Check out to decode the signs behind 6 common rear-end rashes.
If the rash is: red, itchy, and has small painful blisters
It’s probably: a herpes outbreak
Surprise—this STD doesn’t only strike the mucus membranes of the genitals and mouth. “It’s not uncommon for herpes to infect the skin of your bottom, and the signs would be similar to that of an oral or genital herpes outbreak, including one or more tiny blisters grouped close together. The treatment is also the same: diagnosis by your derm or ob-gyn and then a script for antiviral meds, which will speed healing.
If the rash is: a red, itchy, and scaly patch
It’s probably: a fungal infection
“This is the same fungal infection as athlete’s foot and jock itch, but it shows up on your behind,” says Ramachandran. Fungi thrive in moist, dark places, which is why this infection tends to occur on body parts that rub together, creating lots of heat and friction (hello, butt crack!). An OTC antifungal cream should get rid of it, but if that doesn’t work, your doc can prescribe something stronger.
If the rash is: red with tender, pimple-like bumps
It’s probably: Buttne, which is medically known as folliculitis
This happens when dead skin cells and bacteria clog the hair follicles on your cheeks and upper thighs. It’s unsightly, but it’s nothing serious: Ease it by applying an OTC benzoyl peroxide product, and prevent it from returning by showering after a gym session and wearing fabrics that let your butt skin breathe.
If the rash is: red, scaly, and strikes right above your butt crack
It’s probably: Psoriasis
Psoriasis, a chronic, non-contagious skin condition, is caused by the overproduction of skin cells—and it loves to show up in that dimple between your lower back and crack, says Ramachandran. Other signs include white, pink, or silver patches and flaking. It also tends to form on the elbows, scalp, and nails. Psoriasis needs to be treated with prescription steroid creams, so if you suspect you have it, check in with your derm.
If the rash is: flaky and itchy, sometimes accompanied by tiny red bumps
It’s probably: Eczema
Those stretchy black tights you’re practically living in right now? They’re big-time eczema offenders, trapping heat and sweat between your skin and the synthetic material, triggering this itchy, red skin condition, says Ramachandran. Ease it the way you would if you had eczema on any other patch of skin: by applying moisturizer or an OTC hydrocortisone cream. Also, wear more breathable all-cotton or natural-fiber material so your skin gets some fresh air. If you’re still itchy, your derm can give you stronger meds.
If the rash is: super itchy and on your anus
It’s probably: Hemorroids
These small protrusions of veins can be irritating, painful, and itchy, thanks to the swelling and inflammation that develops around them, says Ramachandran. It sounds gross, sure, but hemorrhoids are very common and are usually caused by pressure from chronic constipation or pregnancy. OTC hemorrhoid creams can numb the pain, reduce swelling, and nix the itch. But if yours keep acting up and leave you squirming, see your doctor about other treatment options, like surgery.
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