Booty beauty! Is that even a thing? Absolutely! But not everyone's bum is a perfectly round peach — most of us have cellulite, scarring, and even a little thing called butt acne, also known as buttne, which guess what? Is totally normal! While it may sound embarrassing to address, just know that it's completely normal and you're far from alone when it comes to acne on the butt. But you also want to take good care of yourself and find out what these bum bumps really are. So let’s dive right in!
What is Butt Acne?
Butt Acne looks like tiny red bumps and are caused due to inflammation of the hair follicles aka Folliculitis. Yeast, fungus, bacteria, and itchiness are the main culprits here. Although they’re not the only ones responsible for butt acne, poor hygiene and diet are to be blamed as well. Just like the skin on your face, hands and legs get dry, so does your tush. Dryness leads to flakiness and flakiness leads to itchiness which leads to bumps. Thankfully, butt acne is relatively simple to treat once you actually know what you're dealing with. Acne can be treated on the buttock area, similarly to how you treat other areas of the body such as the face or trunk area. In fact, you can probably be a little more aggressive, use higher-strength anti-acne products, since dryness, redness, and irritation from acne medications is usually more tolerable in that area. Also, the skin is ‘tougher’ in this area and can tolerate higher-strength products. But what causes Butt Acne anyway?
Is Butt Acne like Facial Acne?
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, pus-filled boil, and it can be a literal pain in the ass.
What causes Butt Acne, anyway?
Just like facial acne, the main causes of body acne are genetics and hormones. Hormones are responsible for the development of our sebaceous glands, and when there’s an imbalance (such as during puberty or your period), this triggers the production of sebum in the sebaceous glands. This overproduction of sebum is one of the symptoms that can lead to acne. Oil glands on the buttocks can be influenced by fluctuating hormones just like our faces.
Spots on your buttocks are quite common, and usually caused by a skin condition known as folliculitis which occurs due to irritation, infection or blockage of the hair follicles. It can look like a bumpy rash and occur equally in men and women. The rash or bumps can actually happen anywhere where there are lots of hair follicles - not just your bum. Apparently it occurs equally in men and women, and it’s not just limited to your butt, either. Anywhere with hair follicles is at risk of developing folliculitis — it’s just more embarrassing to discuss when it’s on your butt. Folliculitis or ingrown hairs caused by shaving using an old razor blade can also be a reason. Bumps from razor irritation or waxing are common.
3. Tight Clothes
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. Go with more breathable undergarments if bumps begin to appear.
4. Not showering right after hitting the gym
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. The sweat and its reaction with your skin can create a breeding ground for this!
5. Sitting too much
Folliculitis is often caused by friction or irritation. And too much booty-to-chair time can make things worse, thanks to the pressure from sitting. If your job requires a lot of sitting, make an effort to stand up more frequently.
6. Poor Hygiene
Poor cleansing habits after a long day at work or sweaty gym session increase chances of butt acne. As tempting as it might be to just lay around after a tiring day, waiting too long before showering may allow sweat and dust to settle in your pores. Shower once or twice a day too to avoid this!
You’ve likely experienced firsthand the many ways stress can manifest. One of those ways is through acne. We know that stress promotes oil production and inflammation in the skin. One of the hormones stress elevates is cortisol. Oil glands in the skin have receptors that increase levels of cortisol, resulting in excess sebum.
Click here to know how stress affects your skin health.
Whether you have a sweet tooth or a tendency toward foods with a high glycemic index, your diet may be the culprit behind your bumpy bottom. Sugary foods and dairy have been associated with worsening acne. They increase levels of a hormone called IG-1 which triggers oil gland activity.
What are the different ways to deal with Buttne?
1. Benzoyl Peroxide to the rescue
One of the best alternates you can try is an antiseptic wash. Something like a Benzoyl Peroxide wash will allow you to remove the dead cells and bacteria from your butt, ensuring that further acne doesn’t pop up on your butt. One thing to consider is that this kind of antiseptic wash will bleach fabrics, so be sure to get it entirely off of your skin before using something like a towel to dry off. On the other hand, you can use an old rag or towel that you don’t really care about to rub it off of your skin.
2. Unclog Pores with Salicylic Acid
If you have big boils down there, exfoliating will only make it worse. Instead of harsh cleansers, use body washes with Salicylic Acids, which will help to get rid of dead skin. It will also help to soothe skin and calm down the inflammation. This will help prevent your posterior pores from clogging and becoming inflamed.
3. Hop in the shower right after working out
If you're a gym person, get out of gym clothes immediately after exercising. Have a shower to cleanse and clean the skin and wash your gym gear after every use. Clean the area from time to time and use the right products for your butt. Your booty tends to get dirty easily and your butt crack is the perfect breeding ground for germs that can lead to buttne or butt acne.
