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Common Causes of Pimples on Butt and How to Get Rid of Butt Breakouts

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Common Causes of Pimples on Butt and How to Get Rid of Butt Breakouts

Breakouts of pimples on your butt can cause a lot of frustration when trying to get rid of these annoying red bumps from your buttocks. Sometimes referred to as butt acne or ‘buttne’, it can be challenging to know how to treat painful butt pimples. It seems like every time you sit down you are reminded of these painful bumps on your butt cheeks. Butt pimples may also cause embarrassment if you have to pull on a swimsuit and you have acne-like bumps on your behind.

One of the most common causes of pimples on the butt is a condition called butt folliculitis. This can cause breakouts of inflamed red bumps or zits on your butt that can be itchy or sore to touch. However, boils, keratosis pilaris, or carbuncles can cause large pimples on your buttocks with acne-like symptoms.

Thankfully, there are many effective home remedies that can help to kill off infection-causing bacteria from your rear end. Homemade treatments for butt pimples that include tea tree oil, witch hazel, or aloe vera can help to stop pimples from getting worse. These natural ingredients also have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation in small to large pimples on your butt.


Let’s look in more detail at this distressing condition that can affect your buttocks. This article also looks at the best ways of controlling breakouts of pimples on your butt.

Pimples on Buttocks: Is It Butt Acne or Folliculitis?

First of all, it’s important to distinguish between 2 different skin conditions that can affect your butt cheeks. These are butt acne and folliculitis of the buttocks.

Although home remedies for butt pimples work just as well on both of these acne-like conditions, the causes are somewhat different.

Acne on buttocks

Acne is caused by sebaceous glands or hair follicles on your skin becoming clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. The blocked pores become infected and red, and pus-filled pimples develop. The strain of bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes causes infected pimples that can grow in size and spread to other areas of the skin.1

Acne usually affects the face, chest, shoulders and back (‘bacne’). It is very rare that what can be classed as “true” acne affects the buttocks.

Folliculitis on buttocks

Folliculitis is a skin condition similar to acne that also causes clusters of red skin pimples and pustules that become filled with pus. The appearance of pimples on the buttocks is usually the result of folliculitis.

Specialist in dermatology, Dr. Amanda Oakley says that folliculitis is caused by hair follicles becoming infected with bacteria, yeast, fungi, or viruses. For example, strains of Staphylococcus aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa are often responsible for acne-like pimples on the buttocks.2

Dr. Oakley says that buttock folliculitis is quite common and affects men and women alike. The butt pimples that folliculitis causes can be red and painful and grow into boils if the bacterial infection goes deeper.2

What is the difference between butt acne and folliculitis? Dr. Amada Oakley explains that acne and acne-like disorders are forms of folliculitis. Topical treatments that are effective for acne are usually also effective for folliculitis. Therefore, many people refer to folliculitis as butt acne or ‘buttne’.


Symptoms of Butt Acne

Pimples that appear on one or both butt cheeks can cause symptoms other than inflamed pus-filled zits on your buttocks. According to doctors from the Mayo Clinic, folliculitis can also cause some of the following symptoms:3

  • Clusters of pimples and zits that resemble a sore butt rash
  • Itchy skin that has a burning sensation
  • Skin that is sore and tender to touch
  • A large swollen bump that is filled with pus
  • Pustules that develop into large boils that are painful
  • Scarring on the skin where deep pustules formed

What Causes Pimples on Butt

Let’s look in more detail at the specific causes of acne breakouts on buttocks and what you can do to prevent these sore bumps on your butt.

Butt folliculitis

The most common reason why you get bumps on your buttocks is because of folliculitis. This irritating skin condition can thrive on the buttocks because of the dark, damp, moist conditions that can cause bacteria to breed.

According to Dr. Gary Cole, who is a certified dermatologist, folliculitis commonly affects the buttocks, face, back, legs, and be a reason for chest acne. Usually, bacteria are responsible for the outbreaks of itchy red bumps on your butt. However, it is also possible that butt folliculitis is caused by chemicals that irritate the skin, for example sitting in a jacuzzi or being in a swimming pool.4

It’s important to have good hygiene practices to help prevent breakouts of pimple clusters. Dr. Cole suggests antibacterial washes for the skin to treat spots on your bum and get rid of the irritation.

Folliculitis can also affect the face or armpit by causing bumps on your skin after shaving with a razor blade.


As the article has already discussed, types of acne can also affect your butt cheeks and cause embarrassment or discomfort. Blocked sweat glands and hair follicles can quickly become infected and turn into red bumps on your butt.

However, there is a specific form of acne that can affect your buttocks. The publication StatPearls says that acne conglobate is a severe form of acne that can affect the buttock cheeks. This is caused by acne bacteria infecting blocked pores and is common in people who have other inflammatory skin conditions on their butt. This type of butt acne can cause large cyst-like bumps that are filled with foul-smelling pus.5

At the end of this article, you can find helpful home remedies to help treat all types of pimples on the buttocks.

