What Are the Main Causes of Butt Acne

There are few things worse than getting ready for bathing suit season and finding acne on your booty. Short of wearing a suit that includes a built-in skirt that can hide your blemishes from the world, you need to find a solution – and fast, because your beach trip is quickly approaching.

We’ve all been there, so luckily, you’re not alone. Of course, knowing what causes butt acne is the best way to determine the best treatment. And we’re here to help! Here's what you need to know about butt acne to keep your booty smooth and radiant, just like you.

What is Butt Acne? 

Also referred to as buttne, butt acne really does exist. It's not just a myth. It appears in the form of red bumps, whiteheads, and even bumps across the rear. Buttne can look unsightly, but thankfully, you have some options when it comes to getting rid of it. It all comes down to understanding its cause.

So, let’s dive into the main causes of your buttne, so you can nip it in “butt.”

Clogged Pores – Like Normal Acne 

If you have acne on your face, SURPRISE! You may have clogged pores elsewhere on your body as well. You might find acne all over your body, from your back and shoulders to, yes, your butt. The culprit? Clogged pores. When the skin sheds itself, parts of that outer layer end up sticking around, clogging up your pores. The outer layer of your skin is so fine that you never notice this process occurring—until, of course, those of us acne-prone skin start seeing those little red bumps appear.

Clogged pores can lead to acne, whether they’re closed with skin, oil, dirt, or various other culprits. Before you know it, you'll have small whiteheads, blackheads, and standard zits on your butt. It sucks, but the good news is that it’s preventable.

Even those who clean themselves very well and exfoliate can end up with buttne, but don’t worry! We can help you steer clear of blemishes on your rear.

Keratosis Pilaris 

Although keratosis pilaris isn't exactly acne, you could have fooled us. This genetic condition causes small red bumps across the surface of the skin, as well as dry patches that feel rough to the touch. You may have keratosis pilaris if you have a series of those red bumps that look like itty bitty pimples, minus the whiteheads and blackheads that are actually indicative of acne.

What causes keratosis pilaris? The skin contains a protein called keratin. This keratin plays an important role in protecting the skin's surface. The problem is that in some people, keratin gets overproduced, causing tiny plugs of the protein on the surface of the skin. These plugs can become red and inflamed, and they resemble acne. If you have them on your butt, well, they become just another form of buttne.

Keratosis pilaris can occur elsewhere on the body as well in places like the shoulders, arms, and thighs. Those who have it on their butt will usually find it in these additional locations as well.


Folliculitis is another common cause of buttne. And like keratosis pilaris, folliculitis isn't technically acne. Instead, it's a skin condition that can lead to painful blisters that are full of pus. You certainly don't want those on your butt, as they can make sitting down quite painful.

The proliferation of tight pants, such as jeggings, skinny jeans, leggings, and athleisure has led to many people suffering from folliculitis on the body – specifically on the butt. Since the skin in those covered areas can't breathe properly, ends up getting sweaty, and has tight material brushing against all day long, the hair follicles can become inflamed, causing white bumps that look an awful lot like whiteheads.

Other symptoms of folliculitis include itching in the affected areas, as well as pain. The bumps can become very red and begin to swell, and even lead to the aforementioned blisters if they are left untreated for too long. If you have any of these symptoms, you'll need to see a dermatologist rather than try to treat the folliculitis yourself.

On a not-so-fun note, in some cases, folliculitis is caused by bacteria, like Pseudomonas or Staphylococcus. Spending time in hot tubs and pools can actually lead to these forms of folliculitis. And again, you'll need to see a doctor if you think that's the cause.


Speaking of infected skin, an abscess can cause bumps that look like pimples on your butt. When bacteria like Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, or Streptococcus end up getting into your hair follicles, they cause an abscess that often resembles a boil or a cluster of boils. These also look like butt acne (buttne), but they aren't actually acne at all and must be treated differently.

Instead, the boils masquerading as acne are infected and often will go away once the infection is properly treated. In the meantime, you'll have some unsightly bumps on your rear that can become quite painful if they're allowed to grow unchecked. Abscesses and boils can become extremely dangerous if they are left alone, so head to your doctor or dermatologist once you determine that they are not just simply acne. 

Treating Butt Acne 

Ok, let’s jump to the good part, shall we? Now that we've covered the main causes of butt acne, it's time to discuss a few treatment options. Your options may vary based on the culprit behind your buttne. After all, an infected and inflamed hair follicle or pore needs to be seen by a doctor who can treat it properly, and once the infection has gone away, the inflammation and raised bumps usually will soon disappear as well.

For standard butt acne—once you're sure that it actually is acne—you have several treatment options:

Butt Masks 

That’s right, there are indeed masks for the skin on your butt! Just like face masks, these butt masks contain plenty of acne-reducing and eliminating ingredients, as well as ingredients to soothe irritated skin. If you really want to keep your buttne at bay, consider adding a butt mask to your weekly self-care routine.

Not only will a butt mask work to keep the skin on your booty clear, but it will also give you an excuse to relax and perform some self-care tasks since it takes a little time for the ingredients to sink in.

Acne Treatments 

Traditional acne treatments, designed for the face and the body, will work on buttne. You just need to choose the right ones, develop a regimen, and follow through with it. Adding an acne treatment to your routine will clear up that butt acne and keep it from returning.


Now, we want to let you in on a little secret. Yes, exfoliating your face too often can lead to breakouts and other problems, but things are a little different where your butt is concerned. The skin there tends to be a bit tougher, so it can handle exfoliation products that are a little harsher, and you can use them more often. Great news, right?

Consider placing a good exfoliant in your bathroom, so you use it every time you shower to keep your booty nice, clean, and smooth.

Keeping Butt Acne at Bay

Treating butt acne is one thing, but what can you do to ensure that it never comes back? The answer is simple: be proactive, and take good care of the skin on your butt. Make sure to dry yourself thoroughly after getting out of the shower or bath. If you wear tight clothing regularly, make sure to spend some time in not-so-tight clothing, so your skin can breathe. And cotton underwear is a must because it's very breathable (which your booty loves).

For those of you who like to swim in pools and chill in hot tubs, it's best to take a shower right after emerging from the body of water of your choice. This will prevent any bacteria from getting into your hair follicles or pores. Plus, if you spent time outside sweating (whether you were gardening or exercising), head right to the showers. The more time that you spend in your sweaty clothes, the more likely you are to irritate and inflame the skin on your butt.

In Conclusion 

We get it, butt acne can be a bummer—especially if it surfaces at the wrong time. However, you can reduce or get rid of it, in some cases, with the help of a dermatologist. Depending on the cause of your butt acne, you may have to try a few different treatments to find what works best for you.

In the end, with a little self-care, you'll have clear skin on your beautiful booty that you can show off to the world at the beach, in the pool, or even in the privacy of your own bedroom. It's all about doing what your body needs to in order to feel good about yourself. Remember, you’re beautiful and so is your booty. So, show it a little TLC and keep that buttne at bay.