When it comes to getting undressed or when the beach is calling your name during the summer months, exposing your butt can be a real daunting prospect if you suffer from outbreaks on your butt. Facial acne is a pretty common occurrence, especially in teenage-years, but when it comes to butt acne, we tend to not speak about it.
This is probably due to the area in question- it’s a little embarrassing, and out of sight, out of mind right? But a lot more people suffer from butt acne than you might think.
The good news is most of the time you can easily treat butt acne using home remedies, over the counter products, or a few little adjustments in your daily routine.
What is Butt Acne?
Acne on your rear is not exactly the same thing as acne vulgaris, which is a skin condition that commonly affects the face (facial acne) and other parts of the body such as the back, chest, and shoulders-areas of the body that tend to produce more oil. The combination of excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria on the skin causes clogged pores and we get acne. But butt acne is a little different, and can be caused by a few different things!
Acne on the butt is usually caused by Folliculitis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folliculitis), which is defined as an infection and inflammation of one or more hair follicles. It results in red, acne-like bumps on the butt. It can originate from an infection that’s caused by bacteria, yeast, or fungi. Or simply irritation of follicles- by wearing tight clothing or shaving for example.
When folliculitis gets out of hand and the infections intensify, spread, and get deeper into the skin, it can turn into carbuncles which really are a real pain in the ass. However, the silver lining is: that sort of severe infection is totally preventable and there’s no reason to let it get that bad.
Keratosis pilaris appears as a bumpy skin rash. It is caused by hair follicles clogged with dead skin cells, which create a keratotic plug.
Contact dermatitis is characterized by an itchy red rash, blisters, and bumps. It’s caused by skin irritation or an allergic reaction to something.
Symptoms to Watch Out For
To sum up the symptoms of butt acne:
- Red bumps
- Itchy skin
- Red rash
- Pimple or pustule located around a hair follicle.
Why do I have butt acne?
People are simply not made for sitting on their buttock extensive hours a day and this might as well be the main reason why acne-like outbreaks on our bum are a very common issue in modern society.
For eons, our natural sitting position was squatting until someone came up with the genius idea of a chair.
Seemingly comfortable sitting positions are definitely outweighed by a myriad of negative consequences like back pain, digestive problems, lack of flexibility, and yes, also little painful bumps on your butt!
If you don’t believe it – try to sit in a squatting position for a couple of minutes each day it will benefit all of the above. However, it won’t heal your acne as you still squeeze your follicles over hours each day which is likely to end in inflammation.
The Causes of Acne On the Butt
It all starts with a damaged hair follicle which is caused by:
- Sitting on your butt for hours and hours each day
- Friction from clothing – the tighter the clothing, the more it irritates the follicles
- Insect bites
- Blockage of the follicle
- Skin sensitivity to certain laundry detergents
Then the damaged follicle is infected by bacteria that is naturally present on the skin or externally enters the environment of the skin. Excess sweating during workouts, in the hot summer months, or due to the wrong clothing enhances this effect and makes an infection more likely.
The infection is caused by the fungus T. rubrum or genus Malassezia
If a hair grows back into your skin, which is also called Pseudofolliculitis barbae– or barbers itch. It often occurs after shaving or waxing.
How can I get rid of butt acne?
When it comes to preventing and getting rid of butt acne, there are definitely some changes you can make right now.
Shower After Working Out!
We know that after a hard workout at the gym, sometimes all you want to do is get home and crash on the couch!
But if you want to avoid butt acne and body acne in general, you need to shower immediately after working out and rinse that sweat off! Cleanse your body thoroughly with a good body wash to make sure there’s no sweat left lying on the surface of your skin. If you don’t, that’s a recipe for more clogged pores and infected hair follicles.
This is because acne such as fungal acne is made worse by sweating. So after exercise or even on a hot, humid day where you find yourself sweating excessively, take a well-deserved shower and rinse your body off.
And if it’s not possible to shower straight away, consider investing in somebody wipes with antibacterial properties to stop acne-causing bacteria from festering on the skin for too long.
Now you know to shower as soon as you can after working out, well it’s equally as important to change out of your sweaty gym clothes as fast as you can after a workout! A lot of gym-goers that do suffer from body acne and butt acne tend to take a change of clothes with them to the gym. This helps minimize the time your body is in contact with your sweaty workout clothes.
