All areas of the body that sweat and have hair are susceptible to boils. This includes your intergluteal cleft, commonly known as your butt crack.

Boils are bumps or lumps that typically occur in places where sweat pools. They’re a form of skin infection usually caused by bacteria that infect your hair follicles. Also called furuncles, boils can develop on your buttocks and in your butt crack.

The most obvious symptom of a boil located in your butt crack is a red, painful bump in your skin. The bump may swell as it fills with pus. Pus is a collection of dead white blood cells and bacteria. It usually appears white or yellowish in color. Your symptoms might include:

  • weeping or oozing of the lesion
  • white or yellow center
  • swelling around boil
  • additional boils in surrounding skin area
  • fatigue
  • general sick feeling
  • itching around the boil

Boils are caused by bacteria which infect a hair follicle. Similar to pimples, boils occur when pus builds up and pushes up to the surface of the skin.

The difference between the two is that pimples occur in the first layer of skin (epidermis). Boils occur in the second, deeper layer (dermis). Both infections cause a bump in the skin which may grow as the pus builds up.

Common causes for boils include:

Certain preexisting conditions can make it more likely that you’ll develop boils. Some risk factors include:

  • eczema
  • chronic Staphylococcus aureus
  • diabetes
  • immune system deficiency
  • small cuts or injuries to the skin

Do not pick or attempt to pop a boil in your butt crack. Popping your boil can allow additional bacteria to enter the lesion which can cause additional infection.

You should apply moist, warm compresses to the boil three to four times a day. This will promote healing. Some boils will rupture on their own. Other boils will dissipate after the body dissolves the boil.

If the boil becomes larger than a ping pong ball or does not go away after two weeks, you may need to have the boil surgically lanced (cut open with a sharp tool). You should not do this at home. You should visit a dermatologist or doctor to perform the surgery for you.

Your boil might not be a boil at all. Hidradenitis suppurativa is a condition that can appear very similar to boils. These boil-like bumps can be very painful.

The cause is relatively unknown, but is believed to be a blockage of the hair follicles similar to boils. There’s no cure for hidradenitis suppurativa, but some medications can help you manage it including:

  • hormones
  • ointments
  • pain medication
  • immunosuppressants

Boils can occur anywhere there is sweat buildup or hair. Having a boil in your butt crack can make it uncomfortable to wear clothes, sit, and go about your daily activities.

While they can be painful, boils are not usually life-threatening and typically go away on their own after a couple weeks.

If your boil does not go away or improve with time, make an appointment with your doctor to have the boil examined. Your doctor might have to lance and drain your boil and you might need antibiotics.