Millions of people are well-acquainted with the curse of adult acne. As if a zit on your forehead on date night wasn’t embarrassing enough, pimple problems don’t stop there. Unfortunately, one of the most common places for body acne to pop up is on your ass.
Butt acne (AKA “buttne”) is exactly what it sounds like: small red bumps or whitehead pimples scattered across your rear end. These annoying bumps may remind you of the type of acne that plagued your teen years, but it’s different—at least scientifically.
In this article, you’ll learn all about “buttne” including what causes it, how to treat it, and what you can do to prevent butt breakouts.
Butt Acne vs. Facial Acne: What’s the Difference?
Butt acne looks and feels the same as facial acne. However, these “pimples” are usually the result of a different skin condition called folliculitis. That’s a fancy word for inflamed hair follicles (the tiny holes where hairs grow from).
Folliculitis can come in a few different forms:
- Bacterial folliculitis caused by staphylococcus aureus, AKA staph bacteria
- Razor bumps, which are caused by ingrown hairs
- “Hot tub rash,” which refers to patches of itchy bumps that develop after exposure to warm, bacteria-laden water
Folliculitis is different from traditional acne breakouts, which happen when pores clog with a buildup of excess oil and dead skin cells. Another difference is that folliculitis can occur anywhere on your body, not just your face, chest, and shoulders. It’s common on the butt since that area is often trapped in a pool of sweat, bacteria, and friction (hello, swamp ass).
Butt pimples usually go away on their own, but they can become infected and leave dark spots (hyperpigmentation) if you pop or pick at them, so avoid the temptation.
How to Get Rid of Butt Acne
Now that you’re up to speed on ass acne, you’re probably wondering if the treatment options are different from a standard skin care routine. There’s some overlap, but there are some nuances to consider too. After all, your face is way more sensitive than your butt cheeks.
Try these tips to get rid of butt acne.
1. Bathe Regularly
We’ve gone on record saying you don’t have to (and probably shouldn’t) shower every day. That said, if you’re trying to conquer butt acne, you need to wash yourself regularly, especially after working out.
The longer dirt and sweat linger, the more likely bacteria is to infest your nether regions. So whether your boss cranked up the heat at the office or you just got back from the gym, toss your dirty duds in the laundry and hop in the shower.
2. Use Benzoyl Peroxide
At the very least, you should use an antibacterial soap to cleanse your skin. If you want to kick it up a notch, get some benzoyl peroxide body wash or face wash. This popular acne treatment kills bacteria and reduces inflammation to clear up your skin.
Benzoyl peroxide can dry out your skin, so we recommend only using this soap on your butt—not your whole body. You can also get benzoyl peroxide ointment or topical cream for spot treatment. Just dab a bit on the affected area.
Word to the wise: benzoyl peroxide bleaches fabrics, so don’t wear your fancy undies when you use this stuff.
3. Exfoliate Your Ass
Dead skin cells, dirt, and grime that accumulate on your cheeks can contribute to butt acne. Exfoliating removes that gunk from your skin and helps prevent buttne breakouts.
When you wander through the wellness aisle, look for an exfoliating cleanser that has lactic acid, glycolic acid, or salicylic acid. These ingredients break down the nasty stuff without wrecking your skin.
Speaking of which, don’t scrub too aggressively—you’re not trying to buff out a scratch on your car. This worsens the inflammation and prevents your butt acne from healing. Whether you use a loofah, a washcloth, or your hands, rub your buns gently.
4. Ditch Your Tight Clothes
Moisture plus friction is a perfect storm for butt acne. When fabric rubs against your buttocks, it traps sweat and bacteria and prevents the skin from breathing. This is especially problematic for sweaty workout clothes and bathing suits.
If you’re battling butt acne, swap your tighty whities for boxers and your skinny jeans for loose-fitting clothes. Your ass will thank you.
5. Be Careful Manscaping
A half-assed manscaping job can leave you with something way worse than a forest of hair: butt acne from ingrown hairs. If you’re on a mission to tame your butt hair, we salute you. Just be careful when you start hacking away back there.
Before you grab your clippers or razor (if you dare), read our ultimate guide to manscaping every body part. If you don’t trust yourself, you can always go to a professional for waxing to reduce the likelihood of any mishaps.
Be Nice to Your Butt
Butt acne usually goes away on its own, but if it persists for more than a few weeks, feels painful, or looks infected, contact a dermatologist so you can get to the bottom of the issue (pun totally intended).
Speaking of butt health, do your third pit a favor and ditch your sandy two-ply toilet paper for DUDE Wipes. They’re infused with aloe and Vitamin E to soothe your sensitive sides. You don’t need a dermatology degree to know fresh when you feel it.