Let’s talk about butt acne: What it is and how to treat it

Acne can occur almost anywhere on the body; unfortunately, that includes your butt. Here’s why we get butt acne and how to treat it.

There are only two places on the body that acne won’t pop up, the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. When it comes to pimples, the whole body is fair game, including the butt. It can be a bit painful and no doubt embarrassing to admit, but butt acne isn’t uncommon. Luckily, there are a whole ton of solutions that can help wipe the acne off your derriere.

What is butt acne?

Summer is coming, and with it comes sweat, sand, damp swimwear and tight clothing. All these factors can lead to some rather angry pimples on your behind. Basically, butt acne is just like any other kind of body acne, except it’s much further south.

What causes butt acne?

Just like facial acne or body acne,butt acne is caused by a simple five-step process:

  1. An overproduction of sebum and excess dead skin cells
  2. These sebum and dead skin cells then block the pores
  3. Clogged pores become the perfect environment for P.acnes bacteria
  4. Bacterial growth triggers inflammation
  5. Voila, acne!

However, this process doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and there are often other factors that trigger acne-causing events such as:


Acne can sometimes be genetic. If your parents suffered from bad bouts of acne, you also have a higher chance of suffering the same issue.


Hormone fluctuations can trigger acne as they often cause the skin to produce an excess amount of sebum, leading to clogged pores. If your acne is hormonal, doctors can prescribe birth control or other medications to fix it.


When your mind is stressed out, it can often be written all over your body. This is because stress hormones can also trigger acne.


Some people find that diets high in dairy or high glycemic index foods can cause breakouts on their skin.

Restrictive clothing

The friction of tight clothing can often cause breakouts known as acne mechanica. Combine tight clothing, humidity and sweat, and you have the perfect environment for fungal acne.


Sweat alone won’t make you breakout, but not washing as soon as possible after a sweat sesh could turn your damp skin into the perfect environment for P.acnes bacteria.

How to prevent butt acne

To really conquer butt acne, you need to focus on prevention as well as treatment. Here’s how you can dissuade acne from making a home on your rear end.


If your acne is caused by stress, then that’s a good sign you need to find some time to relax. Try some yoga or meditation and get those stress hormones to fade away.

Wear loose-fitting clothing and natural fibres

If your butt acne is caused by tight clothing, then maybe it’s time to try some looser-fitting styles or natural, breathable fibres. You can still wear those tight pants if you want to, but maybe not so often.

Shower as soon as you can after sweating

Showering and changing as soon as you’ve finished a workout will help ensure your butt doesn’t become the next residence for P.acnes bacteria.

Try eliminating acne-causing foods

Some people find that high glycemic index foods and dairy can cause acne, so try eliminating these groups and see if your skin’s condition improves.

Clean your sheets regularly

Anything that touches your skin should be washed regularly, including your sheets (especially if you’re a nude sleeper). Otherwise, dead skin cells and oils can build up on your sheets and skin to create the perfect environment for acne-causing bacteria.

Book a visit with your doctor

If you believe your butt acne may be due to hormones or genetics, then it’s best to check with a doctor or dermatologist to discuss any potential options for treatment and prevention, such as birth control.

Best products to treat butt acne

Butt acne can be unnerving, but there’s no reason why a tiny spot should put you off from rocking your best bikini. After all, it’s Hot Girl Summer. If your butt acne needs an extra kick in the rear, here’s what you should use:

CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser with Salicylic Acid

CeraVe - SA Smoothing Cleanser with Salicylic Acid - £12.00 Boots UK

CeraVe has the perfect, budget-friendly and straightforward cleanser that uses salicylic acid to gently exfoliate and wash away oil and dead skin cells.

The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser

The Inkey List - Salicylic Acid Cleanser - £10.99 Boots UK

The Inkey List also has a chart-topping salicylic acid cleanser and even includes zinc to help with oil control.

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

The Ordinary - Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution - £6.80 Boots UK

After the cleanser comes the toner, The Ordinary is famous for its exfoliating glycolic acid toner, which does wonders to promote healthy skin cell turnover. All you need to do is swipe some of this glycolic acid toner over the affected area, and your butt acne will be a thing of the past.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ Blemish treatment

La Roche-Posay - Effaclar Duo+ Blemish treatment - £17.00 Boots UK

If you’re not so keen on the idea of having a whole skincare routine for your butt, La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Blemish Treatment should be all you need. Just pop some on your pimples after you get out of the shower!

ACNECIDE Face Gel Spot Treatment Benzoyl Peroxide

ACNECIDE - Face Gel Spot Treatment Benzoyl Peroxide - £7.99 Boots UK

If your butt acne is too stubborn for your average treatments, then it may be time to turn to benzoyl peroxide. This ingredient acts as an antibacterial and helps to reduce inflammation, which is beneficial for mild to moderate acne breakouts.

CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream with Salicylic Acid

CeraVe - SA Smoothing Cream with Salicylic Acid - £18.00 Boots UK

So you’ve cleansed and spot treated, but some of these skincare acids can leave your skin a little dry. If you want to truly put your best cheek forward this summer, use a little moisturiser on your butt. This one by CeraVe is not only hydrating but still offers some light chemical exfoliation.

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