How To Get Rid Of Butt Acne, According To An Esthetician

By Simone Sydel··  8 min read
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You'll be in shorts just in time for summer!

All acne is annoying, but there is something particularly embarrassing about having a pimply butt when all you want to do is show off your new swimsuit at the beach.

And although butt acne can be a challenge if not treated properly, it's actually one of the easiest forms of acne to get rid of. All you need to do is know its triggers, avoid them, and use very few products to keep it at bay all year round and not just during the summer.

So with all that said, let's start with the most important thing you need to know about butt acne.

What Causes Acne on the Butt Cheeks?

Butt acne is an inflammatory condition medically known as folliculitis. This name is given to a group of skin conditions related to inflammation of the hair follicles.

Although facial acne and its variants are considered types of folliculitis, these two conditions are not the same.

The most recognizable symptoms of folliculitis – the butt variety – are tender red spots, sometimes with a surface white head, often followed by mild to moderate itchiness. And although this condition is rarely serious, it certainly has the potential to get infected and spread in larger areas. Since the treatment for folliculitis isn't complicated and doesn't demand any special care, it's best to treat it before more serious inflammation steps onto the scene.

But before we move on to the part of how to treat it, let's first understand what's causing folliculitis, as avoiding these things will definitely help. Here are some of the most common butt acne triggers:

Bacterial Infections

A bacterial infection is one of the most common reasons for folliculitis. The bacteria can enter the hair follicles in a number of ways: ingrown hairs, cuts, scratches, and even from pimples and acne on other parts of the body.

Sweat can make butt acne worse.

Additionally, sweat can exacerbate folliculitis, particularly by enabling the overgrowth of the staph bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus is a strain of bacteria that already resides on our skin without causing any issue until the skin's pH is increased. Sweat, being naturally alkaline, has the ability to increase the skin's pH, and when this happens, the staph bacteria starts to multiply, causing issues such as folliculitis and even boils.

Yeast Infections

The Candida albicans is a type of yeast responsible for causing a number of skin infections, one of which is folliculitis. This yeast thrives in moist and humid environments, which is why areas such as the groin, butt cheeks, and underarms are more commonly affected.

Although it's not always easy to determine whether an infection is caused by yeast or bacteria, a simple way to differentiate them would be how the condition responds to treatment. If the infection improves after taking an anti-fungal medication, then it's more likely that you're dealing with a yeast infection.

Tight Clothing

Wearing tight clothing, such as spandex and other types of synthetics, can cause butt acne by trapping sweat and bacteria against the skin, as well as friction that can lead to more inflammation. This creates a perfect environment for the overgrowth of bacteria and can lead to folliculitis.

These Products Could Be Exacerbating Your Butt Acne

Now that we've covered what some causes of folliculitis are, we can move on to learning how to prevent this pesky condition. Here are a few important things to avoid when trying to get rid of butt acne:

Perfumed Body Washes 

Heavily scented products can often cause skin irritation and worsen butt acne, so it's best to stick with unscented products or products specifically meant for treating acne-prone skin.

The best way to figure out whether your body wash is causing your butt acne is to stop using it for a couple of weeks and see if your condition improves.

Thick Lotions

Body care products such as lotions, butters, and oils are often thick and greasy and can also worsen butt acne. These products not only tend to trap sweat and bacteria against the skin, which can aggravate folliculitis, but they can also clog your pores and feed the bacteria, which helps it grow and cause skin issues.

Heavily scented products can often cause skin irritation and worsen butt acne.

It’s best to give your skin a rest from these products and see how your condition improves after several weeks. Just doing this will give you the best answer on what could’ve potentially caused or worsened the inflammation.

Fabric Softeners

Fabric softeners are often linked to allergic reactions and skin conditions such as contact dermatitis and eczema.

Most of them are marketed as hypoallergenic these days; however, this is mostly just a marketing claim and doesn't guarantee safety in any shape or form. If you compare a hypoallergenic version to standard fabric softeners that don't have this claim slapped on their packaging, most of them will contain the same ingredients.

If you’re currently dealing with butt acne, avoiding fabric softeners altogether may be a good option because the waxy particles from a softener stick to your clothes and could be causing inflammation on your skin.

The Best Ways To Treat Butt Acne

Now that we know some of the most common causes, as well as what to avoid when trying to get rid of this pesky condition, let's take a look at some of the best ways to get rid of butt acne:

Sit on a Warm Cloth

One of the easiest ways to soothe and treat butt acne is by sitting on a warm, wet cloth. This will help soften dry skin or sebum that has hardened and formed a plug inside the pores. You can make a warm cloth by soaking a washcloth in hot water, wringing it out, and placing it over your butt for a few minutes.

This is an exceptionally useful method before applying an antibacterial agent because it will help the treatment absorb better and give better results.

Shower Right After a Workout

Showering right after you work out will definitely improve your butt acne because staying in sweaty clothes is actually more harmful than you might think and can even lead to fungal infections on the skin. If you can't shower right after a workout, at least make sure to change out of your sweaty clothes as soon as possible.

Use Your Facial Cleanser

After removing a fragrant shower gel from your shower routine, you'd still need to use something to shower with. The best option for this is to use a facial cleanser because they’re specifically designed to cleanse the skin without causing any irritation. Just make sure that your facial cleanser doesn't contain any fragrance or drying alcohol, and you’ll be good to go.

Use a fragrance-free and alcohol-free facial cleanser to wash your whole body.

A great facial cleanser that you can also use for butt acne is the CeraVe Foaming Cleanser, as it comes in a large bottle that will last you a long time and carries an affordable price tag.

Exfoliate with Gentle Acids

Gentle exfoliating acids such as glycolic or salicylic acid can help smooth the bumpy texture caused by folliculitis while also unclogging the follicle and destroying the bacterial overgrowth.

Exfoliating acids are available in many formulations, and you can find them in cleansers, toners, and even lotions.

On the other hand, avoid any type of physical exfoliation such as loofahs, brushes, or abrasive scrubs, as these are not helpful and can further damage the skin by spreading bacteria around.

Product to Try: Paula's Choice Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution.

Use an Antibacterial Lotion

Antibacterial lotions that contain ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide can be incredibly efficient in minimizing butt acne. Benzoyl peroxide works by infusing the pore with oxygen, destroying the airless environment bacteria need to survive. Therefore, this antibacterial agent can significantly minimize bumps and soothe inflammation after only a few days of use.

However, a downside of using benzoyl peroxide is that, as a member of the peroxide family, it's notorious for staining, so you might want to wear underwear that you don't care much for or use a benzoyl peroxide cleanser rather than a leave-on product.

Product to Try: Acne.Org 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide Lotion.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, butt acne is a condition that can be treated relatively easily as long as you know what to avoid and what to use. By following the simple tips and tricks in this article, you will surely see a significant improvement in your butt acne very soon.

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