Hyperpigmentation on Buttocks: Types, Causes, and Treatment

Hyperpigmentation on Buttocks Types, Causes, and Treatment

When someone talks about hyperpigmentation, we often think of the face and neck. However, this skin concern is not just confined to these two areas of the body. Hyperpigmentation in buttocks is equally a problematic concern that affects a lot of people. 

Hyperpigmentation of the buttocks is the appearance of dark patches around the butt. If you wonder why they appear and what measures can be taken to prevent them, keep reading to find the answers.

But, before learning about hyperpigmentation in butts, let’s understand what hyperpigmentation is and its types. 

What Is Hyperpigmentation?

Any area of the skin that gets dark due to excess melanin production refers to hyperpigmentation. Melanin is the skin pigment that gives color to the skin. Dark skin color depicts high melanin content and vice versa. 

What Are The Types Of Hyperpigmentation?


Hyperpigmentation can occur due to different reasons. There are different types of hyperpigmentation, each with its own causal factors and reasons. These are:

1. Sun-induced Hyperpigmentation 

It occurs due to overexposure to the sun. Prolonged exposure leads to darkened areas on the skin and is also called solar lentigines. 

2. Melasma

This type of hyperpigmentation is usually seen in women due to hormonal changes (1). Pregnancy and the use of birth control pills are the major causes of the developing dark patches, usually on the face. 

3. Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

It results from injury or inflammation of the skin (2). When the wound, acne, or injury heals, it leaves the skin dark. 

4. Drug-induced Hyperpigmentation 

The use of certain medications can also lead to the development of dark spots. However, it is temporary, and discontinuing the drugs makes the skin normal. 

Besides these common types, freckles, linea nigra, and dark spots due to certain diseases also come under the types of hyperpigmentation. 

Who Gets Hyperpigmentation?

Who gets hyperpigmentation

Even though hyperpigmentation can occur in any skin type, people with darker skin are more prone to it (3). It is due to more melanin content. 

Generally, hyperpigmentation is considered a skin concern of the face, but it can occur in any body part. Here, we will be discussing hyperpigmentation in the buttocks.

What Causes Hyperpigmentation On Buttocks?

The five main reasons that can be blamed for hyperpigmentation in butts include the following-

1. Higher Concentration Of Melanocytes  

The level of melanocytes on the skin in the folds of the buttocks is usually higher than in the rest of the areas. Melanocytes are the cells that produce melanin. So it leads to darker skin in the butt folds. At the same time, people who sunbathe tend to get hyperpigmentation in their butts.

2. Friction 

Butt folds experience more friction than any other body part, especially while walking. It leads to skin irritation that eventually causes hyperpigmentation over time.

3. Acne

Dark spots in the butt due to acne is a kind of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Many people develop acne on their butts due to more secretion of oil glands, resulting into clog pores and the development of folliculitis. As the acne heals, they leave dark spots (hyperpigmented skin) on the buttocks. 

4. Tight Clothes 

Another reason for getting hyperpigmentation buttocks is wearing tight clothes that make skin sweaty. It again results in folliculitis, which develops as a result of trapped dirt, sweat, dead skin cells, and bacteria in the skin. 

People heading out wearing tight clothes, especially in summer, invite folliculitis. It increases the chances of hyperpigmentation. Likewise, those who exercise wearing tight clothes trap sweat and invite bacteria to thrive. It is another reason for acne development. 

How To Treat Hyperpigmentation On Buttocks?

Hyperpigmentation on buttocks is a common problem; however, it can be treated to some extent. Taking certain preventive measures, using the right skin care products, and taking over-the-counter products can lighten the patches. 

Here’s what you can do to treat hyperpigmentation in butts-

Regular Cleaning 

Hyperpigmentation due to folliculitis can be reduced by clearing the underlying problem of their development. Washing the area and exfoliating at least twice a week can help. It is essential to prevent the development of new acne to get clearer skin.

Make sure you shower daily and use a mild cleanser in the butts to clear acne. Wipe the butts gently and wear loose-fitting clothes. Do not wear synthetic fabric that creates more friction. Ensure the skin breathes, and there are no clogged pores.

People who exercise daily should shower each time after hitting the gym and remove their sweaty clothes as soon as possible. 

Skincare Products

Your cleanser should be mild and have ingredients such as salicylic acid and green tea extract. These two components are highly beneficial for acne-prone skin and make it soft and supple. 

For exfoliation, look out for mild exfoliating agents. Glycolic acid can help remove dead skin and unclog pores gently without stripping off the natural oil. 

Over-the-Counter Products 

  1. For mild hyperpigmentation: If the hyperpigmentation is mild, OTC such as azelaic acid and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) can help. While azelaic acid has antibacterial and antioxidant properties and reduces inflammation and redness, AHAs exfoliate and hydrate, increase cell turnover, and promote the renewal of the skin. 
  2. For moderate hyperpigmentation: If the hyperpigmentation is moderate, deactivating the melanocytes temporarily by using hydroquinone or retinol may help. It is a more intensive treatment and should be taken with caution.  

When the hyperpigmentation is severe, much stronger treatment from a dermatologist is needed. The result may take from 6 months to 2 years. In such cases, treatments like chemical peels and laser therapy can be used to break down the pigments. 

Usually, the dermatologist will suggest the treatment based on the underlying cause of hyperpigmentation on butts and its severity. 


Hyperpigmentation of the buttocks is a common problem, and it concerns those who wear bikinis. Even though the condition may take time to disappear naturally, the right treatment line can give faster results. When the hyperpigmented butts condition is severe, visiting a dermatologist is the right choice.

  1. National Library Of Medicine – Melasma: an Up-to-Date Comprehensive Review
  2. National Library Of Medicine – Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation
  3. Online Library – Facial hyperpigmentation: causes and treatment

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