So I've noticed quite a few people ending up on this blog because of an entry last year where I mentioned having a pannus rash.

(Some of the other search terms are hilarious: "exercise fuck" (the best kind of exercise!), "fucking sick of starter wife ads" (me too!), "fat people need to STOP eating" (really?), and my personal favorite, "warm from the elephant's ass" (umm.).)

Anyway, since I've had quite a few hits from that, I thought I'd write something useful on the subject. I know it's sort of an embarrassing thing to talk about; after all, if we weren't fat, we wouldn't have that flap of skin, and therefore wouldn't have a rash there. And since being a ZOMG FATTIE is all our fault in the eyes of society, therefore it's embarrassing to talk about a condition that results from it. Also, in my case at least, the rash sometimes oozes and smells bad. Double embarrassing as it's not that far away from the female bits. Also embarrassing when it happens under your breasts, although it can probably happen anywhere there are skin folds.

So: what to do about this unsightly rash? It can be caused by several different things:

  • heat rash
  • bacterial infection
  • fungal rash
Without seeing a doctor, you probably can't say for dead certain what it is. But if you're too embarrassed to see a doctor (which I understand!), you might try the following remedies that have worked for me. Keep in mind, I am not a doctor or at all an expert; these are just things I've tried, and your mileage may vary, so to speak.

Heat Rash

I think the times I had this rash because of heat/sweat were the worst--it stings, and burns, and feels like the skin is being rubbed raw. Sometimes it helped the immediate pain to hold an ice pack against the rash (or a bottle of peppermint schnapps I'd kept in the freezer, when I was desperate). One thing that just makes it worse: baby powder. That was the first thing I tried, thinking that it was chafing (from being a disgusting fatty, natch), and oh my god, the hell. I might as well have put sand under my gut.

Much better: calamine lotion. Although when it dries it can get sort of crumbly, it's very soothing and almost always seemed to cure the problem after a couple of days. One caveat: I wouldn't try applying it with cotton balls, cotton pads, or anything else papery--that will leave wisps of stuff behind that will be further irritating. My preferred mention of application was just to pour stuff onto my hand and apply it that way--no bits left behind.

At one point I also tried applying deodorant to the whole area to stave it off; I don't believe it worked very well.

Bacterial Infection

For a year or two, I had a recurring, super obnoxious rash. This was the kind that oozed puss and smelled bad and made me horribly embarrassed. I'd put calamine lotion on it, it'd go away, but then it would come back--usually after I had an itch and scratched my stomach (which allowed the bacteria into the skin). Sometimes this rash would spread to the tops of my thighs or up my stomach. I never saw a doctor about it, because I was too humiliated.

I didn't really get a handle on this until I was on a heavy dose of antibiotics after my sinus surgery. I'd been on antibiotics before without it helping; I think the only reason it helped then was because it was a really hefty dose. A topical antibiotic would probably have cured it, but I'd never tried it.

Again, don't try the baby powder thing. Yuck!

Fungal Infection

I thought that it might be a fungal rash, and so I tried a generic over the counter cream for it. It didn't help or hurt in my case, but it might for someone else. I don't have much input on this particular cause. This thread talks about some different cures. Things that make all of these worse are hot, moist conditions. Panty hose, especially, are terrible for it. Make that synthetic, non-breathable fabrics at all, actually. Ewww.


Since my post-surgery antibiotic overload, the rash has started to come back a couple of times, most notably when I woke up late after a double shift and didn't have time to shower before work (gross). Generally, to prevent it coming back, I do two things: make sure to wash under my stomach daily, and occasionally wear bikini underwear as opposed to briefs. Don't want to hear about my underwear choices? Too damn bad. :) I prefer "granny panties", but I'll wear bikini (or thong if I'm worried about panty lines) underwear because they go under my stomach, which wicks away moisture. The important thing to remember here is that it needs to be a breathable material, cotton for best results, or you'll make it worse. Keep the area drier and you'll have less issues.

My luck, now that I've shared all about my oozing rash and underwear preference, nobody will ever search for "pannus rash" and end up here again. :)

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1 Response
  1. Beck Says:

    you're right, I did end up here after googling Pannus rash. Thanks for your input.