And always wash your clothes after a day’s use- yes, especially those sport’s bras and sweaty yoga pants! Sweaty clothes can cause a build-up of bacteria so making sure they’re washed lessens the chance of more butt breakouts.
Another tip is to try and wear cotton garments. Cotton is a super breathable fabric and is very kind to the skin, especially sensitive skin. The less irritating fabrics you wear on your skin, the less chance you have of getting more clogged follicles. Also, wear moisture-wicking fabrics as they help with sweat management.
Lastly, avoid super tight-fitting clothing. Tight-fitting clothing can irritate the skin and thus acne forms. Fighting butt acne is largely about finding things that can reduce irritation of the skin.
Re-think your Choice of Laundry Detergents!
A Lot of laundry detergents and dryer sheets contain harsh chemicals that prove to be way too much for our delicate skin. Finding a good laundry detergent that is made specifically for sensitive skin might just be a life-saver when it comes to butt acne!
Butt Acne Treatments
The good news is that in most cases topical, over-the-counter treatments or little adjustments in
Your daily routine will do enough to clear up your rear! To start off I will give a couple of very useful tips for prevention which in many cases will make any treatments no longer necessary and outbreaks on your butt a thing of the past. But if you do need immediate treatment, I will highlight potential treatments right after.
A body wash containing benzoyl peroxide can work wonders for body acne and butt acne too as it does a good job of treating folliculitis. Benzoyl helps to get rid of dead skin cells, bacteria, and excess oils that build up in the pores of the skin and cause acne. For those with acne-prone skin, a wash containing even just 2% benzoyl peroxide can help prevent and treat future breakouts.
However, benzoyl peroxide is known to bleach fabrics. Therefore, it is recommended when using benzoyl peroxide washes or creams to use white towels and to wear white underwear.
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid- a chemical exfoliant. Salicylic acid assists your skin in its natural exfoliation process. It helps dissolve away excess sebum and skin cells, thus preventing acne and butt acne. It can also help reduce the appearance of acne scars.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil. It can really help treat mild to moderate acne breakouts. It’s known for its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, as well as anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it great for treating those pesky folliculitis bumps. You can find tea tree oil in washes and various creams. You can also buy a whole bottle of tea tree oil as an over-the-counter treatment, dilute it as needed, and apply it to affected areas.
Avocado oil helps keep the skin hydrated and has anti-inflammatory properties. This helps protect the skin barrier and can also reduce your skin’s rate of oil production. If you have butt acne, you may wish to consider purchasing some avocado oil and applying it to the acne to soothe the area.
If you have tried many of the recommended tips and treatments and your butt acne still persists, it may be time to see a board certified dermatologist. Also, if your butt acne is causing you extreme pain, discomfort, mental stress, or you’re at risk of scarring, please do seek medical help!
Ways to Prevent Outbreaks on Your Buttocks
To sum up ways of preventing butt acne:
- Try to minimize the time in tight clothing – yoga pants or those really tight jeans are sexy, but they also put your bum under constant stress. At least do so while sleeping. The friction is likely to cause irritation, the tightness will push bacteria into the pores and will make it hard for your skin to breathe and it also traps sweat. Spend a couple of more dollars and go for natural rather than artificial materials. Cotton works wonders! Go for more breathable fabrics!
- Always shower immediately after working out – Don’t wait for your showering until you get home, sitting on your sweaty bum will greatly increase the possibility of infection as bacteria are remaining on the skin in a prosperous environment and are likely to enter pores.
- Minimize the time you squeeze your bum – As said before, sitting on a chair Is not our natural sitting position. Every second you try to avoid this position will reduce stress on the follicles on your bum. Go for a walk in the park instead of hitting the couch, practice some squatting, or work while standing for a period each day. Besides positively affecting outbreaks on your bum it will strengthen your core muscles and improve your overall fitness.
- Don’t Pop! – As always but especially on the bum it will only make things worse. If you squeeze on the hair infected follicle, you will end up damaging it more. So, hands-off!
- Keep it Moist! – The continuous friction with textiles is likely to let your bum end up dry, moisturizing will prevent that and also provide it with essential nutrients to heal.
- Skincare! – Use body washes and other skin care products containing salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. A benzoyl peroxide wash is especially recommended! And please do not over wash your skin as this can do more harm than good. Twice daily is normally enough!