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Butt Acne. Cause and prevention

What is Acne?

Acne also called acne vulgaris is a very common skin problem which results when dead skin and oil clog up the skin pores of hair follicles. This can result in a chronic skin disease which can lead to black head, cysts and scarring if not properly treated. Acne vulgaris commonly affects the face, neck, arms, upper chest and back. Teenage males and females are more frequently affected.

Butt Acne is not actually acne vulgaris

Pimples on the butt are strictly speaking not common acne. They can be painful and unsightly. They result from folliculitis (inflammation at the base of the hair follicle) and the formation of carbuncle (an abscess usually caused by the staphylococcus bacteria).

Causes of Butt Acne

The skin is the body’s first defence against germs and physical injury. Occasionally this barrier is breached and can result in an “insult” to the skin. In the case of the buttocks favourable conditions can lead to the formation of localized pimples. Among the causes are:

  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Dermatitis (inflammation of the skin)
  • A weaken immune system
  • Trauma to the skin (broken skin)
  • Diabetes (high blood sugar levels)
  • Disease of the liver
  • Disease of the kidney

Complications of Butt Acne

There are two skin conditions which can develop from the butt acne. One is the infection and inflammation of the hair follicles which extends to the surrounding soft tissue. This is called folliculitis.

The other skin infection affects the deeper layers of the skin and is called carbuncle. This is the formation of abscesses

Symptoms include:

  • Swelling and pain at the site of infection
  • Generalized body aches
  • Oozing of pus from the site
  • Fever
  • Malaise

Both carbuncles and folliculitis can lead to scarring if not treated in a timely manner.

Preventative Measures

Here are some practical preventive tips to minimize or prevent butt acne:

  • Wear cotton underwear which allows the skin to ‘breathe’
  • After a work-out change your work out gear. Sitting around in sweaty gym wear is not healthy as the sweat blocks pores
  • Shower as soon as you can after a workout session
  • Try using a cleansing brush to gently exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin and bacteria.
  • Wash hands often
  • Do not squeeze the pimples or boils
  • Avoid rubbing broken skin
  • See a doctor without delay if you think you have butt acne

Treatment of butt acne

  1. Keep Pores unplugged with salicylic acid
    Persons who are prone to butt acne should use a cleansing solution of salicylic acid a few times a week. This will help to keep pores unplugged.
  2. Exfoliate the skin with a lotion which contains lactic acid

The lactic acid in certain lotions gently exfoliates off dead skin cells, which will help you get rid of the pimples.

  1. A broad-spectrum antibiotic

Both oral and or topical skin preparations can fight the infection.

  1. Analgesics

Painful areas and fever can be relieved with over the counter meds.

  1. Minor surgery may be recommended to drain the abscesses


Preventing butt acne and early treatment when it appears is the best bet for preventing the scarring of the skin. However, when scarring occurs the dermatologist can use topical treatment or laser to minimize the appearance of scars.

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