Red Bumps on the Butt: Causes & Treatment

red bumps on butt causes and treatment

Got red bumps on your butt? You're not alone.

Every day hundreds of people search online for information about “red bumps on the butt.” A quick check of Google Trends proves that there’s plenty of interest in this embarrassing, personal topic. People with bumps on their butt usually try to keep the problem hidden from friends and loved ones, so they turn to the privacy of the internet to search for answers. People wonder, are the bumps caused by acne, folliculitis, a rash, an STD, or an underlying health concern??? Unfortunately, the internet is full of blatantly false information on this topic.

One example of garbage information is this chart that supposedly shows the cause of acne based on the location of the breakout. These graphics are all over YouTube and skin care blogs. Charts like this have no scientific backing whatsoever. 

body acne treatment

This is complete BS!!!

So... what are these red bumps on the butt, and how can they be treated? Read on to find real answers. 

Acne & Folliculitis

Most red bumps on the butt are caused by acne, folliculitis, or a combination of both. These pimple-like bumps can range from small, red spots and blackheads to large, painful cysts that leave behind dark scars.

ACNE on the buttocks occurs when pores get clogged with a mixture of dead skin cells and sebum, the body’s natural oil. The plugs expand as more skin cells and oil build up, becoming whiteheads or blackheads. If pores get infected with bacteria, then swollen, red bumps form, and these bumps can even turn into painful cysts that leave lasting scars. Acne on the buttocks is made worse by the constant friction that occurs in this area and is also aggravated by sweat that's trapped between underwear and the skin.

FOLLICULITIS is sort of like acne, but it's a problem of the hair follicles, not the pores. Folliculitis occurs when hair follicles are infected with either bacteria or fungi, and this is more likely to happen in follicles that have been blocked by dead skin cells and oil. Folliculitis usually looks like many small, red bumps that are often topped by a whitehead. These bumps sometimes turn into large carbuncles that resemble acne cysts. The same culprits that inflame buttocks acne, constant friction and trapped sweat, are also responsible for flaring up folliculitis on the rear end.

It can be hard to tell the difference between acne and folliculitis, and it’s common for people to have both. Luckily, a precise diagnosis isn’t necessary because both problems can be successfully tackled using the same products and self-care tips.


Whether you have acne, folliculitis, or both, you need a product that is exfoliating, antibacterial and antifungal, and that fades scars. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), such as salicylic and glycolic acids are good choices, but the best option is mandelic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that is derived from bitter almonds. The following properties make mandelic acid a clear winner for treating booty breakouts:

  • ANTIBACTERIAL & ANTIFUNGAL: Mandelic acid has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties, so it fights the invaders that cause both acne and folliculitis to flare up. Other skin care acids are antibacterial, but mandelic acid is the only one that's both antibacterial and antifungal, making it ideal to treat both acne and folliculitis.
  • EXFOLIATING: Mandelic acid dissolves the bonds between skin cells, and this allows dead skin cells trapped in the pores and hair follicles to be flushed away. Once this congested material is cleared, the pore or follicle can function normally. Both acne and folliculitis are greatly aggravated by dead skin cell build ups.
  • SAFE FOR ALL SKIN TYPES: Mandelic acid is the most gentle alpha hydroxy acid treatment. It has a larger molecular size than other acids, and these larger molecules are slower to absorb into the skin. Other acids, like glycolic and salicylic, can be very drying and irritating. Mandelic acid can be safely used for all skin tones, from very light to very dark, and it won’t cause hyperpigmentation (dark spots) or reddening like other skincare products.
 before and after mandelic acid treatment butt acne folliculitis   before and after mandelic acid treatment butt acne folliculitis

    Self-Care Tips:

    To avoid future breakouts, regularly apply a serum that contains mandelic acid, and follow these tips:

      • Shower as soon as possible after exercising. Leaving perspiration close to your body will greatly exacerbate breakouts.If you can't shower right after exercising then at least bring an extra pair of clean, dry underwear and pants to change into.
      • Wear breathable clothing and underwear whenever possible. Cotton and other natural fibers are the best choices. Avoid synthetic fibers like satin and polyester because they trap moisture and don't allow your skin to breathe.
      • Change out of your skinny jeans every once in a while. Tight pants create friction and trap sweat and bacteria against your skin. Try changing into more breathable pants once you get home in the evening. When wearing loose-fitting bottoms, go sans-underwear whenever possible.
      • Make sure to wash your bedding regularly. Dirt and grease trapped on sheets can cause breakouts.
      • Don’t scrub too hard in the shower. This will irritate your skin, cause further redness and swelling, and can cause bacteria or fungus to spread. Instead of harsh scrubbing, use a clean washcloth and gently rub the area using circular motions.


