A butt rash can have several causes. It may be due to an allergy, a virus, a fungal or bacterial infection, or another health condition.

A rash is any area of irritated or swollen skin on your body. Rashes are often itchy and painful and can appear differently on different skin tones. While they’re often described as red, on skin of color, they may appear purple, gray, or white.

Rashes can also lead to:

  • bumps
  • blisters
  • fluid leakage
  • scaly, crusty skin

Skin rashes are usually symptoms of underlying conditions, such as viral and fungal infections or allergies.

Most butt rashes clear up on their own, but some last longer and may require treatment. Read on to learn more about rashes that can develop on your buttocks.

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Butt rashes can be caused by irritation, infections, viruses, allergies, or other health conditions. Here are a few of the common causes of a rash on your buttocks:

A visual guide to rashes

Rashes can appear anywhere on the body, and symptoms are often the same regardless of location.

Discover what 22 of the most common rashes look like in our dedicated articles here.

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Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a common type of rash. It appears when your skin comes into contact with a substance that causes irritation to the skin. Some contact dermatitis rashes appear immediately, but most take some time to appear.

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

Atopic dermatitis (eczema)

Atopic dermatitis, which is generally known as eczema, is a chronic skin condition that causes itchy, dry skin.

Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema and is often simply referred to as eczema. Eczema is most common in babies and children, but it can begin at any age.

Symptoms can include:

  • 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 surrounding skin

Heat rash

Heat rash is a common skin irritation that causes rash and stinging. Your skin may feel prickly or itchy, and small bumps may form. Heat rash occurs most often in hot, humid weather. Heat rash can also happen any time you sweat a lot.

Heat rash can appear red on lighter skin tones, and on darker skin tones, it may look like a series of gray or white spots.

When sweat gets trapped under your skin, it can clog up pores and cause small pimples to form. It typically occurs on parts of your body where skin rubs against skin, such as along your butt crack or inner thighs.

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.

Rash symptoms originate in the place where the infection entered your body but can spread when you scratch them. Symptoms can include:

  • pain or itching in your genital and anal area
  • small, discolored bumps that may range in size
  • small blisters filled with fluid
  • ulcers from ruptured blisters that may ooze and bleed
  • scabs that form as ulcers heal

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.

In people with keratosis, keratin forms a plug that blocks the openings of hair follicles. This causes rough, sandpaper-like skin. Tiny red bumps may form on the buttocks, though they’re typically painless.


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.

A shingles rash may include:

  • numbness, burning, pain, or tingling
  • tenderness to touch
  • discoloration, which may appear as redness on light skin tones and the same color as the skin or darker on melanated skin
  • blisters that break, causing crusty skin
  • itching

You may also experience fatigue, general feelings of malaise, and fever.


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. It may appear red or reddish-brown, and in severe cases, the skin can crack, bleed, and produce a foul odor.


Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune skin condition. When you have psoriasis, your immune system mistakenly attacks your skin cells, causing them to grow rapidly and swell.

People with psoriasis may experience flare-ups in which the disease returns in between periods of remission when the disease temporarily recedes.

Psoriasis tends to appear pink or red on those with light or fair skin tones, and the scales can appear silvery white. On medium skin tones, it can appear salmon-colored with silvery-white scales. On darker skin tones, psoriasis may look violet, and the scales may look gray. Or it can also appear dark brown and be difficult to see.

Ringworm (jock itch)

Ringworm is a fungal infection that can affect the skin of several different parts of the body.

It can affect people of all ages. Ringworm, which gets its name from the circular rash it produces on the skin, is often called jock itch or athlete’s foot, depending on its location.

Symptoms include:

  • on lighter skin, the rash can appear red, flaky, or scaly, and on darker skin, the rash might appear gray or brown
  • a ring-shaped, circular rash
  • scaly or cracked skin
  • hair loss

Lichen sclerosus

Lichen sclerosus is a skin condition that most often affects the genital and anal area but can affect other areas, too.

It’s most common among people who are postmenopausal, but it can affect people of all ages and sexes.

Symptoms include:

  • smooth, shiny, white spots
  • bruising, scales, or cracking
  • skin that’s thin and wrinkled or easy to tear
  • bleeding and blistering
  • itchiness and pain
  • pain during urination, sex, or bowel movements


People often mistake butt acne for regular acne. Pimples on your butt don’t form in clogged pores like facial acne. Instead, they form in clogged hair follicles.