Hidradenitis suppurativa

One reason for breakouts of bumps on your butt could be an inflammatory skin condition called hidradenitis suppurativa. Infected hair follicles that become inflamed are usually to blame for the cluster of red pus-filled cysts on your buttocks.

According to doctors from Mayo Clinic, this condition usually develops in skin folds where the skin rubs together, such as your upper thigh and groin, armpits, between the buttocks and under the breasts. 7


According to researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine, infections in hair follicles on the buttocks is a result of dead skin cells and bacteria. These factors combine to produce large pimples on the affected area. In time, the infection can spread to nearby hair follicles resulting in a rash-like area of skin on your butt with sore pimples.6

Other symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa can include:7

  • Clusters of blackheads
  • Large inflamed skin lumps that ooze bad-smelling pus
  • Itching and burning on the affected patch of skin
  • Inflamed tracts under the skin that may leak pus

Keratosis pilaris

Keratosis pilaris can cause groups of tiny pimples on your butt that don’t cause pain and don’t have signs of infection. Keratin is a protein substance that makes up skin and hair in humans. Small white or red bumps on your butt or other areas of skin caused by keratosis pilaris form when keratin builds up under the skin’s surface.

According to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, keratosis pilaris causes papules and pimples on the buttocks and cheeks. It has been observed that people with acne often suffer from keratosis pilaris. This bumpy skin condition can also affect the upper thighs.8

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that other symptoms of keratosis pilaris can include:9

  • Tiny red bumps on the buttocks, arms, thighs, or cheeks that aren’t painful
  • Feeling of rough skin like sandpaper or goose flesh
  • Symptoms that get worse in drier air

If you suffer from patches of bumpy skin on your butt that are caused by keratosis pilaris, you can find helpful home remedies in my article on how to treat keratosis pilaris naturally.


A boil can cause a pimple on your bum that makes it hurt to sit. Boils can affect any area of your body and are the result of bacteria infecting one or more hair follicles.

According to doctors from the National Health Service, boils commonly affect areas of the body where hair grows that are prone to sweating and friction. When bacteria infect your skin, white blood cells get sent to fight the infection. This builds up to a large, sore, pus-filled lump on your buttocks, thigh, neck, or face.10

Doctors from the Cleveland Clinic say that other symptoms of a butt boil can include:11

  • Painful raised red lump that develops under the skin
  • A large lump that is sore to touch and may feel warm
  • A yellowish head in the center of the lump
  • A collection of large boils called a carbuncle

One of the best ways of preventing boils on your buttocks is to keep your skin clean and carefully clean any cuts or grazes.

Tight clothing

Tight clothing can be a reason why you develop butt pimple breakouts.

The American Academy of Dermatology reports that friction from tight clothes combined with sweat getting trapped on the skin can result in acne mechanica. This causes pimples and pustules to appear where clothing rubs against warm skin. The resulting irritation can be a reason for outbreaks of acne on various parts of your body.12


How to Get Rid of Acne, Bumps and Pimples on Butt

Tea Tree Oil

Known for its natural antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil is a very effective home remedy for getting rid of pimples on the butt.

According to research published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, tea tree oil is effective for strains of bacteria that cause acne and butt pimples. Some of these are Staphylococcus aureus and Propionibacterium acnes. Studies into the medicinal properties of tea tree oil have shown it to be effective in treating acne by killing off skin infections and reducing inflammation.13 

How to use tea tree oil to treat butt acne

If you have one or two large boils or pimples that are making sitting down painful, you can apply a drop of tea tree oil directly onto the painful swollen bump. Do this 2 or 3 times a day to help reduce inflammation in the inflamed bump and prevent the infection getting worse. For a larger skin area dilute 3-4 drops of tea tree oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil, such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil.

Witch Hazel

If acne on your buttocks is causing you embarrassment, you can help get rid of these unsightly butt pimples by applying witch hazel. This remedy may not get rid of spots on your bum overnight but it will speed up the healing time.

Witch hazel is a natural source of tannins which have both an astringent effect on the skin and antiseptic properties against germs. The book Herbal Medicine says that witch hazel extracts help to reduce inflammation, itching, and pain in inflammatory skin conditions. Scientific research has also established that tannins are useful anti-acne treatments and improve the symptoms of acne quickly.14

How to use witch hazel to naturally treat red bumps on butt

It is very easy to treat butt acne using natural witch hazel. This is what you should do:

  1. Soak a cotton pad in natural witch hazel extract.
  2. Use it to cleanse the skin on your butt to remove bacteria, reduce irritation, and heal acne pimples on your buttocks.
  3. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day and continue using until buttock folliculitis or butt acne has gone for good.

How to Get Rid of Folliculitis on Butt with Aloe Vera

Aloe vera contains healing properties that can help to soothe skin irritation and accelerate healing of inflammatory skin conditions. Aloe vera can naturally reduce itching, redness in butt boils, and boost skin healing.

