How to treat butt acne (and get a smoother butt!)

Have you noticed small bumps that have suddenly started to appear (or have increased in number) around your butt area? That’s your winter skin acting up. Change in the weather can be a real aggravator for your skin, so a tweak in your skincare routine and lifestyle habits is the key to keeping your skin balanced. Butt acne is one such skin concern that can be triggered by the cold, dry weather. These small bumps can lead to a rough, scratchy butt and also leaves behind marks making your butt look textured and pigmented.

So, if you’re looking for a way to avoid any kind of lumps in the butt area, we’ve got you. We researched and found out some simple tricks to give you an acne-free, smooth butt.

Why does your butt get bumpy?

Most people assume that a breakout of pimples on the butt is acne. But that’s not true. Butt acne isn’t really acne. Acne is a skin condition involving clogged pores. Pores become clogged when excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria are trapped inside them. Acne most often affects body sites that have a high concentration of oil glands. This includes the face, neck, chest, shoulders, and upper back. The skin of the buttocks does not have a lot of oil glands. So, true acne on butt cheeks is rare. The lumps or red spots that show up on the butt are most likely folliculitis or keratosis pilaris. Read on to find out the difference between these skin conditions and how to identify them.

What’s the difference between folliculitis and keratosis pilaris?

· Folliculitis – is the result of damage to the hair follicles that then causes irritation or allows germs to infect it. The damage can come from friction on the skin, wearing tight clothing, or shaving. Folliculitis often affects the skin on the butt, groin, thigh, face, neck, or underarm. It can happen to anyone. Common symptoms of folliculitis include small red or white bumps around hair follicles, swollen or irritated follicles, tenderness, pain, itching, or burning.

In some cases, folliculitis can cause pus-filled blisters that open and crust.

· Keratosis pilaris – is the result of a build-up of keratin—a hard skin protein—that blocks the hair follicle (this involves the infundibulum or pore that includes the hair shaft, sweat glands, and oil glands). It causes small bumps that can look like acne. Common symptoms of keratosis pilaris include rough, dry skin, small, painless bumps that can be pointy, have a white tip or center, or look reddish and smooth, worsening of the condition when the skin is dry or the humidity is low, such as in the winter.

While keratosis pilaris bumps usually don’t hurt or itch, folliculitis can be uncomfortable or painful.

How to treat breakouts and make your butt smooth?

  • Exfoliate, Don’t Scrub

It may seem counterintuitive, but scrubbing your butt actually irritates the hair follicles. Instead, you’ll want to non-physically exfoliate the skin on your butt. Look for natural acids like AHAs, or salicylic acid to help encourage skin turnover, keep pesky bacteria at bay decreasing your chances of developing bacterial folliculitis, and not to forget their skin texture smoothening abilities.

  • Sweat management to the rescue

Sweat is easy to accumulate on your butt. Sweat causes friction and irritation – as well as clog pores where infections can develop. By being diligent about showering after you know you will be sweating on your butt will help reduce the chance you will irritate the follicles on your butt.

  • Wear cotton clothing

You need clothing that lets moisture escape. In the age of yoga pants, this may be a tall task. Synthetic material like spandex does not breathe as well as cotton. The moisture gets trapped and rubs against the skin – causing folliculitis.

We recommend above to always shower as soon as possible after sweating. Realistically, however, you’re not going to be able to shower right after every time you sweat. Wearing the right clothing can mitigate the irritation until you can wash away the sweat. If you have serious issues with a bumpy butt then consider ditching the stretchy pants.

  • Anti-dandruff shampoo to treat fungal infections

Folliculitis is not always due to bacteria alone, it can also be caused by a fungus. So, what should you do if a fungus is the culprit? Well, you’ll need to get your hands on anti-fungal medication, as folliculitis caused by a fungus will not improve or clear up if you use an acne treatment.

There is another potentially easy fix for you. If you suspect fungal folliculitis, you can even try your dandruff shampoo as a liquid cleanser to the affected area. Apply, let it sit for 10 minutes, and then rinse off. It needs enough contact time with the skin for it to exert its job.


  • Sit on a warm washcloth or take quick warm showers

Wet a washcloth with warm, but not too hot, water. Gently place the damp cloth over the area on your butt that’s having an outbreak of acne. The warmth will be soothing and may help to open pores and draw out some of the bacteria and pus. Bathing with warm water for the shortest time possible can be helpful too. Avoid hot water or long showers as it can dry out the skin, making keratosis pilaris worse.

  • Home remedies never fail

Use soothing, hydrating, and antibacterial natural ingredients like tea tree, aloe vera, and cucumber juice to heal wounds and treat infections.

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