      Like what you read? Want to chat about skincare with people who have the same skin concerns as you? Join our Facebook Group- Almond Clear Skincare Support.


      I thought I was alone… How I wish I could afford this!!! It would cure so many of my insecurities… Maybe… One day.. I will he able to cure this problem.

      Jessica Kelly September 09, 2021

      Which one are you supposed to start with level 1 or 2? What’s stronger?

      Racheal September 09, 2021

      Amberlay, that you so much for sharing your story. That takes a lot of bravery! I just sent you an email so that we can discuss your skin concern off of the public comments section. :-)

      Leslie (Almond Clear founder) May 07, 2019


      heres a little about my situation:

      i was recently put on an oral medication called minocycline; (in the tetracycline family) which is the second strongest medication out of the group that are similar. but the Doc diagnosed me with sever cystic acne due to having acne literally everywhere on my body.. Even tho some part were very veer mild and some were worse.

      i have seen a difference in my skin thus far improving in the pass six weeks; mainly on just my FACE..

      CARRYING ON: this whole thing has been going on WITH HAVING BLACK HEAD LIKE BUMPS ON MY LEGS THIGHS AND BUM since i was a teenager; seems as I got older; it got worse.. go figure; puberty. and if were speaking genetics, my father had terrible ass acne…

      Any way, When i was maybe 25 i started noticing these pimple clusters or just many (blackhead like bumps) all over each body part as i mentioned before, but not just an area, it would be all over the whole entire body part.example being; on my lower and upper legs, my thighs- side of my thighs, my upper arm-into my back,, and side of my thigh going directly towards my ass.
      they were the most noticeable and would appear easier to see after I had freshly shaved my legs than they ever have and Im meaning since a teenageer…..

      . Mind you; I have very sensitive skin so i am VERY VERY careful at what i apply, rub or put on my skin; shaving cream, lotion, cream, soap, razors , you name it- IT ALL!

      .. Anyway, its three years later now 28 years old and without a doubt; STILL every time i shave I still get those cluster loads of blackhead pimples.. but now that im older; they are getting worse, bigger, sometimes redder, and crazy ass black heads pop out of them, mainly on my legs, but MAINLY overall very noticeable TO ME!!!!! im refuse to wear shorts or anything bc its so god damn embarrassing,


      hahaha sorry but seriously.
      Private email me if needed also.
      i hate that i put this publically, but if you rather email go head.
      I NEEED to KNOW if this product works and reduces the redness and acne,


      Amberlay May 07, 2019

      I have been having these small red bumps on my thighs, butt, and down my arms. I get really bad acne on my shoulders so I’ve been thinking it was just Vance but then it started showing up on my thighs and slowly spreading to my butt. I’m not sure what it is.

      Naomi Brannon January 04, 2019

      Kashmira, that sounds so difficult to deal with. I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve had to live with folliculitis for years. For the kind of problem that you described I’d really recommend getting checked out by a dermatologist or doctor so that they can rule out other skin disorders. Once they’ve ruled out other issues then you could give AlmondClear a try. Best of luck to you, and feel free to email me at to keep me posted on your progress.

      Leslie (AlmondClear founder) July 16, 2018

      I keep getting red acne same like folliculitis boils on my buttocks, chest, stomach, back, neck, arms,
      Behind ears pain full bois and face. This problem is not getting solve it is already pass 7years but it keeps going n coming

      Kashmira Daruwalla July 16, 2018

      Michael, thanks for your question. In order to successfully treat acne or folliculitis, you really need to use a product that is left on the skin, such as a serum, cream, or spray. Cleansers and shampoos, like the Axe products that you mentioned, aren’t left on the skin long enough to be absorbed into the pores, so they can’t dissolve dead skin cells and oil or battle bacteria or fungus. I highly recommend that you start using a leave-on product that you don’t rinse off, and apply it twice a day as tolerated by your skin. AlmondClear is an excellent option because it works for both acne and folliculitis. Good luck, and let me know if you have other questions.

      Leslie (AlmondClear founder) July 13, 2018

      Will any Axe shampoo/body wash work?

      Michael July 08, 2018

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