating all types of rashes. The other benefits of shea butter are that it improves the circulation and promotes the regeneration of cells thus helping the rashes to heal faster.

Directions of use: Wash the buttocks area with warm water and a mild soap. Allow it to dry naturally. Now scoop some shea butter into your hands and gently rub it into the skin until it melts and merges with the skin completely. Press your hands so that the shea butter is rubbed into the skin completely. Do not wash the shea butter off and leave it on for a while before putting on the underwear.

  1. Fresh green clay:

This clay is used most commonly in facial masks and is very effective in treating skin rashes. Fresh green clay is mineral based and it helps to prevent the rash from spreading while keeping the skin beneath soft and thus helps to heal the rash faster.

Directions of use: To heal the rash, sprinkle some fresh green clay on the affected area and leave it there.

  1. Yogurt:

This is not a very well known way of treating rashes but plain yogurt can be used to treat butt rashes very effectively. It has a soothing effect on the skin.

Directions of use: Scoop some yogurt in your hands and apply it on the affected area. The layer should be thick and uniformly applied. If using it in babies, the yogurt paste needs to be applied at every diaper change.

  1. Egg whites:

Egg whites are very effective in getting rid of rashes. The use is very simple and all you need to do is whisk some egg whites and apply it on the affected areas. Apply a generous amount to get the best results. After applying, you can store the remaining in the refrigerator and use is again. You will notice changes in the rash within a few hours.

Diaper Rashes

When the baby is put in diapers, some rash or the other is sure to come up especially if the skin remains in contact with a soiled diaper with faeces. The best thing you can do as a mother is to clean the buttock nicely with a cotton cloth or wet wipe that is unscented. Leave the area to dry before you can put the new diaper.

Stop wet wipes: The best thing would be to stop using commercially available wet wipes as they contain alcohol in them. They can further increase the rash as it will irritate the skin. When buying baby products, be very cautious about what you are buying as not all products are safe for babies. The best way to avoid a rash is to use cloth nappies or cloth diapers as they allow the skin to breath and do not irritate the skin.

Change the diaper brand: Another thing that you can try during a diaper rash is to change the diaper brand as it could be causing the problem without you realising it. Different brands use different materials and there may be something that does not suit your baby. Use recommendations from other mothers and change the brand till you get what suits your baby.

Diaper Break: All the above home remedies may help your baby but cannot totally remove the rash. In such a case, you may need to skip the diaper all together for a few days. This will let the irritated skin heal and the rash will go away. Once the rash is gone, you can wear diapers for your baby again.

Any skin rash can be very irritating and worrying but you can take care of it by using the above mentioned home remedies. Try all the methods and you are sure to find what suits you best. If the symptoms do not reduce or spread on other parts, visit your doctor.

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