Riddle me this: why does butt acne seem to pop up at the worst possible time? And, for the love of swimsuit season, why is it always so much bigger and more painful than other acne?! Well, butt pimples aren’t the same as the pimples that grace your face, so understanding them is important to the task of preventing them.
I’m a fan of natural solutions for these types of pesky issues, so my go-to remedy involves hemp. Wearing hemp fabric means you’re sporting naturally breathable underwear, which keeps your bum (and all those pores) healthy. And combined with a few other tricks and tips I’ve listed below, your cheeks will be clear and pain-free for that date night, a day at the beach, or attempt to wear cheeky shorts (spoiler: I can’t pull them off).
WHAT IS BUTT ACNE?
Although it looks and feels the same, butt acne is different than acne you find on your face, chest, back, etc. Acne-prone areas are those with lots of oil (sebaceous) glands. And when your pores (the opening of a hair follicle) clog with excess oil and dead skin cells, blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples occur. Your butt cheeks don’t have many oil glands, so what you’re seeing isn’t acne.
To identify butt acne, look for these signs on your skin:
- Rash-like skin irritation that doesn’t go away
- Small bumps (white or red) around hair follicles/pores
- Acne-like spots (filled with pus)
- Swelling around pores
- Bumps that feel tender to the touch
PIMPLES ON BUTT—THAT’S FOLLICULITIS OR KERATOSIS PILARIS
Those big (and sometimes painful) bumps are usually either folliculitis or keratosis pilaris, two common skin conditions that act similarly to acne.
- Folliculitis: This condition is the inflammation of your hair follicles, so it can happen anywhere where you have hair (even on your butt). The main culprit is bacteria that gets into the follicle, but you can also develop inflammation from damaging or blocking the pore (like when shaving or wearing makeup). Folliculitis mimics acne, creating pus-filled bumps—fun!
- Keratosis Pilaris: If you have smaller or scaly bumps across your bum, you probably have keratosis pilaris. This is when your body produces too much keratin protein in your hair follicles. Unfortunately, the condition is quite common, affecting 50-70% of kids and teens and about 40% of adults. Bonus: it’s typically hereditary, and experts don’t know how to prevent it.
So although you and I both call it butt acne, those spots aren’t pimples! If you have a hard time healing face acne, know that there’s a different approach to understanding how to get rid of butt acne.
COMMON CAUSES OF BUTT PIMPLES
To tackle butt acne, it helps to know what causes damage, clogging, or infection of your down-there hair follicles. You might find that your daily routine or favorite pastimes are contributing to those annoying bumps! The common factor here: skin irritation.
WAXING AND SHAVING
Well, damned if you do, damned if you don’t! You’re probably convinced to keep that bum hair-free, but I guess it comes at a butt acne price. Waxing and shaving are big skin irritants that can cause damage to the hair follicle itself. So it’s common to see butt pimples pop up after shaving or waxing down there.
WEARING TIGHT CLOTHING
Any type of tight clothes can cause skin irritation because they tend to rub against your bum as you move. Some fabrics stretch better than others, but think about how tight your jeans can be on your butt!
SWEATING OR EXCESS MOISTURE
When you sweat from exercise or a hot day, you’re increasing the chance of clogging your pores. The same goes for holding in excess moisture, which is why sustainable fabrics help combat butt pimples—they keep your backside airy and dry.
SWIMMING OR SOAKING IN A HOT TUB
I love a good soak, but poorly maintained pools and hot tubs do two things: keep your bum submerged in moisture for a long time and provide a breeding ground for bacteria. (But don’t worry, you can still enjoy the pool! Just follow the tips below.)
LOTIONS AND MAKEUP
Check your moisturizers, creams, and makeup—many contain pore-clogging ingredients. Researchers discovered that regular use of cosmetics could cause pores to clog, leading to skin irritation and acne. Today you can find many non-clogging alternatives.
CUTS & SCRAPES
Even a small little scrape on your bum can get irritated or infected with bacteria, which can lead to butt acne and more serious issues like boils (furuncles). These painful bumps can lead to a staph infection or more serious antibiotic-resistant issues like MRSA. Nearly 35% of Americans carry staph/MRSA bacteria, so it’s important to be mindful of even small wounds.
HOW TO GET RID OF BUTT ACNE AND PREVENT IT? 5 NATURAL SOLUTIONS
If you were anxiously nodding along to the list above, don’t sweat it (pun intended!). There are easy, natural solutions to get rid of butt acne and ways to prevent it.
