How to Get Rid of Pimples on the Butt

Woman wearing a bikini on the beach with sand on her butt

What is butt acne?

These annoying pimples on your buttocks may look (and feel) like pimples but they’re actually a bit different than standard acne, typically found on the face as well as other areas of the body. A better—more accurate—name for butt acne is, “folliculitis”, which is the medical term for inflammation around a hair follicle.

What causes folliculitis on the butt?

The causes and triggers of folliculitis are quite different than for regular acne typically experienced on the face, which is typically related to genetic predisposition and hormonal imbalance. The main cause of acne on the body—more specifically, pimples on the butt, i.e. folliculitis—is chronic friction on the skin. Often this can be the result of wearing tight, and/or sweaty clothing. Individual folliculitis “pimples” are typically small, reddish bumps, which are frequently itchy or even painful. In more severe cases, folliculitis can develop into larger. cyst-like bumps.

What is the best way to prevent acne on the buttocks?

Woman wearing jeans, which can cause butt acne (i.e. folliculitis) by causing friction on the skin

The best way to avoid any type of acne is start with preventative measures. One of the most effective ways to prevent butt acne is to avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing. Yes, it’s sad but true...the sacrifices we make for clear skin! One of the worst offenders of folliculitis is jeans due to the coarse, tight-fitting fabric rubbing against your skin throughout the day. Sweaty exercise clothes can also cause folliculitis pimples to pop up on your behind. Make sure your clothes are fresh and clean and make sure you change out of sweaty sports clothes ASAP.

What’s the best way to cleanse acne on your buttocks?

One of the best ways to treat butt acne is by washing with a medicated body cleanser that contains salicylic acid (2% preferred). Regular use of this kind of cleanser will help unclog your skin’s pores and effectively remove dirt and sweat without over-drying your skin. Try not to scrub or use exfoliating tools or products on your butt acne as these can actually make your butt acne worse and ultimately lead to more scars and dark spots (i.e. hyperpigmentation). As some of the cases of butt folliculitis are caused by a fungus (pityrosporum) it’s a good idea to wash your buttocks 2-3 a week with an anti-dandruff shampoo such as Selsun Blue or Nizoral.

What is the best treatment for acne on the buttocks?

Australian tea tree oil, which can help combat butt acne (i.e. folliculitis) when combined with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

In order to improve your butt acne (folliculitis) faster, it’s also a good idea to add a medical-grade acne treatment cream to your routine that includes either benzoyl peroxide (5%) or a salicylic acid (2%). Look for something that combines both medical grade ingredients and natural boosters to help improve efficacy, soothe the skin, and reduce irritation. For example, Australian tea tree oil is great for treating folliculitis because it helps fight both bacteria and fungal infections. The combination of powerful anti-acne medications and these natural boosters is much more effective than the individual ingredients alone.

What are the best natural remedies for butt acne?

Home remedies seem appealing, but unfortunately, these are usually less effective than medical grade acne medications. Having said that the combination of pharmaceutical grade ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide could be very beneficial for the treatment of bumps or butt and other areas on the body.

When you are looking for body treatment cream with natural plant-based ingredients look for creams that include Tea tree oil (potent antimicrobial and antifungal), Green tea extract (helps lighten pigmentation and boosts skin's natural healing), Cucumber extract (enhances the natural protection layer and decreases sebum production) and Licorice extract that help prevent and fade after acne brown spots.

What’s the best way to get rid of dark spots (hyperpigmentation) on the butt?

As with all forms of acne, the best way to prevent dark, post-acne spots (hyperpigmentation) and acne scars is to prevent any future breakouts. However, once your folliculitis is under control using the tips above (hooray!), you can use a topical dark spot corrector, preferably one containing hydroquinone (2%) to help fade the dark spots over time. Learn more about hydroquinone and how helps fade hyperpigmentation and dark spots here.

Best tips for people with Butt acne

Shower and change to clean cloth after immediate sports. Wet, sweaty clothes combined with the dead skin cells, form a compact plug that will clog your skin pores and make your body acne and butt acne worse if you can change your clothes and underwear) as soon as you possibly can after you work out.

Do not sit too much!

Rubbing your butt skin against the sit, mixed with some sweat and heat is one of the leading causes of acne on your buttocks. If you can spend more time standing and walking around.

Never wear your underwear past their prime

Same as your sweaty sports clothing. Accumulating dirt, sweat, and oil, rubbing on your skin is a greater promoter of butt acne.

Avoid tight-fitting pants

Tight-fitting clothes rub on your skin and trap sweat and oil against your skin. All combined it can clog your skin pores and cause inflammation around your hair follicle = body acne.

Never use loofa or harsh scrubbing spas on your skin.

These rough methods of cleansing can make your body and butt acne worse. They will damage the protective layer of your skin and frequently cause acne to be worse.

Wash your skin with a mild medicated salicylic acid cleanser

Cleanser with salicylic acid 2% is the best cleanser for butt acne. The salicylic acid in these cleansers will remove excess oil from your skin, unclog your skin pores and reduce the redness associated with acne without over-irritating the skin.

Use micronized Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide creams (not gels or lotions ) are the best topical agents for the treatment of body and butt acne. Benzoyl peroxide is effective in treating both true acne and folliculitis because it has antimicrobial (a.k.a. bacteria-fighting) properties to help disinfect the area. Beware that benzoyl peroxide can bleach colored fabrics, so be sure to rinse thoroughly and use white towels!).

Always Moisturizer

One of the underrated secretes ineffective acne treatment is the need to moisturize. The right oil-free moisturizer your acne pimples heal faster without clogging your skin pores. The best moisturizers for acne prone skin, as well as body and butt acne, will include plant-based ingredients that will help reduce redness and help fade post-acne dark spots.

Questions about butt acne? Download the MDacne app and ask a dermatologist on our team!

Image callout

Start your journey
to clear skin

  • Custom acne treatment cream, cleanser and moisturizer
  • Unlimited Dermatologist support
  • Ongoing skin monitoring