What Causes Butt Pimples and How to Get Rid of Them

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Pimples on the butt are common, and they can occur at any age. You may develop a few butt pimples here and there or you may have rough, red bumps across the entirety of your bum. They may hurt or itch, or you may not feel them at all.

Knowing what may be causing your butt pimples and how to treat them can bring relief. This article will give you some tips.

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Acne on a female's buttocks
energyy / Getty Images

Blocked Pores

Just like most of the skin on your body, your butt has pores. And blocked pores can cause pimples anywhere, including on your bottom.

People who have acne in other areas often get booty breakouts as well. Acne vulgaris, or what we call common acne, can sometimes pop up on the chest, shoulders, back, and buttocks. 

For widespread acne, you should see a dermatologist. Body acne often requires prescription acne treatments.

Non-Acne Causes

There are several common reasons for butt pimples—the vast majority of butt blemishes are not caused by acne or clogged pores. Generally, pimples on the butt have a specific appearance, depending on the underlying cause.

Rest assured that no matter what the cause of the pimples on your bottom—there are effective treatments.

Folliculitis

Folliculitis (an inflamed hair follicle) is the most common cause of red, inflamed pimples on your backside.

You have hair follicles over nearly all areas of your skin, including your booty. When a hair follicle gets irritated, it becomes red and swollen. The bumps can develop a white head and look like acne pimples. These bumps are sometimes painful or itchy, but not always.

Folliculitis can develop just about anywhere on the skin due to:

  • The friction caused by tight-fitting clothing can be enough to irritate your hair follicles.
  • Sweat irritates hair follicles.
  • Even if you're not sweating a lot, undergarments made of non-breathable material, like nylon or polyester, can hold moisture against your skin, irritating your hair follicles.
  • A hair follicle can become infected with bacteria, like Staphylococcus aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
  • You can also develop a specific type of folliculitis, called hot tub folliculitis, if you spend time in a hot tub or pool, especially if it isn't well maintained.

Keratosis Pilaris

Fine, rough bumps across your booty can develop due to keratosis pilaris, a very common skin condition. It causes small skin-colored or red bumps across the surface of the skin. The bumps may look like tiny pimples or goosebumps. You might not really notice them except when you run your hand over them.

These bumps develop when keratin, a protein that forms a protective layer on the surface of the skin, builds up around the pore opening. Without any specific cause, the keratin can build up and form a hard plug, which creates the bump you see and feel.

Keratosis pilaris commonly develops on the buttocks, backs of the upper arms, and fronts of the thighs. Children often get it on the cheeks of the face.

There's no specific cause for keratosis pilaris, though it does tend to run in families. It's often at its worst during childhood and the teen years and fades over time. Although it's annoying, the good news is that keratosis pilaris is completely harmless.

Boils (Skin Abscesses)

If you have a very large, painful pimple (or a cluster of large pimples) on your derriere, you may have a boil, also called a skin abscess. Boils can develop when the hair follicle gets infected. 

Staphylococcus bacteria are the most common culprits that cause boils. But other bacteria like Streptococcus or Pseudomonas can also be to blame. Although rare, fungal infections can cause boils as well.

Boils start off small, and can quickly grow into large blemishes. And boils hurt! They can develop anywhere on the body, and the buttocks are a common location for them.

Treating Butt Pimples

If you have pimples on your behind, don't worry. There are steps you can take to clear up butt acne, no matter the cause.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Even though not all butt pimples are technically acne, you can still treat them with over-the-counter acne treatment products. Benzoyl peroxide body wash or bar soap is the best option. You can get it at any drugstore or big box store over the counter; you won't need a prescription.

Benzoyl peroxide works best for inflamed bumps like folliculitis. To use it, gently soap up all affected areas every time you shower and rinse.

Exfoliating Skin Creams

Keeping hair follicles from becoming blocked will help your skin stay smooth. To do this, regular exfoliation is key. Exfoliating creams help speed up cell turnover while keeping the skin moisturized, and they're especially helpful for keratosis pilaris.

Look for over-the-counter creams that contain glycolic acid, lactic acid, or salicylic acid. Prescription creams containing tretinoin (a synthetic form of vitamin A) can be used in more severe cases.

Topical or Oral Antibiotics

If your blemishes are very red, swollen, and painful—and if home treatments aren't helping—you should visit your healthcare provider.

If you have a severe infection, you may need topical or oral antibiotics.

Lancing and Draining

You can often heal boils with good home treatment. Warm compresses can help them come to a head and drain. This sets them on the way to healing and helps with pain.

But if your boil isn't starting to get better after a few days with this conservative approach, see a healthcare provider. They may lance your boil (making a small incision to drain the infection), or recommend another treatment option. Never try to lance a boil yourself.

Recap

Regardless of what is causing your butt acne, there are treatments available. Though some bumps may require prescription medications or other medical treatment, many can be managed with over-the-counter acne products or exfoliating skin creams. Talk to your healthcare provider about what will work best for you.

Prevention and Management

Everyone gets a breakout on their backsides every now and again. It's not possible to completely prevent them, but there are some things you can do to minimize butt pimples.

  • Shower after you sweat. Sweat can irritate the hair follicles and make your skin more prone to breakouts. So no hanging out in your yoga pants after workouts.
  • Switch to cotton underwear. Cotton breathes better than synthetic material.
  • Don't scrub. Scrubbing will irritate already inflamed follicles and make blemishes redder and bigger. Instead, exfoliate with body washes or creams that contain skin-smoothing ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids.
  • Don't pop or pick at blemishes. This can make breakouts worse and it can increase the risk of infection.
  • Stay away from tight-fitting clothes. The friction caused by tight pants can irritate your skin and trigger a breakout on your buns.

Summary

There are multiple reasons why you can develop acne on your bottom, but fortunately butt pimples can be managed. Taking care of your skin, letting it breathe, and keeping your hair follicles clear and clean can make a big difference and help you stay comfortable.

A Word From Verywell

An occasional pimple on your backside isn't a big deal. Even a bum full of tiny, fine, red bumps isn't anything to worry about, so long as they aren't painful, super itchy, or getting worse.

If you have a pimple that gets really big (dime-sized or larger), if you have a pimple that hurts, or if you have many inflamed pimples across your derriere. you should have a physician check it out.

You might need prescription treatment or medical intervention. After it's under control, in most cases, just a few changes to your body care routine will help prevent your butt breakouts.

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10 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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Additional Reading
  • Del Rosso JQ, Silverberg N, Zeichner JA. When acne is not acne. Dermatologic Clinics. 2016 Apr;34(2):225-8. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2015.12.002.

  • U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Folliculitis.MedlinePlus. Updated June 9, 2021.

  • U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Boils. Updated June 9, 2021.