Acne on the butt (buttocks) is not true acne like the ones you get on your face, chest, or back. In general, acne is defined as plugged pores, pimples, and cysts that occur on the face, neck, shoulders, upper arms, and upper back or chest.
Butt acne is real, and it is an ugly sight. Besides how it looks though, breakouts that occur on unlikely parts of the body can be especially distressing because we have no idea how and why they got there.
Technically called “folliculitis,” acne on the butt isn’t quite the same as the flare-ups that happen on your face. It’s often due to clogged hair follicles rather than clogged pores and can occur from a combination of blockage, friction, sweat, and bacteria.
Causes of Acne on the Butt
Sometimes referred to as “butt-ne,” an outbreak of pimples or acne on the butt is usually caused by one of two fairly common problems:
Acne on the butt is caused by inflammation of hair follicles, which is called folliculitis. Folliculitis can be caused by an infection from bacteria, yeast, or fungus, irritation of hair follicles, or blockage of hair follicles.
It tends to be on the skin surface and appears to be shallow with little bumps. It is more likely to be itchy or irritating than painful.
A cluster of boils, that feel more like painful knots of pus under the skin. Something like an acne cyst, they can occur when folliculitis gets out of control and starts to become a deeper infection.
What you eat might also be responsible for acne on the butt, as it has been reported that some women tend to notice flare-ups after eating bread, pasta, pizzas, chocolates, eggs, cheese and various other foods.
Constipation is another reason why flare-ups on the buttocks might increase. So, it pays to include a diet rich in fruits and veggies, and you can sometimes opt for an enema or salt water flush to cleanse the gut, which is a great way of detoxification to reduce acne on the butt. Take some vitamin C supplements as well, which is an antioxidant known to benefit the skin.
Having acne does not affect your risk of having either folliculitis or carbuncles, because, even severe acne on your face and torso does not mean you are more likely to have folliculitis or carbuncles on your buttocks. However, both carbuncles and folliculitis can lead to scarring on the skin if not handled right.
Identifying Acne on the Butt
Acne on the butt normally resembles facial acne which might be present in the form of clusters or a single pimple in the region. It might be rather difficult to see how the acne looks (but you could try and examine yourself in a mirror) given its position on the body, in order to ensure if what’s bothering you is indeed acne, dermatitis or a boil.
The main difference between boil and acne is that the acne is usually smaller and may or may not be accompanied by pain, whereas, the boil is typically warm to touch, pus-filled and rather painful.
Boils can also appear standalone or you could get a cluster of them. Pimples or acne on the butt could grow in size but they may or may not be pus-filled, and could rupture after a while.
Treatment Options for Pimples on the Buttocks
If you occasionally suffer from acne on the butt, you might want to first try out these home remedies for treating and preventing it. The home remedies for acne on butt treatment and prevention include:
- Regular exfoliation which could be done while bathing. Simply ensure exfoliating the buttock region to remove blackheads and sebum that is the main reason behind the acne. This practice might not take care of existing bumps, but it will certainly help reduce potential breakouts.
- Bathe with special acne soap which typically contains Zinc and salicylic acid and can effectively destroy bacterium causing acne on the butt. Some people have also seen great results in treating body acne using Head & Shoulders shampoo for dandruff.
- Soak up the excess oil with baby powder for those with oily skin. Keep the area clean and dry by dusting some baby powder after bathing.
- Apply acne spot treatment since some of the creams and lotions that you apply to the facial acne could effectively reduce and treat acne on the butt. These products include preparations containing retinol, Benzoyl Peroxide, clindamycin or Erythromycin etc.
- Change your underwear since certain types of underwear such as those made from nylon could be the main reason why you are getting acne in this region. Try instead, to wear comfortable cotton underwear as far as possible and also change and wash it regularly.
Most of the time, folliculitis eruptions go away on their own, however, when that doesn’t happen, a dermatologist can prescribe a combination of products to clear up your skin.
Acne on the butt can be treated with a topical antibiotic cream or an antibacterial wash such as one that contains benzoyl peroxide.
On the other hand, because carbuncles go deeper, treatment is more intensive. You may be given an oral antibiotic to fight the infection from inside, and your healthcare provider may also need to lance, or pierce, the boil to drain the accumulated pus in a safe, sterile setting.
The area will then be covered with a clean bandage to prevent infection. Never try to drain a carbuncle yourself as that is risky and can lead to more dangerous infections.