1. WEAR BREATHABLE FABRICS
The best way to heal butt pimples and prevent them from happening in the future is to switch up your wardrobe with loose, breathable materials. Hemp products are my go-to because they tick all the healthy boxes, offering breathable clothes that minimize skin irritation. There’s nothing better for butt pimples than a good pair of naturally antibacterial underwear, and hemp will do the trick!
REASONS TO WEAR HEMP
- Breathable: The moisture and sweating culprits from above mean that breathable clothing is your first tool against butt acne. It's best to ind super comfy and cool hemp pants, hemp shorts, and other hemp fashion to keep your bum nice and breezy.
- Antibacterial: Without using any chemicals or treatments, hemp is naturally antibacterial. So even if you do sweat, you don’t have to worry about your undies causing any bacteria buildup in your pores.
- Sun Protection: Did you know that hemp is the best fabric for sun protection? No chemical treatments are needed, and you still get protection from harmful sun rays!
- Natural: Hemp is extremely durable (3-8x stronger than cotton) and requires little water and no chemicals to grow. Even the manufacturing process remains toxin-free. So you can wear your hemp bra or high waisted underwear knowing that your sensitive bits are safe.
2. KEEP YOUR PORES CLEAN
Your second line of defense in the battle of butt acne is keeping your skin and pores clean! Hemp helps with its antibacterial properties, but you’ll also need to use a little elbow grease.
Here are my best tips:
- Shower after Sweating: Sweat clogs pores and can carry bacteria, so even a quick rinse (although soap is best) after a workout will help. You’ll seriously see a difference! Plus, it feels kind of amazing to jump into a cool 5-minute shower after a sweltering day.
- Use Non-Comedogenic Products: When cleaning your skin, avoid ingredients known to clog pores. You’ll find plenty of natural cosmetics and other brands that are non-comedogenic, meaning they won’t cause buildup in your hair follicles (aka, butt acne). So if you’re moisturizing your bum, using self-tanner, or applying makeup to hide imperfections, check the ingredients first!
- Use Non-Toxic Toilet Paper (or a Bidet): How many times a day/week/month do you use toilet paper? You probably haven’t really calculated that, but it adds up! And if you’re just grabbing the cheapest TP, you’re applying toxins to your bottom. Use natural or hemp toilet paper, or channel your inner European and get a bidet.
- Dry Off Quickly: After a shower, swimming, or soaking in the hot tub, dry off quickly. If you’re swimming in a treated pool or tub, take a shower first, but make sure you properly dry off (and remove your wet swimsuit) as soon as you can.
3. USE A WARM COMPRESS & DON'T POP THE PIMPLES!
If butt pimples happen, tread carefully. Scrubbing and pimple popping will only make it worse and could cause infection or hyperpigmentation. Instead, the best way to get rid of butt acne is to apply a warm compress and let it heal on its own. This is known as lancing, where the warmth encourages the pimple to come to a head and drain naturally.
Butt acne can become more serious (like with a staph infection) and in that case, it’s best to call your doctor. Don’t try to drain it yourself—use lancing as much as possible and let a professional take care of the rest if needed.
4. REGULAR BUT GENTLE EXFOLIATION
This remedy is a little tricky because you want to be very careful with your skin if you currently have butt acne. But to prevent it in the future, you should adopt exfoliation into your daily skincare routine. That doesn’t mean scrubbing your bum raw! Instead, use solutions like salicylic acid or lactic acid for gentle exfoliation.
Both salicylic acid or lactic acid are natural and work to keep pores clear of buildup. They break down and soften the keratin protein in your skin, making it easier to wash off dead skin cells and prevent clogging hair follicles. So you get the benefits of exfoliation without the harsh scrubbing.
You’ve probably heard the stat that our bodies are 60% water, but did you know that our skin alone is 63% water? Staying hydrated is directly linked to healthier skin and a great way to get rid of butt acne.
When you’re dehydrated, your body can’t flush out toxins, which can build up and lead to dry skin and other issues like eczema or psoriasis. If you have these skin problems, you’re more vulnerable to irritation leading to Folliculitis and butt pimples. So, as the proverb goes, hydrate or (skin) diedrate!
CONCLUSION: BUH-BYE BUTT ACNE!
So, pimples on butt? Yea, you’re not alone—it’s a normal skin issue that’s not typically anything to worry about (only irritating and embarrassing). You don’t have to suffer, though, so give some of my natural remedies a try and get rid of butt acne once and for all! Combine a breezy pair of hemp boy shorts underwear or mens briefs with cleansing, hydration, and exfoliation.
Let me know in the comments if you have any other tricks I should try!