Rashes are itchy and annoying, but they bring on a whole new level of discomfort when they appear on your butt. ICYMI, a butt rash can happen to adults too, not just babies. Sometimes a minor bump could just be a simple pimple, but you may not know what you’re dealing with when the irritation is bigger, redder, and even painful.
To make the situation even more complicated, different skin conditions look different on light skin compared to darker skin colors. And pictures of rashes in medical textbooks often feature white models.
"When the images in the textbooks and images in the lectures are not diverse and are not really reflective of society and what you will see in the real world, then that bias is ingrained in medical education," says Caroline Robinson, MD, the founder and CEO of Tone Dermatology in Chicago. "The result of that is either under-diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or taking a long time to diagnose for our patients of color. I know that there are so many efforts ongoing to address that, but unfortunately, we are not there."
If you are currently dealing with a rear-end rash, here are some of the most common rashes and how they may appear depending on your skin tone, so you know exactly what to look for, plus treatments that can ease your symptoms.
It’s probably: cutaneous t-cell lymphoma
“A lot of people miss this diagnosis. I see it all the time. They call it eczema, they call it dry skin, and it's not,” says Adam Friedman, MD, a professor of dermatology at GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Cutaneous t-cell lymphoma (CTL) is actually a type of skin cancer, relating to abnormal immune cells called lymphocytes. And this condition has a predilection for areas that are covered.
CTL typically looks like a wrinkled, smudgy rash, and while the image above shows red-colored irritation, Dr. Robinson says that on darker skin it can present hypopigmented (lighter than the surrounding skin) or hyperpigmented (darker than the surrounding skin).
While this cancer isn't super common, when left untreated, Dr. Friedman says it can turn into a more serious health situation.