Medical Specialty >> Dermatology

Doctors Lounge - Dermatology Answers

Back to Dermatology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: Boil on buttocks

 loulou22 - Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:02 pm

I had what I thought was an underground pimple on my butt and it has now turned a purplish color. It has not come to a head and it is painful. I have never had a boil but am wondering if this is what I have now? It feels a bit squishy if you press on it hard enough but there is no white head like I would assume it would have. Its been there for over a month. I am going to try hot compresses and baking soda but I was wondering if its normal for it to be purple-grey colored and how I can get it to drain? Thank you for your help.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:05 am

User avatar Hi,
"Boils' or 'pimples' in the buttocks are rather difficult for a person to visualize adequately. Your description may fit either
- an infection(folliculitis, furuncle) or
- an infected sebaceous cyst.

For more on some of these possible infective pathologies, kindly refer to the following link.

From the available history, it seems more likely that it may be either
- a sebeceous cyst: sebeceous cysts (epidermoid cysts) which arise from sebaceous glands or
- a trichelemmal cyst: trichelemmal cysts(pilar cysts) arise from outer root sheaths of hairs.

Both are similar in many ways. Both may get infected and discharge pus. They may be single, multiple or recurrent. Surgery is the preferred treatment for both. Surgical removal should be complete, or else, recurrences will ensue.

The distinguishing feature of a sebaceous cyst is the presence of a spot roughly at its summit ("punctum"). This feature is not seen in trichelemmal cysts.

As the exact location is difficult to guess from your description, one othe possibility needs a mention - pilonidal cysts(pilonidal disease). These are usually located at the natal cleft either in the mid line or to one or the other side of it.These may get infected and form abscesses.

I would advise you not to try and drain it on your own but to show it to your regular doctor. It is a minor procedure and will help to resolve your symptoms soon and help in rapid healing.
Best wishes!

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us