In people with folliculitis, hair follicles become infected after being irritated, usually by friction or shaving. If you notice small, painful pimples on your butt or groin, it may be a symptom of folliculitis. The bumps may contain bacteria.

Candida (yeast) skin infection

Candida is a fungus that frequently infects the skin, often in warm, moist areas such as the buttocks and groin. Candida is the most common cause of diaper rash in babies and adults.

People who have diabetes, obesity, or who are taking antibiotics are at an increased risk. Yeast infections of the skin can occur in people of all ages and sexes.

Symptoms include:

  • intense itching
  • a reddish skin rash that grows
  • red small bumps that look like pimples


People who have difficulties with bladder and bowel control may develop butt rashes. This is particularly true of people who wear diapers, who are immobile, or who use a wheelchair for long periods of time.

Excess moisture between the buttocks and in the groin area provides an ideal environment for bacterial and fungal growth. Symptoms of incontinence-associated dermatitis can include:

  • discoloration and irritation
  • peeling
  • a pimply rash
  • rawness

There are some natural remedies and herbal remedies that you can use to find immediate relief and, in some cases, treat your rash.

Home remedies

Home remedies for rashes include:

Treatments for butt rash vary depending on the underlying condition. In some cases, you might be able to use over-the-counter (OTC) medications. For other conditions, you may need a prescription from a doctor.

OTC medications

OTC treatment options include:

Prescription medications

Prescription options for rash treatment include:

  • Steroid cream or ointment: to reduce itching and treat inflammation from most rashes
  • Corticosteroid ointments or creams: to treat lichen sclerosus, you may need to continue using this medication for about 3 months to prevent a recurrence
  • Oral steroids: to reduce inflammation in severe cases of rash
  • Oral antibiotics: to help fight bacterial infections
  • Immunomodulators: to keep your immune system from overreacting to allergens, such as with severe cases of allergic contact dermatitis
  • Antibiotic creams: can fight bacterial infections such as intertrigo, folliculitis, and incontinence
  • Antifungal creams: can help with fungal infections such as intertrigo, yeast infections, and ringworm
  • Oral antivirals: can reduce the duration and severity of shingles symptoms
  • Retinoid creams: can decrease inflammation and may treat psoriasis and lichen sclerosus
  • Drugs that alter the immune system: can help reduce symptoms of severe psoriasis

Depending on which type of butt rash you’re experiencing, there may or may not be steps you can take to prevent future outbreaks.

Here are a few tips to prevent a butt rash before it happens:

  • Consider a fragrance-free laundry detergent.
  • Opt for a gentle, soap-free, fragrance-free cleanser.
  • Avoid wool and other itchy fabrics.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing to prevent friction.
  • Try regularly using a gentle moisturizer.
  • Use a moisture barrier ointment, such as petroleum jelly, to prevent friction.
  • Choose antiperspirants to prevent excess moisture. However, deodorants can sometimes cause allergic skin reactions.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals or other known irritants.
  • Always shower and change into clean clothes after exercising.
  • Avoid reusing sweaty clothes left in a gym bag.

Is eczema common in the buttocks?

Eczema that affects the buttocks is called perianal dermatitis. This is one of the most common conditions that affects the rectum.

What causes rashes on my buttocks?

A rash on your buttocks may be caused by coming into contact with an irritant, allergen, or virus. For example, this may cause heat rash, contact dermatitis, and genital herpes. A rash may also be a symptom of an underlying health condition, such as eczema, psoriasis, and shingles.

How do you treat eczema on your buttocks?

Treatment for eczema on your buttocks may include a combination of OTC and prescription medications. These may be given orally, topically, or by injection. Some medications may include antifungals, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antifungals, and immunomodulators. A healthcare professional can help develop the best treatment plan for you.

What is a dry rough patch of skin on the buttocks?

A dry, rough patch of skin on your buttocks may be a sign of eczema, contact dermatitis, or psoriasis.

Many conditions can lead to butt rash. However, many natural and OTC treatments are available that you can use to find relief. If your rash doesn’t go away, talk with a doctor.