Butt acne is a mild skin condition medically known as folliculitis. The name folliculitis is given to a group of skin conditions in which there are inflamed hair follicles.
Although facial acne and its variants are considered types of folliculitis, these two are not the same conditions.
The most prominent characteristics of folliculitis are a tender red spot, sometimes with a surface pustule and symptoms include mild to moderate itchiness.
This condition, although rarely serious, it has the potential to get infected and cause more issues in certain circumstances.
And since the treatment is not complicated and doesn’t demand any special care, it’s best to treat it before more serious inflammation happens.
Folliculitis may be superficial or deep. It can affect any area where there is hair growth, including the chest, back, buttocks, thighs, arms, and legs.
What Causes Acne On The Butt Cheeks?
Tight clothing may not only cause more sweating and friction which can potentially irritate the skin and trigger follicle inflammation, but it can also push the bacteria that’s already on your skin deeper into the pores.
You may wanna consider taking a break from skinny jeans, tight leggings, or running shorts, and replace them with looser and more breathable bottoms such as something made out of cotton.
A hot and humid climate
I start getting so many pimples on my butt, hips, and thighs, every year beginning the month of June all through the end of October when the summer heat finally starts to wind down on my hot and humid island, and I don’t sweat as much.
A hot and humid climate causes you to sweat and since the butt is where the skin is the thickest, this is where folliculitis is going to be most severe.
Sweat is also the main contributor to the overgrowth of the staph bacteria.
The Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that is already living on our skin without causing any issue until the pH of the skin is increased.
Sweat is naturally alkaline, which means it has the ability to increase the skin’s pH and when this happens, the staph bacteria starts to multiply, which only then starts to cause issues that can sometimes go deeper than just folliculitis and can result in painful boils.
Additionally, another bacterial infection that can lead to folliculitis and coincidentally runs rampant during summertime is the Pseudomonas aeruginosa or simply P. folliculitis which thrives in inadequately chlorinated warm water such as swimming pools, waterslides, whirlpools, hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms.
The most common yeast to cause folliculitis is Pityrosporum, also known as Malassezia or Malassezia folliculitis (Pityrosporum folliculitis).
This is an itchy acne-like condition that I already wrote about some time ago. You can check the full article here.
Treatment of this particular infection includes avoiding moisturizers, stopping any antibiotics, and topical antifungal or oral antifungal medication for several weeks.
Ingrown hairs often linked to shaving or bikini wax can contribute to a condition known as Pseudofolliculitis barbae.
This condition is more common in men who shave their beards, however, it can happen in any area that’s hairy and prone to ingrowns.
It is usually characterized by red or dark bumps that can be itchy but not necessarily always.
If you tend to get this particular condition due to shaving or waxing, you may wanna consider permanent hair removal with a laser or IPL.
6 Tips To Help You Get Rid Of Butt Acne
Besides wearing loose clothing and staying away from suspiciously maintained pools and hot tubs, here are a few other easy ways that will help you get rid of acne on the butt:
Shower after a workout
I already mentioned that sweat can increase your chances of follicular inflammation, however, stale sweat can also lead to fungal infections on the skin.
These are much harder to treat and usually take weeks of antifungal prescriptions to fully subside. Which is a pain in the neck, considering that all you have to do to prevent it is to shower after your workouts.
Avoid fabric softeners
Fabric softeners are often linked with allergic reactions and skin conditions such as contact dermatitis and eczema. Most of them are marketed as hypoallergenic these days, however, that doesn’t guarantee anything.
It could be a single ingredient that can cause your skin to react and if you compare a hypoallergenic version to standard fabric softeners – most of them contain the same ingredients.
However, if you are currently dealing with folliculitis, avoiding fabric softeners altogether may be a good option for you because the waxy particles from a softener stick to your clothes and may be causing inflammation on your skin.
Sit on a warm washcloth
Wet a washcloth with warm but not too hot water and gently place the damp cloth over the area on your butt that’s having a follicular outbreak.
Not only will this be incredibly soothing, but it will also help soften the bumpy area and prep the skin for further treatment.
Saltwater may help prevent the spread of the infection and although you should always have a backup plan, this may be a helpful option if you are on a holiday and don’t have anything else nearby.
Mix one teaspoon of table salt with two cups of warm water and apply the solution with a washcloth to the affected areas.
As helpful as this may potentially be for your bum, do not apply this mixture on your face or on sunburnt areas as it can cause irritations.
