Dear Dr Nina: Should I get the red patch at the top of my buttocks checked out?
Q I have a very sore red patch at the top of my buttocks. It isn't a spot or a bite - it's completely flat, and it's not responding to Sudocreme. I have had it for a week now. Should I get it checked out?
Dr Nina replies: Skin rashes are common and have many possible causes. It is impossible to say with certainty what is causing the rash without seeing the area of concern. An isolated rash that last days and disappears is unlikely to be of concern once you are well in every other way. If the rash persists, spreads or lasts longer than a week it is worth letting your GP have a look.
Tinea corporis or ringworm is a common rash caused by fungus in the skin. It results in patches of scaling skin commonly circular in shape with sparing of the central area.
It responds very well to topical antifungal creams and shampoos, but treatment often takes up to six weeks for a full cure. This rash however does not usually cause any pain.
Fungus may live happily on clean dry skin without multiplying. When a warm moist environment exists fungi multiply rapidly. Tinea is contagious and can spread from person-to-person through direct contact or contact with a contaminated surface. Clusters of infection are sometimes seen in families, but direct contact is required. Once treated it is important to try and prevent further infection.
For mild infection, creams and powders may help. In more severe infections anti-fungal tablets may be prescribed.
If the lump is at the anal cleft and remains tender and red there is a chance you have a pilonidal sinus. Your GP will be able help diagnose if this is the case.
Health & Living