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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, that is. Butt acne (or any acne on your body, for that matter) is unsightly and uncomfortable though, and just because you can more easily hide it, doesn’t make it any less frustrating or embarrassing. And let’s be honest: Your tush will be seen on special occasions, and in those moments, a bump-free behind will be on your mind. So what causes pimples to flare up on your bottom’s cheeks? 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 (sometimes referred to as “buttne”) isn’t really acne, per se. Here’s why: 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.

 


But why do butt breakouts happen? I swear I clean my behind!

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

Since folliculitis can result from bacterial infections, start using a quality antibacterial body wash — preferably, one that contains benzoyl peroxide — and make sure to clean your cheeks thoroughly and regularly. Go a step further with a formula that also includes a gentle exfoliator, like salicylic acid or lactic acid, to help open up pores and banish dead skin buildup so that follicles remain happy. Don’t go overboard on how you buff your bum, however; though you may think that manually exfoliating with harsh scrubs or loofahs will smooth your rear end, 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 role in buttne, so be sure to change out of your sweat-soaked clothing post-workout and, if you can, take a shower right away. Even if you’re not hitting the gym, any sweat that builds up on your behind during the warmer months can be a no-no. Opt for more breathable clothes, day and night (even when you sleep!), to help thwart the sweat-buttne continuum.

Speaking of clothes: If you’re a slave to skinny jeans and yoga pants, you may want to loosen up — your bottoms, that is. Tight clothing often exacerbates the buttne problem; 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 bum 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 buttne?

If your tush flares up, don’t freak out — buttne 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. 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.

12 Comments
  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!

  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..

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