Pop culture wants you to focus on skincare for your face. But if you’re a sweaty beast trapped in a pair of not-so-comfy pants, skincare for your butt becomes equally important.
Even though the skin on your ass is strong and resilient AF, it has limits. When you combine friction with swamp ass, you’re left with a miserable condition known as monkey butt.
Nearly every DUDE experiences the scourge of monkey butt at some point in their life. This itchy, red rash can ruin the most epic experiences. Luckily, we’ve got some tips to prevent it.
Read on to discover the science behind monkey butt, what causes it, and how to spare yourself.
What Is Monkey Butt?
Monkey butt is a slang term for chafing on your ass or (tragically) in between your butt cheeks. This skin condition shows up as a red, itchy, and sometimes bumpy rash on your rear end. It’s basically an adult diaper rash. Monkey butt usually happens when your sweaty skin rubs against clothing—we’ll do a deeper investigation into the causes later.
The first documented reference to monkey butt dates back to a 2003 Urban Dictionary entry, but the phrase could’ve originated long before then. It’s called monkey butt because the redness resembles a baboon’s giant red ass, which is impossible to ignore if you visit your local zoo. Fun fact: only female baboons have red butts, and it’s a sign they’re ready to get it on.
You won’t find “monkey butt” listed in any medical textbooks. That said, butt chafing is a legit medical condition, as documented by Cleveland Clinic and the United States Government. Monkey butt is common, temporary, and usually harmless. However, if you don’t get monkey butt under control, it can lead to more severe symptoms, including:
- Welts on the skin
- Cracked skin
- Blisters and sores
- Skin infections
What Causes Monkey Butt?
There are three factors that contribute to monkey butt:
- Irritating fabric
When your butt cheeks rub against each other or against clothes for a long time, it creates friction. Think of it like rubbing two sticks to start a fire. Add sweat into the mix, and you’ve got the perfect storm for monkey butt.
Since monkey butt usually strikes when there’s a combination of sweat and repeated rubbing, it’s a common issue for active people. Running, lifting weights, and biking all carry the risk of monkey butt. You can also get monkey butt from walking around on a hot day in not-so-comfy pants.
Monkey butt doesn’t discriminate, but it tends to be more common for big fellas and people who deal with excessive sweating (AKA hyperhidrosis).
3 Ways to Soothe Monkey Butt
You spent all day wearing jeans in 90-degree heat—now your ass looks as red as a baboon’s. Now what? Here are three tips for treating monkey butt fast.
1. Apply Aloe Vera and Petroleum Jelly
This one-two punch of aloe vera and petroleum jelly should soothe the burning sensation and repair the skin. It can take up to three days for monkey butt to fully disappear, but these two products can kickstart the recovery process.
2. Use Ice or a Cold Compress
Cool temps will reduce the swelling and minimize skin irritation from monkey butt. Just make sure you don’t apply ice to your skin for more than 10 minutes at a time. Also, be sure to pat the area dry when you’re finished.
3. Try Witch Hazel
We normally recommend witch hazel for hemorrhoids, but its potent anti-inflammatory compounds are a great remedy for chafing issues as well. Grab a bottle of witch hazel-infused lotion or make a compress with a washcloth.
2 Ways to Prevent Monkey Butt
The easiest solution here would be sitting in the air conditioning all day in your boxers, but we both know you’ve gotta get sh*t done. Let’s cover two basic strategies to keep monkey butt at bay, no matter what adventures you get into.
1. Apply Body Powder
Body powder is arguably the most underrated way to wick away moisture and minimize friction below the belt. All you have to do is dust your buns after you dry ‘em post-shower.
Old-school body powders are full of sketchy ingredients, so we went into the lab and made DUDE Body Powder. Our talc-free formula is made with corn starch, aloe, menthol, and chamomile—all designed to soothe sensitive skin and save you from monkey butt.
2. Wear Breathable Fabric
If you’re wearing cotton underwear to the gym or stiff jeans in the summer heat, allow us to enlighten you. Cotton soaks up moisture like a sponge, increasing your risk of chafing.
Opt for breathable fabrics like nylon, polyester, or spandex, especially if you’re working out or doing something active. These help keep your skin dry and minimize the risk of monkey butt.
Does Monkey Butt Require Medical Attention?
Monkey butt should clear up within 3-5 days, assuming you’re not hiking through the Amazon Rainforest or running marathons every day. But if your rash starts looking crusty, swollen, bloody, or infected, ditch the home remedies and call a dermatologist. Your doc can prescribe a corticosteroid cream to reduce inflammation and heal the skin.
In most cases, the path to recovery is simply staying away from the three factors that trigger monkey butt: moisture, movement, and irritating fabric.
Remember, the cheeks on your face aren’t the only cheeks that need TLC.