Acne is always unfortunate, wherever it decides to pop up, but it's particularly tricky—not to mention awkward—when it flares up on your derriere. Yes, we're talking about butt pimples. But, are they actually the same type of pimples that you experience on your face? Or even on your back? As it turns out, most butt breakouts are in a league all their own. Here, we're explaining what causes those tiny, red bumps on your bum, plus sharing our top tips on how to prevent them altogether.
what causes breakouts on your butt?
Technically speaking, butt acne is usually not actually acne at all—which is why it doesn't look like your typical pimples and pustules, which tend to come to a white (temptingly pop-able) head. Instead, the red bumps that tend to show up on your bum are more likely folliculitis, which is a fancy way of saying inflamed hair follicles. We all have hair follicles all over our body, including on our bums, and each hair follicle grows out of what are more commonly known as pores. Similar to the acne on other areas of the body, when these pores become inflamed and clogged up, folliculitis can form. Unlike acne on the face, however, the causes of butt breakouts are different.
The inflammation that leads to folliculitis tends to occur from the general rubbing and tugging of tightfitting clothing, especially during the hotter months of the year when that friction can combine with another well-known pimple promoter: sweat. Folliculitis can also be brought on by certain bacteria, so it is actually important to properly cleanse your cheeks—all of them—on a regular basis.
Here's how you can tell its folliculitis, versus your standard breakout: are the bumps small and red in appearance? Are they slightly itchy or painful? If you said yes to any of the above, you're probably dealing with folliculitis of the rear. That said, if a pimple on your rear becomes particularly large (cystic sized) or painful, it's always a smart idea to consult a board-certified dermatologist. Otherwise, follow the below tips to help keep your bum clear and folliculitis free.
the best ways to prevent butt breakouts
1: wash with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide is known far and wide for its bacteria-killing powers, and the same holds true when its used topically on your bum and salicylic acid is mainstay for clearing out clogged pores. Grab a body cleanser that's formulated with the ingredient and use it every time you shower, and also after every sweat session. P.S. Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash is also safe for use on your butt 😉
2: skip the scrubbing
When body breakouts hit, we're all tempted to reach for the loofah or a body scrub—but in the case of butt breakouts, this is the opposite of what you should do. Scrubbing too harshly can inflame the already-irritated skin even more so, which could eventually even lead to dark spots (hyperpigmentation) and scarring.
3: use a chemical exfoliant instead
Whether your derriere folliculitis is bacterial or not, you'll also benefit from using a chemical exfoliant. Look for a cleanser or toner that's formulated with potent exfoliant acids, such a glycolic or lactic, and apply it onto the area regularly. Or find a true chemical exfoliant like FlashFoliant.
4: consider your clothing
We love skinny jeans as much as the next person, but when you're dealing with butt acne, tight-fitting clothing can further contribute to the problem. Instead, wear looser-fitting clothing and switch to cotton underwear if possible (cotton breathes better than synthetic fabrics).
5: always shower after a workout
This is a biggie: after a run, workout glass or long session at the gym, don't sit and stew around in your workout clothes for too long. Doing so is basically asking for a breakout, and not just on your bum. Instead, make a habit of showering immediately after every sweat session. If that's not possible, at least change into fresh, clean clothes.