What causes recurrent boils on my 3-year-old's bottom?
Toddlers and school-aged children not uncommonly get bacterial infection in the hair follicles on the buttocks or posterior thighs. Small lesions (red bumps with pustules on the surface) are termed "folliculitis," and when these lesions get larger they are called "furuncles" or, when very large, "carbuncles." The latter two are commonly known as boils.
While some children with recurrent disease may have predisposing conditions (like obesity, diabetes, or immune problems), most are otherwise completely healthy. Some may actually carry the bacterium that causes these problems ( Staphylococcus aureus
) in the diaper
area, which accounts for the common occurrence on the buttocks. Treatments include antibacterial soaps, topical antibiotics, and, for severe cases, oral antibiotics. Your son's pediatrician or dermatologist can give you further guidance.