Exfoliate with gentle acids
You can use these exfoliating acids in the form of cleansers and wash the affected areas or you can also use them in leave-on products such as exfoliating solutions and creams.
On the other hand, avoid any type of physical exfoliation such as loofah, brushes, or abrasive scrubs as these are not helpful and can further damage the skin.
Avoid using heavy creams and moisturizers
Avoid using heavy creams, body oils, and moisturizers after showering as these can also contribute to clogging and more inflammation, essentially making the problem worse.
I would suggest you stop using them all over your body because I find them to be the main cause of back acne as well as pustular and painful pimples on my legs and lower back.
It’s best to give your skin a rest from clogging ingredients and see how the condition improves after several weeks.
Doing this alone will give you the best answer on what could’ve potentially caused or worsened the inflammation.
6 Great Products To Treat Butt Acne Quickly
Below, you will find six products that will help you treat butt acne. I will list two cleansers, two leave-on treatments, and two products that will help fade the scars left from butt acne.
I don’t recommend using all these products together, so I encourage you to make clever choices.
Getting rid of the condition may take some time and being patient pays off more than rushing in and risking skin irritations.
Additionally, once the condition has cleared from the suggested treatments, you should then start looking into treatments for the remaining scars.
Don’t try to treat everything at once as this can result in nothing but a disaster on the skin.
PanOxyl – Benzoyl Peroxide Wash – $17
This is a super strong cleanser intended for acne-prone skin. It contains a whopping 10% benzoyl peroxide which is an efficient antibacterial ingredient that helps improve moderate to severe acne.
I would not use this on the face in any circumstance because the percentage is too high.
Benzoyl peroxide has been proven efficient in as low as 2.5% concentration which is preferable because it minimizes the risk of irritation while still getting the job done.
However, the skin on the buttocks is thicker and can certainly take a higher percentage in a wash-off form but you should still use it no more than 2-3 times a week.
La Roche Posay – Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser – $15
This is another gel cleanser that you can use on your body to get rid of folliculitis. It contains salicylic acid which is a gentle exfoliating acid that cuts through the superficial skin oil and cleanses the pores from the inside out.
Although intended for acne-prone skin, I would not recommend this cleanser for facial acne because it contains menthol which is an ingredient that can not only dry out the skin but it can severely irritate it with frequent use.
You can use this cleanser on your body or just in the areas of follicular inflammation daily if you wish to, however, it’s best to use anything that contains exfoliating acids no more than a few times a week.
Paula’s Choice – Acne Body Spray – $25
This is an incredible body treatment that contains salicylic acid as well as other antioxidants that will nourish the skin and help soothe the redness around the affected area.
It also comes in a convenient spray bottle and it can be used on any body part where you have inflammatory and even cystic acne.
Avoid spraying this product directly onto your face because you may inhale its contents.
Paula’s Choice – Skin Revealing 10% AHA Body Lotion – $28
This is a lightweight exfoliating lotion that will help dissolve the bonds between the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and remove the superficial layers that are protecting the follicular plug.
It will smoothen and hydrate your skin while also minimizing bumpy areas, improving texture, and evening out the skin tone.
Avoid using this product paired up with other products on this list.
The Ordinary – Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution – $16
This will be a great and affordable option to treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which usually appears as dark spots once acne has healed.
It’s more prominent with darker skin tones.
Versed – Weekend Glow Brightening Solution – $18
This solution is a good option for both light skin and dark skin tones to clear butt acne scars.
It contains skin-lightening agents such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, kojic acid, and niacinamide to even out the skin tone and fade hyperpigmentation but it also contains azelaic acid which is an ingredient most famous for being able to improve post-inflammatory redness which is more prominent in light skin tones.
Butt Acne FAQs:
Here are a couple of frequently asked questions regarding butt acne:
How To Get Rid Of Butt Acne Scars?
Butt acne scars appear as dark spots or patches and while they usually fade on their own after some time, you can speed up the process and get rid of them by using exfoliating lotions and products that contain lightening agents such as niacinamide, hydroquinone, kojic acid, etc.
How To Prevent Butt Acne?
Wearing loose clothes, avoiding poorly maintained pools, blotting excess sweat, applying a warm compress to soften the skin, regular exfoliation with gentle acids, antibacterial agents such as benzoyl peroxide, and frequent showering are all efficient ways that will help you prevent butt acne.
My name is Simone and I am a certified skin specialist. I created this website to teach my readers how to take great care of their skin and I also like to occasionally share my honest opinions on skincare products I’ve tried. You can learn more about me here.
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