According to the Indian Journal of Dermatology, scientists have found aloe vera to have an anti-acne effect. Aloe vera is commonly used to treat many skin diseases naturally and helps to improve healing time of skin wounds and reduce inflammation.15


The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology also reported that aloe vera is an effective moisturizer for acne-prone skin and helps to keep the skin hydrated and free from infection.16

Aloe vera home remedy for butt pimples

To boost the effectiveness of this aloe vera acne remedy, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil.

  1. Add 2-3 drops tea tree oil to a tablespoon of aloe vera gel and mix thoroughly.
  2. Apply the aloe vera remedy to the affected area on your buttocks and gently massage until the mixture get absorbed into your skin.
  3. Apply 2 times a day for best results and to help relieve the discomfort of butt acne quickly.

Salt Wash Home Remedy for Pimples on Butt

Salt is another natural ingredient that you can use to treat buttock folliculitis because it helps to destroy infection-causing bacteria.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic recommend a saltwater solution as a natural cure for any type of folliculitis. This is what you should do:

  1. Dissolve 1 teaspoon sea salt in 2 cups of warm water. Mix until all the salt has dissolved.
  2. Dip a clean washcloth in the salt remedy and apply to the pimples on your buttocks.
  3. Hold for 10 to 15 minutes to help drain the butt pimples and accelerate the healing time.
  4. Repeat daily for best results.
  5. After using the salt wash to treat breakouts on the buttocks, apply some aloe vera as a soothing moisturizer.

Conventional Treatments for Butt Acne

In most cases, home remedies are effective for treating mild cases of butt acne and folliculitis on the buttocks. If you have severe buttock folliculitis, a dermatologist may recommend topical medical treatments for butt acne. Here are some of the most common:

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids help as a chemical skin peeler to remove layers of dead skin cells. This can help to prevent hair follicles on your rear getting clogged and infected.
  • Benzoyl peroxide can be effective in killing off strains of bacteria that cause acne pimples and pustules. Interestingly, scientific studies have shown tea tree oil to be as effective as benzoyl peroxide, but with fewer side effects.17
  • Retinoids are sometimes used for severe acne outbreaks to unclog pores and reduce the visible signs of acne. Side effects include skin sensitivity and irritation.

How to Prevent Outbreaks of Pimples on Butt

If your butt is prone to breakout of pimples, pustules, or painful boils, there are many effective ways to help prevent these skin conditions causing discomfort when you sit or move around.

Here are some practical ways to prevent butt folliculitis and butt pimples:

  • Shower daily and wash your buttock area with a washcloth to help remove dead skin cells and prevent a buildup of bacteria. Shower immediately after working out and change into clean underwear.
  • Apply a natural moisturizer to your butt cheeks to keep your skin moist and well-hydrated. This also forms a protective barrier on your skin to keep it free from infection and prevent pimples developing.
  • Wear underwear made from natural fibers to help your skin breathe easier and prevent sweat building up that could clog up hair follicles.
  • Exfoliate your buttock’s skin once a week using a natural scrub. This will help to remove excess oils and dead skin cells from your butt and prevent pimples from appearing.
  • Don’t pop butt boils or pimples as this can cause the infection to go deeper into your skin.

When to See a Doctor

In some cases, you should see a doctor or dermatologist for pimples that affect your butt and cause discomfort. Conditions like hidradenitis suppurativa, large boils, and carbuncles require supervision and treatment by a specialist.

Dr. William Blahd on WebMD says that you should see a doctor for pimples or boils on your butt in the following circumstances:18

  • The boil is getting larger and natural remedies to treat boils have not been successful in getting rid of them.
  • The boil on your butt develops into a carbuncle.
  • There are red streaks radiating from the boil.
  • You develop many boils on your buttocks over several months.
  • The butt boil makes sitting down painful.
  • The butt pimples are causing embarrassment.

Read my other related articles:

Article Sources

  1. MayoClinic. Acne.
  2. DermNetNZ. Folliculitis.
  3. MayoClinic. Folliculitis.
  4. MedicineNet. Folliculitis.
  5. NCBI. Acne, conglobata.
  6. HopkinsMedicine. Inflamed/infected sweat glands.
  7. MayoClinic. Hidradenitis suppurativa.
  8. An Bras Dermatol. 2014 Jan-Feb; 89(1): 91–95.
  9. MayoClinic. Keratosis pilaris.
  10. NHS. Boils and carbuncles.
  11. ClevelandClinic. Boils & carbuncles.
  12. AAD. Is your sports equipment causing your acne?
  13. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017; 2017: 4517971.
  14. NCBI. Herbal treatment for dermatologic disorders.
  15. Indian J Dermatol. 2008; 53(4): 163–166.
  16. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014 May; 7(5): 36–44.
  17. Med J Aust.1990 Oct 15;153(8):455-8.
  18. WebMD. Boils – topic
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