What Causes Bumps, Cysts, or Boils on the Butt
Butt bump questionnaire
Use our free symptom checker to find out what's causing your bump.
Butt bumps may be painful, red, or itchy. The most common causes for bumps on the butt include skin conditions like cysts, boils, warts, or skin abscess. Allergens to hygienic products, chemicals, or plants can also cause itchy, red bumps on on the butt. Read below for more causes and how to treat butt boils and bumps.
Butt bump symptoms
A bump on the butt may be a new development or a chronic condition. Either way, you shouldn't be embarrassed to see a physician for this common symptom. Physicians are there to help you, and it is important to be evaluated if you are concerned.
Common accompanying symptoms of a butt bump
In addition to the butt bump, you may also experience symptoms that include:
Butt bump causes
Many of the causes of butt bumps are dermatologic in nature and affect aspects of the skin including hair follicles. The skin is the largest and often heaviest organ of the body and has multiple components. See this image here for a visual representation of the layers of the skin.
- Epidermis: This is the outermost layer of the skin visible to the eye. It contains specialized cells responsible for pigmentation of the skin (melanocytes), protecting the skin (Langerhans cells), and allowing the skin to feel pressure (Merkel cells).
- Dermis: This is the middle layer of the skin. It contains a network of tough, elastic collagen fibers that make the skin strong and stretchy, as well as nerves and blood vessels that allow the passage of nutrients and oxygen. The dermis also contains sweat glands.
- Subcutis/Subcutaneous layer: This is the deepest layer of skin which contains fat and connective tissue. It acts as a shock absorber and insulator and produces hormones like vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight.
Inflammatory causes can result in butt bumps.
- Infections: The skin is home to a bacterium known as Staphylococcus aureus (Staph). Although it is a normal component of the skin flora, it is the leading cause of human bacterial infection and can result in bumps and lumps throughout the body. Staphylococcus aureus can enter small lesions or cuts and result in painful, pus-filled abscesses.
- Cysts: Cysts are sacs that can be filled with fluid, air, or other material and can form in any part of the body. Cysts in the epidermis often present as skin-colored nodules, seen here. Cysts can also be related to the hair follicles around the buttocks area and can become inflamed and infected. These cysts are known as pilonidal cysts.
In general, any growth is the result of cells dividing and growing uncontrollably. Cells in any part of the body — fat, blood vessels, soft tissue, etc. — can grow in this abnormal fashion. These abnormal cells can accumulate to form a noticeable lump or bump. These growths, also known as tumors or neoplasms, can be benign (non-threatening) or malignant (life-threatening).
- Vascular: Growths that result from the vasculature and blood vessels of the body are called angiomas or pyogenic granulomas. They are often red and dome-shaped and can bleed with trauma.
- Fat/soft tissue: Growths of the fat and soft tissue of the skin, known as lipomas, are soft, round or oval painless nodules. They most commonly occur on the back and upper extremities but can appear in other locations, including the butt.
Environmental causes can be related to lifestyle habits or repeated exposure of the skin.
- Friction/pressure: Friction or pressure from common things such as tight or restrictive clothing, long periods of sitting, or skin rubbing against the skin can lead to bumps, especially related to hair follicles.
- Trauma: Minor traumatic injury to the butt area can result in bruising or irritation that may manifest as bumps or lumps in the area.
8 butt bump conditions
The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced butt bump. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.
A cyst is a small sac or lump, filled with fluid, air, fat, or other material, that begins to grow somewhere in the body for no apparent reason. A skin cyst is one that forms just beneath the skin.
It's believed that skin cysts form around trapped keratin cells – the cells that form the relatively tough outer layer of the skin.
These cysts are not contagious.
Anyone can get a skin cyst, but they are most common in those who are over age 18, have acne, or have injured the skin.
Symptoms include the appearance of a small, rounded lump under the skin. Cysts are normally painless unless infected, when they will be reddened and sore and contain pus.
Diagnosis is made through physical examination. A small cyst can be left alone, though if it is unsightly or large enough to interfere with movement it can be removed in a simple procedure done in a doctor's office. An infected cyst must be treated so that the infection does not spread.