4. Smooth and Brighten the Skin with AHA
It’s also important to exfoliate the area with products containing Salicylic acid, Alpha Hydroxy acids (AHA), or Beta hydroxy acids (BHA) to remove dead skin cells and oils so that they don’t get trapped in your hair follicles and pores of your skin.
The Aminu Zen Mood AHA Body Wash is packed with an intelligent blend of AHA exfoliants, unique botanicals, activated charcoal & plant-powered cleanser, this light-weight gel formula effectively removes excess oil and surface impurities, improves natural cell turnover while hydrating the skin & brightening the complexion.
5. Go the Tea Tree Route
Tea Tree Oil is known for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities, which aid in soothing irritation, redness and swelling. One of the best natural methods you can use to treat acne scars on your buttocks is tea tree oil. This oil has several properties that help you resist the formation of acne scars on your butt, especially since it disinfects the surface of your skin, ensuring that dirt and bacteria don’t end up in your pores. It helps to control oil production and acne and is an effective way to keep the skin clean and clear while preventing future outbreaks. The Faith in Nature Tea Tree Body Wash thoroughly invigorates and cleanses, while leaving the skin smelling fresh and feeling great.
6. Opt for lightweight ingredients in your skincare
Overly rich products can clog pores, so steer clear of anything too thick. Step away from Lanolin, Coconut Butter, Coconut Oil and Cocoa Butter. Be careful about all butter-based or butter-looking body creams. Occlusive products like this can significantly worsen buttock folliculitis.
7. Don’t squeeze
First things first - don't squeeze. Squeezing the spots is not advisable as it can increase inflammation and make the condition much worse.
8. Get a Chemical Peel
Chemical peels have become one of the most popular treatments for a variety of skin issues including acne, scars, and hyperpigmentation. If you are currently struggling with “buttne” or butt acne and seeking a permanent solution, chemical peels might be the perfect solution for you. Another great reason to choose chemical peels to treat your butt acne is, it will enhance the collagen production in your skin. Forget about a saggy, loose butt that comes with aging; chemical peel treatments will stimulate collagen production so much so that your butt will look visibly younger and supple.
The Skin Pot Hyper- Repair Exfoliation Peel is formulated with plant acid and enzymes that go deep within the skin to remove dead cells and bring forth a fresh layer of skin. This weekly ritual results in the deep cleansing of pores, diminished pigmentation and skin that is smooth and radiant.
9. Overhaul your diet
A healthy diet is very important for a healthy butt area or overall skincare for that matter. Avoid greasy, junk food and go for food that is good for your gut.
10. Pick the right kind of underwear
The kind of underwear that you wear can also influence the development of butt acne that may eventually turn into scars. Cotton underwear tends to be the best choice because it is naturally breathable. Non-breathable fabrics create the perfect environment for the formation of butt acne.
11. Change your undies frequently
Your underwear can cause a lot of friction which can lead to such acne. Look for fabrics that are breathable and comfortable on the skin. Non-breathable material holds moisturiser which can irritate the hair follicles.
12. Trying a Salt water treatment
Salt water may help sterilise the area and treat minor infections. Having a warm salt water bath is an excellent way to relieve, soothe, and clear the skin naturally Or mix some salt in hot water, dip a washcloth into it, and cover it over the area of outbreak. This will help soothe the area, open the pores, and drain away the pus. Wash well after using a warm compress.
The Shankara Purifying Sea Salt Scrub detoxifies and stimulates the skin by gently exfoliating, removing dead skin cells and impurities making the skin extremely soft and nourished.
Butt Breakouts: How to get rid of acne on buttocks naturally?
Many people seek natural treatment in order to reduce the appearance of bumps and pimples on the buttocks. Though the above treatments tend to reduce the appearance of butt acne more quickly, there are several natural treatments one might try:
a) Tea tree oil can help due to its antimicrobial properties. One of the most ancient and versatile oils, you can use the Clay Pure Tea Tree Oil in so many ways! Its healing benefits have been catching on like wildfire. Keep this one handy and Tea Tree will change your life!
b) Turmeric paste can fight against staph on the body
c) An apple cider vinegar bath contains acetic acid which may fight folliculitis causing bacteria
d) Switching to a non-scented, lightweight moisturizer
e) Applying a warm compress to open and clear out follicles–just make sure you clean the area after use!
f) A saltwater sitz bath can help to soothe and sterilize the irritated area, as well as treat minor infections
When to consult a dermatologist?
As you can see, body acne can have a multitude of culprits, but it is treatable. If these bumps don’t clear up after trying the ingredients we recommended, it's always a smart move to consult with your dermatologist to see if they have any other recommendations or prescriptions for you.