Ask LH: What Causes Butt Acne and How Can I Get Rid of It?

Ask LH: What Causes Butt Acne and How Can I Get Rid of It?

Experiencing acne is not pleasant in any form, especially when it’s on your butt. Butt acne, or ‘butt-ne’, can be pretty awkward to talk about because well, it’s on your butt. And while it may sound a little gross, it’s actually super common to get pimples on your bum.

But because it’s not often talked about, it’s hard to figure out what actually causes acne to appear on your butt and how to treat it.

Lucky for you, Biologi’s Dermal Specialist, Lucy Macdougland, chatted with us about what causes butt-ne and gave us some great tips on how to get rid of those pesky pimples on your butt.

What is butt-ne?

If you’ve heard of mask-ne, think of butt-ne as the ugly step-sister of that.

Although getting acne as a result of wearing a mask is a rather new phenomenon (thanks, COVID), people have been getting pimples on their behinds for a long time but of course, it doesn’t get the same attention as mask-ne.

Butt acne is pretty much what it says. Basically, it refers to breakouts, blackheads, bumps or pimples that appear on, yep you guessed it, your butt.

Calling it butt-ne or butt acne can actually be a bit misleading, Macdougland says, as in most cases, it isn’t actually acne that you see. Rather, it’s inflammation around the hair follicles on your butt known as folliculitis.

As Macdougland reminds us, it’s important to remember that having breakouts or pimples on your bum is just a skin condition like any other one we might experience on our faces.

The more we talk about it, the less embarrassing experiencing it can feel, so look at us go! Breaking down taboos.

Pimples on bum and butt acne
Butt acne can be a really awkward experience. (Image: Getty)

What causes butt acne?

Okay, so now we know what’s actually going on down there, but what causes pimples to appear on your butt?

According to Macdougland, there are actually a few different things that can cause butt acne, but for the majority of cases it happens due to constant rubbing which then causes inflammation of the skin in that area.

Much like mask-ne, there has been a surge in butt acne in the past few years but for a different reason. The surge can be linked to people sitting around all day in their sweaty workout clothes or wearing all-day activewear that’s rubbing against your skin.

So if you’re someone who manages to squeeze in a morning workout and then wears those same clothes for the rest of the day, there’s a decent risk you can develop butt acne (if you haven’t already).

Apart from activewear, another culprit of butt-ne is outfit repeating. If you’re wearing the same pants for several days in a row without washing them, the dirt and bacteria on them can exacerbate butt acne.

Butt acne
Wearing activewear all day can cause butt acne. (Image: Getty)

How to get rid of pimples on your butt

Basically, the bottom line (you’re welcome) from Macdougland is to keep the area as clean as possible.

Although that might seem like obvious advice, keep in mind that those gym shorts/tights you went running in yesterday and then wore around for the whole day are now likely a breeding ground for bacteria and dirt.

In that case, it’s probably best not to wear them again until you’ve chucked them in the wash.

Treating butt pimples


To get rid of the pimples on your bum, start by treating the skin in that area the same way you would treat acne on your face. Meaning it needs to be cleansed and maybe even a serum.

Macdougland told us not to be afraid of using a gentle face cleanser or exfoliant on our sweet buttocks. She recommends using Biologi’s Bc Refresh Cleanser as it’s a better alternative to regular body wash that can dry out the skin.


To exfoliate the area, Macdougland suggests using something gentle like the Bx Reveal. Just mix it in your hands and apply it to the area before gently rinsing it off.

If you are considering exfoliating your butt acne, Macdougland warns not to use a chemical exfoliant or to vigorously scrub the area. You’re already dealing with inflammation and doing that will just aggravate things further.

Cleansers and serums can help treat butt acne. (Image: Biologi)


Lastly, try to soothe any inflammation with a hydrating serum or similar product to calm your skin down.

It’s important to be incredibly mindful of what products you’re applying down there as it’s a super delicate area (very close to another very delicate area). It’s best to avoid any strong chemicals or synthetic ingredients and opt for plant-based alternatives instead, Macdougland told us.

Although butt acne can feel embarrassing and that you’re the only one experiencing it, find comfort in the fact that heaps of people will have pimples on their butts at one point or another. They are just too awkward to say anything.

At least with Macdougland’s tips, you can be confident in knowing what’s causing it and how to treat it.

If you think you’re dealing with something that’s more than just pimples on your bum, you should speak to a professional. If it seems like a fungal issue, it’s best to seek advice from a medical professional who can prescribe you the proper medication. Treating a fungal issue as if it’s acne won’t help.

If you’ve got a burning question that you need answering, send it to us and we will answer it! Your question could be featured on the next Ask Lifehacker.

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