Top Symptoms: skin-colored armpit bump, marble sized armpit lump, small armpit lump
Symptoms that always occur with skin cyst: skin-colored armpit bump
Urgency: Wait and watch
A furuncle, also called a boil, is infection of a hair follicle. The infection forms under the skin at the root of the hair and may occur anywhere on the body.
The infection is caused by bacteria, most often Staphylococcus aureus or "staph." Irritation caused by clothes or anything else rubbing the skin can cause the skin to break down and allow bacteria to enter.
Staph bacteria are found everywhere. Frequent and thorough handwashing, and otherwise maintaining cleanliness, will help to prevent its spread.
Most susceptible are those with a weakened immune system; diabetes; and other skin infections.
Symptoms include a single bump under the skin that is swollen, painful, and red, and contains pus.
It is important to treat the boil, since infection can spread into the bloodstream and travel throughout the body.
Diagnosis is made through physical examination and sometimes fluid sample from the boil.
Treatment may involve incision and drainage of the infection, followed by creams to apply to the site of the boil and/or a course of antibiotic medicine.
Top Symptoms: pink or red facial bump, small facial lump, painful facial bump, marble sized facial lump, constant skin changes
Symptoms that always occur with boil (furuncle): pink or red facial bump
Symptoms that never occur with boil (furuncle): fever
A dermatofibroma is a common skin growth that usually appears on the lower legs, but may appear anywhere on the body. These growths are benign (noncancerous). Dermatofibromas are most common in adults and are rarely found in children.
Symptoms include a hard, raised growth that is red, pink, ..
Pimples are also called comedones, spots, blemishes, or "zits." Medically, they are small skin eruptions filled with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria.
Pimples often first start appearing at puberty, when hormones increase the production of oil in the skin and sometimes clog the pores.
Most susceptible are teenagers from about ages 13 to 17.
Symptoms include blocked pores that may appear flat and black on the surface, because the oil darkens when exposed to the air; blocked pores that appear white on the surface because they have closed over with dead skin cells; or swollen, yellow-white, pus-filled blisters surrounded by reddened skin.
Outbreaks of pimples on the skin can interfere with quality of life, making the person self-conscious about their appearance and causing pain and discomfort in the skin. A medical provider can help to manage the condition, sometimes through referral to a dermatologist.
Diagnosis is made through physical examination.
Treatment involves improving diet; keeping the skin, hair, washcloths, and towels very clean; and using over-the-counter acne remedies.
Top Symptoms: pink or red facial bump, small facial lump, painful facial bump, marble sized facial lump
Symptoms that always occur with pimple: pink or red facial bump
Lipoma is a word that translates as "fatty tumor," but a lipoma is not cancer. It is simply a growth of fat between the muscle layer and the skin above it.
The exact cause is not known. The condition does run in families and is associated with other unusual syndromes such as adiposis dolorosa, which is similar. Lipomas most often appear after age 40.
Symptoms include a soft, easily moveable lump beneath the skin, about two inches across. A lipoma is painless unless its growth is irritating the nerves around it. They are most often found on the back, neck, and abdomen, and sometimes the arms and upper legs.
It is a good idea to have any new or unusual growth checked by a medical provider, just to make certain it is benign.
Diagnosis is made through physical examination, biopsy, and imaging such as ultrasound or CT scan.
Most of the time, treatment is not necessary unless the lipoma is unsightly or is interfering with other structures. It can be removed through surgery or liposuction.
Top Symptoms: skin-colored groin bump, marble sized groin lump, small groin lump
Symptoms that always occur with lipoma: skin-colored groin bump
Urgency: Wait and watch
Mole on the butt
Moles are growths on the skin. They happen when pigment cells in the skin, called melanocytes, grow in clusters.
