How to get rid of butt acne

As if face acne and bacne weren’t enough, now there’s buttne, too?! Getting into a bikini or showing more skin can be nerve wracking if you have pimples on your butt. But don’t fear – information and solutions are here. Find out what causes butt acne and how to get rid of butt acne, stat!

What is butt acne?

Butt acne can be classified as a body breakout, where hormones, genetics, clogged pores, tight clothes, friction, and even stress, can be culprits.

However, breakouts on your butt often aren't acne at all. Those bumps on your butt that look like acne can actually be inflamed hair follicles, an irritation and mild infection brought on by continuous rubbing. Those inflamed hair follicles are called folliculitis.

Acne mechanica is the term used when breakouts happen because the skin is squeezed, stretched, rubbed, or under pressure. It can result in inflammatory pimples like papules and pustules. But unlike the inflammatory acne vulgaris that’s often caused by hormonal changes, acne mechanica is caused by mechanical means.

Pimples on the butt also tend to occur when pores are blocked for too long (often by tight, sweaty clothes or sports equipment). But don’t stop working out or enjoying a hot day just yet —sweat itself doesn’t bring about butt acne, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. When sweat mixes with dead skin cells, bacteria, oil and dirt, that’s when acne can form.

What causes butt acne?

Here are a few more details about the main culprits of butt acne:

  • Hormones: When you’re going through puberty or a menstrual cycle, a higher level of androgens can make your hair follicles more sticky, which tends to clog pores. Though you can’t control your hormones, you can use products that help unclog your pores.
  • Staying in sweaty or dirty clothes: When you don’t rinse your skin after a good sweat, or if you stay in your sweaty clothes, dirt and dust are trapped and your sweat dries on your pores, contributing to acne formation. So take a quick shower after a sweaty activity or at least cleanse your body with a body wipe.

  • The same holds true for not-so-fresh underwear, so make sure to put a new pair on daily. Swimsuits are no exception either as the wetness and tightness are the perfect recipe for butt acne. So change into your dry, clean clothes as soon as you’re out of the ocean, lake, or pool!

  • Wearing super tight clothes: Tight leggings can contribute to the formation of butt acne as they can cause friction on your skin and trap oil and sweat, blocking hair follicles. If you’re suffering from butt acne, wear loose-fitting clothes when you can and choose fabrics that breathe or wick away moisture like cotton, rayon, or linen.
  • Using dirty sheets or towels: Feeling fresh after showering and changing into clean, dry clothes? The fight to get rid of butt acne doesn’t stop there. Your sheets and towels can trap oils from your skin and hair along with bacteria and dead skin cells. The solution? Don’t go too many days without washing your hair, change your sheets each week, and make sure to wash your linens with less irritating, fragrance-free detergent.
  • Sitting too long without getting up: Sitting for long periods is hard to avoid, especially when you’re in school or at work. But that pressure and friction from sitting on your butt can lead to folliculitis. Try to get up once in a while to go to the bathroom, stretch your muscles, or fill up your water bottle. Your butt will thank you.

What else should you avoid to help minimize and prevent butt acne?

Stop scrubbing your butt. Though it may make you feel like your butt will be smoother, harsh scrubbing can actually irritate your skin, make the inflammation worse, and can lead to hyperpigmentation and scarring.

Also, avoid waxing the hair on and around your butt as this can also inflame the hair follicles leading to butt acne. Try a new razor instead.

Products to help get rid of butt acne

The most important thing about preventing and treating butt acne is to keep your butt clean and let your skin breathe. But the right products and ingredients can help keep your hair follicles (AKA pores) clear and save your butt, big time.

Benzoyl peroxide:

can help keep bacteria at bay and remove the built-up gunk in your pores. Salicylic acid can help keep your pores free of excess oils and dead skin so they don’t get trapped in your follicles.

Proactiv Clear Zone Body Pads:

Developed for the face and body, these pads help keep pores clear of dirt, oil, sweat, and dead skin cells. The dual-textured pads contain glycolic acid for exfoliation, and you can use them throughout the day to help control oil.

Proactiv Acne Body Wash:

is another way to keep body breakouts, including butt acne, at bay. It contains salicylic acid and glycolic acid to reduce oiliness, unclog pores, and remove dead skin cells.

When to see a doctor or dermatologist

If your folliculitis continues to worsen, turns into a boil or spreads, you may want to see your doctor. If your outbreak is severe, a doctor or dermatologist should be consulted.

The bottom line

Now that you know what could be causing your butt acne, you can make a conscious effort to make some easy lifestyle changes that can keep your butt in the clear!