Hey guys, Sandra Lee, M.D. (aka Dr. Pimple Popper), here!

I see you’ve found The Pretty Pimple — I hope you’re enjoying the articles and learning something new! I’ve heard your requests for effective, acne-fighting products, and that’s why I’m so excited to introduce SLMD Skincare to you guys. This line exists to provide solutions for the skincare concerns you popaholics have always asked me about. These products bring together the most effective, blemish-banishing ingredients, so you can treat your skin with clinical confidence.

xo, Sandra

Shop SLMD Skincare

The Cheeky Facts About Butt Acne

Unlike your face, which is on full display 365 days a year, your butt gets to go into hiding — until it’s time to wear a bathing suit..

Butt acne (or any acne on your body, for that matter) is uncomfortable. Just because you can more easily hide it, doesn’t make it any less frustrating or embarrassing. So what causes pimples to flare up down there? Surprisingly, butt acne is more common than you’d think, but the reasons it happens aren’t what you think.

Is butt acne like facial acne?

The short answer: No.

To begin with, butt acne isn’t really acne, per se. While facial acne forms due to blocked pores, the zits that take up residence on your behind develop because of folliculitis, which typically results from irritation or blockage of hair follicles, staph bacteria, fungus, or yeast infecting your hair follicles. These pesky red bumps typically occur on the skin’s surface, and can be rather itchy. Now, here’s where it gets a little dicey: If left untreated, an infected hair follicle can swell to a large, painful, puss-filled carbuncle (boil) — and since that boil’s on your behind, it can be a literal pain in the you-know-what.

Why do butt breakouts happen?

In a nutshell, butt acne results from a multitude of factors — namely, bad hygiene, sweat, and tight-fitting clothes. The good news? These are all easily preventable causes!

Start using a medicated body wash that will efficiently unclog your pores and keep your skin free from acne-causing bacteria. Stick to a gentle body wash with salicylic acid, rather than going overboard using harsh scrubs and loofahs. You may think over-scrubbing will smooth your backside, but this can actually exacerbate the problem, increasing irritation and inflammation that could lead to hyperpigmentation (those pesky dark spots) and scarring.

Not surprisingly, sweat can play a large role in butt acne, so be sure to change out of your sweat-soaked clothing post-workout and if you can, take a shower right away. If you aren’t able to shower right away, have a medicated body spray on hand to treat your skin before you’re able to shower. Even if you’re not hitting the gym, any sweat that builds up on your behind during the warmer months can impact your skin. Opt for more breathable clothes, day and night, to keep breakouts at bay.

Tight clothing often exacerbates the butt acne problem (ie. skinny jeans and yoga pants); the tighter the clothing, the more it can push the bacteria that resides on top of your skin into any pores or breaks in the skin. Then, voila!, folliculitis. Even your underwear (think: skin-tight thongs) can be the culprit. Choose breathable cotton undies if bumps begin to appear.

Last, but not least: Waxing your behind can lead to folliculitis as well, so upon the first sight of bumps, take a break from hair removal until you’re all cleared up.

So, how do I treat butt acne?

If your tush flares up, don’t freak out — butt acne is very treatable. In the event you’re suffering from folliculitis, know that these small bumps tend to disappear on their own. But be forewarned: Picking at them will only lead to long-term hyperpigmentation and potential scarring that will likely see the light of day on your next water adventure.

Finding products that specifically treat body acne is the first place to start. They’re typically formulated with a higher level of active ingredients, which the skin on your body is more equipped to handle. Keep an eye out for products with ingredients such as salicylic acid.

If these eruptions don’t clear up, visit your dermatologist to see what topical or oral treatments she can prescribe to help clear up the problem.

Carbuncles, those bigger boils, on the other hand, tend to stick around — and they can be extremely painful to sit on. If the boils don’t budge, visit your dermatologist; she might prescribe an oral antibiotic to fight the infection. And don’t even think about popping a carbuncle on your own; it’s unsanitary and can lead to further damage. Instead, your dermatologist can safely drain the boil in a sterile setting — and then send you, and your beautiful bum, on your way.

  1. I get some bumps on the inside of my panty line are. There’s a ton of them. When they flare up man it’s so painful. I don’t know if there’s a name for this. I just need help.

    1. Hi Dawn! Don’t be embarrassed, these things happen to everyone! Do the bumps appear after you shave? Or just on the area where your underwear is rubbing? It could be that your underwear is irritating the skin, but it could also be a razor burn issue, or something else altogether. Do you have a gynecologist you trust? You should have her look at them, I bet she can help!

      1. Hi. Sorry it took so long to respond I just saw you answered my question. No I can’t shave down there because I bleed so much from the bumps. As far as underware alot of the times I don’t wear them. The bumps are like boils. The sweel up and a ton of puss comes out. And I don’t have a OBGYN DR.

  2. Great article! Finally someone talking about it !
    Will definitely try wash with benzoyl peroxide.

    I found using exfoliating gloves pretty harshly and wearing soft/loose underwear really helps.
    I usually get the spots on the elastic lines where it goes under the cheeks – after veeting hair removal cream.

    and if I do get the large boils… best way I found was scrub and squeeze until you make sure they are bled all out.

  3. Great article I’m wondering if I would need to see a dermatologist or a gynecologist due to every month before my cycle I get this same boil that pops up . it’s painful but it goes away after a few days

  4. I’ve had this for the longest and I’ve tried everything and I mean several oral antibiotics steroid antibiotics cream etc and it’s not going away. Do you recommend laser?

  5. I’ve had this problem since I was 7yrs old. I am now 46 and still it continues. I have been to a dermatologist, and say there’s nothing that I can really do. I am very hygienic, keep it dry as much as possible. Anything you can recommend will be greatly appreciated.

  6. Sugar scrubs really help! Natural glycolic in sugar scrubs helps alleviate ingrown hairs and butt acne. Don’t use salt scrubs. They strip moisture

  7. Yeah buttne are really awful and unwanted bumps and getting rid of em is pretty diffuclt as compared to face pimple or other parts of body, but there are a lot of home remdies which can heal acne like lemon juice, baking soda everyone must try these remedies as well.
    By the way you have written awesome content and you have awered us with buttne information.. Thanks keep it up..

  8. At my age I should be pimples free! I have gone to the dermatologist and there response is that they can’t do nothing about. My daughter suffer from the same problem. We don’t wear tight clothing . So we don’t have no more options!!

  9. My cheeks have are so bad. I cant be naked during sex with the lights on. I can’t let my partner rub me or touch me. Its so emabarrasing. I see now my 13 year old some has the same issue on his body so much it has moved to his thighs and up his back. Please help

  10. I’ve been having this problem for so many years. I really hate soooo much and don’t know what to do to get rid of them. I’m just fed up for real. They are all over on both cheeks and sometimes become painful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.