Top Symptoms: unchanged butt bump, black or brown butt bump, small butt lump, uniformly black/brown butt bump, butt bump's smooth border
Symptoms that always occur with mole on the butt: unchanged butt bump, black or brown butt bump
Urgency: Wait and watch
Blackheads are caused by hair follicles becoming clogged with oil & dead skin cells. When the clogged pore is open to the air, the air turns the outermost layer black through oxidation.
Top Symptoms: small facial lump, black or brown facial bump
Symptoms that always occur with blackhead: small facial lump, black or brown facial bump
A skin abscess is a large pocket of pus that has formed just beneath the skin. It is caused by bacteria getting under the skin, usually through a small cut or scratch, and beginning to multiply. The body fights the invasion with white blood cells, which kill some of the infected tissue but form pus within the cavity that remains.
Symptoms include a large, red, swollen, painful lump of pus anywhere on the body beneath the skin. There may be fever, chills, and body aches from the infection.
If not treated, there is the risk of an abscess enlarging, spreading, and causing serious illness.
Diagnosis is made through physical examination.
A small abscess may heal on its own, through the body's immune system. But some will need to be drained or lanced in a medical provider's office so that the pus can be cleaned out. Antibiotics are usually prescribed.
Keeping the skin clean, and using only clean clothes and towels, will help to make sure that the abscess does not recur.
Top Symptoms: rash with bumps or blisters, red rash, red skin bump larger than 1/2 cm in diameter, pus-filled rash, rash
Symptoms that always occur with skin abscess: rash with bumps or blisters
Urgency: Primary care doctor
Butt bump treatments and relief
When to see a doctor
The causes of butt bumps vary, making it important to see your doctor. Many of the treatments are surgical in nature and involve physical removal of the bump. If your butt bump is associated with an infection, your physician will prescribe appropriate antibiotics. However, you may also have a bump removed for cosmetic reasons as well.
- Cryosurgery: Extreme cold is used to destroy and remove diseased tissue.
- Electrodesiccation: An electric current is used to remove skin lesions.
- Shave excision: A sharp razor, with or without an electrode, is used to feather the edges of a lesion to make it smaller or less noticeable.
- Scissors: The lesion/bump may be removed with surgical scissors.
Some skin bumps are hereditary and cannot be prevented. However, there are things you can do at home in order to reduce their likelihood, such as the following.
- Wear loose, not tight-fitting clothes
- Practice proper hygiene
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid activities that cause excessive skin rubbing
FAQs about butt bump
Can my butt bump be removed?
Yes, a butt bump can usually be removed. There are a variety of surgical options that can be performed in an office versus an operating room. However, it is important to discuss whether surgery is even necessary.
Will my butt bump go away on its own?
Usually, butt bumps and skin conditions do not go away without treatment, whether it involves surgery or antibiotics. If your butt bump is persistent and bothersome, you should see a physician.
Will a butt bump interfere with my daily activities?
Some butt bumps such as pilonidal cysts and abscesses can cause pain and make it uncomfortable to sit or lie down. If these bumps become infected or inflamed, the pain can be exacerbated and involve redness, swelling, and drainage.
What is a pilonidal cyst?
A pilonidal cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops above the crease where the buttocks come together. These cysts are often related to friction or pressure on the hair follicles in the area that become inflamed.
What is hidradenitis suppurativa?
Hidradenitis suppurativa is a condition that results in swollen, painful, often red bumps in the damp areas of the body such as the armpits, groin, and under the breasts in women. They often have an odor and can drain pus or blood and require appropriate professional care.
Questions your doctor may ask about butt bump
- What color is the bump?
- Is the bump painful to touch?
- Any fever today or during the last week?
- Do you have a rash?
Self-diagnose with our free Buoy Assistant if you answer yes on any of these questions.
- Luba MC, Bangs SA, Mohler AM, Stulberg DL. Common benign skin tumors. Am Fam Physician. 2003;67(4):729-738. AAFP Link
- Becker RE, Bubeck Wardenburg J. Staphylococcus aureus and the skin: A longstanding and complex interaction. Skinmed. 2015;13(2):111-9. PubMed Link
- Hidradenitis suppurativa: Signs and Symptoms. American Academy of Dermatology. AAD Link