Bumps that look like pimples in the buttocks are common skin problems that occur in the young and old people alike. One of the most common causes is folliculitis, or infection and inflammation of the hair follicle. Most areas of the skin have hair follicles that can become infected, especially when these areas are exposed to sweat, make-up, or oily substances, or when these areas are constantly irritated. The scalp, face, chest, back, thighs and groin are common places where folliculitis can occur, but it can affect any part of the body where there are hair follicles, including the buttocks. Shaving, rubbing, wearing tight clothes, or acquiring an injury in the skin can increase the likelihood of developing folliculitis. Bathing in public spas, pools, or tubs can also cause skin infections such as folliculitis. Other factors that can increase your chances of getting folliculitis include chronic use of steroids or antibiotics, obesity, diabetes, and other conditions that can lower your resistance to infections.
Just like other bumps in the skin, these buttock pimples caused by folliculitis may look like clusters of red bumps that can develop into pus-filled blisters, surrounded by inflamed skin. These can break open and form crusts. Pain, tenderness, and itching may accompany these bumps. Sometimes folliculitis can appear like a large swollen bump. This occurs when the hair follicle becomes deeply infected with staphylococcal bacteria. This bump develops into a boil or furuncle that usually appears as a painful red bump, surrounded by red, swollen skin. The bump becomes filled with pus and grows bigger and more painful. After a while, it ruptures and drains. While small boils may heal without scarring, large boils may leave scars.
A cluster of boils develops into a carbuncle, which usually occurs at the back of the neck, shoulders, back and thighs. This can cause a more severe infection that heals more slowly and leaves a scar.
Treatment of Folliculitis
Mild cases usually improve within two weeks, using home treatments. These may include washing with an over-the-counter antibacterial wash and applying a warm compress. You can also apply topical antibiotics on the bumps. Avoid touching, shaving or scratching the bumps. Oral intake of antibiotics is usually not necessary. However, you should call a doctor when you experience high fever, or when symptoms do not improve or become worse.
Possible complications include spread of infection, recurrent infections, skin damage, scarring, and loss of hair follicles.
How to Prevent Folliculitis
To avoid infecting the hair follicles, it is advisable to bathe daily using mild soap. It is also important to shower or bathe after exercise or work, especially if your skin has been exposed to some irritating chemicals.
Avoid sharing personal items such as towels or washcloths. Use clean washcloths and towels every time you bathe. Avoid shaving when you have bumps on the skin. If you have to shave, change razor blades every time you shave.
Avoid using oily skin products, which can trap bacteria in the skin pores and can cause folliculitis. Shower with soap after using public baths or spas. Avoid wearing tight clothing.
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