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Buttne Begone! Addressing Those Breakouts on Your Behind

Posted on: February 3rd, 2023 by Kristen Chang

Blemishes on your butt? That can be just as awkward as blemishes on your face. However, butt acne—or buttne—is very different from facial acne. For starters, it’s likely not really acne.

What’s Up With Buttne?

While there are many conditions that could cause bumps on your bum, two are the leading suspects: keratosis pilaris and folliculitis. Keratosis pilaris is bumpy skin, typically associated with eczema and can have a genetic component. Here, we’ll focus on folliculitis, which is more common. Folliculitis affects the hair follicles—not the skin pores, which is the case with face acne.

Folliculitis is the medical term for what’s essentially blocked, inflamed or infected hair follicles. Most often, butt acne (and butt pimples) are caused by the accumulation of sweat, oil, and dead skin cells in the hair follicle. Pressure from sitting for extended periods of time, especially in tight, non-breathable clothing, can contribute to folliculitis on your derriere.

How to Banish Butt Breakouts

Use Antibacterial Soap

A vital step to help prevent and heal butt pimples is to use an antibacterial, antimicrobial soap to cleanse your butt cheeks. A cleansing product formulated for acne may be helpful. Gently wash the area both in the morning and evening, as well as after a workout. Because showering more than once a day may be overly drying to other areas of your skin, a bidet can come in handy here. You can also stand on a bathmat in front of your bathroom sink and use warm water and antibacterial soap.


Although simply washing is a type of exfoliation, you may want to take it up a notch by using a wash cloth or soft nylon scrub brush. This extra exfoliation can help get rid of dead skin cells and dirt that could contribute to clogged follicles and infection without overdoing it. Scarred and pimpled skin is skin that is suffering and needs a gentle touch. You want to avoid abrasions and further aggravating the condition with overly aggressive exfoliants.

Switch to Looser Clothes

It may be time to say goodbye to tight leggings made from synthetic fibers, like spandex. The tight fabric can be suffocating to your skin, not allowing your pores to breathe nor perspiration to evaporate. This creates a backup that can erupt into a pimple (or multiple pimples). Embrace the baggy pants trend and ditch the skinny jeans. Try loose-fitting yoga pants for exercising. Choose natural cotton or a cotton blend. Bamboo fiber and linen are also breathable options. That goes for underwear too.

Laundry Care

There’s a chance that laundry care products such as detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets may contain ingredients acting as additional irritants to your delicate derriere skin. Try an unscented, minimal ingredient detergent, and skip the fabric softener. You could also substitute natural wool or plastic dryer balls for dryer sheets.

OTC and Prescription Medication

If none of the above seems to help or you’re in a hurry to clear the way for a bikini bottom, it may be best to schedule a consultation with a California Skin Institute board-certified dermatologist. They may recommend an OTC topical product containing well-known blemish fighters like benzyl peroxide or salicylic acid, or they might decide that a stronger prescription medication is needed. The options include oral antibiotics, topical retinoids and/or prescription strength glycolic and salicylic acids.

How to Heal Pimple Scars on Your Buttocks

Just like facial acne, butt acne can also leave behind scars.

Clinical treatments like dermabrasion, chemical peels and lasers can help to reduce red or brown pigmentation marks left behind by buttne blemishes.

During these procedures, our skin experts will work over the problem areas that result in a blotchy, uneven skin tone on your buttocks. These procedures can help remove damaged skin cells and reveal fresh, clear skin.

Learn more about California Skin Institute’s comprehensive in-office scar treatment options.

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