We recently shared our guide for treating back and chest acne during the summer. Now we’re bringing an area from the rear – so to speak – to the forefront.
A wise person on the internet once said: “If you tell me you’ve never dealt with butt acne, I have to assume you’re lying.” Sure, as far as bodily pimples are concerned, the backside isn’t talked about as much as, say, bacne, but it does exist. Not only that, it’s something a lot of people (especially the workoutaholics amongst us) deal with.
But we’re here to let you know that it’s nothing to be embarrassed about; it can be treated with products and it can be prevented with the proper precautions. We outline all of this, as well as why it happens in the first place, ahead.
What is butt acne?
Well, there are two types, Dr. Iris Rubin, dermatologist and co-founder of SEEN, tells us. There’s the kind of acne that taunted you as a teenager and maybe even into adulthood. The kind that’s due to dead skin cells mixing with oil and bacteria, leading to clogged pores. Then there’s folliculitis, “which is basically an irritation or infection or inflammation of the hair follicle,” Dr. Rubin explains. So, while you can get both acne and folliculitis on your face and your body, the latter is, nine times out of ten, what people are dealing with when they talk about buttne.
How do you get it?
One of the main causes of buttne is irritation that can happen from tight clothing and sweating. So, if you work out a lot and wear form-fitting items while doing so, that could be the reason.
Another cause can be the actual products you’re putting on your body: The washes, soaps, lotions, etc. But it can also be due to what you clean your hair with.“We did a study and we looked at hair care products, even rinse off ones, and found that they stay on your face and your back… because for them to work on your hair, they need to bind to your hair and so they also stay on your skin,” Dr. Rubin explains. She says people often overlook their shampoos and conditioners when it comes to the buttne conversation, “but they run right down your butt in the shower and there’s no way to prevent that. So I think that taking a look at your hair products is also a really important thing to do.”
The British M Ethic Shampoo contains plant-based ingredients like green tea and aloe extract that purify and balance the scalp, but can also be beneficial for the skin on your body as well!
How do you treat it?
Something Dr. Rubin recommends to both prevent and treat buttne is using a medicated wash with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid in it (try the Klavuu Green Pearlsation Tea Tree Care Body Spray). “Some people are really prone to [butt acne], so it’s helpful just to use it periodically to prevent it in the first place.”
Can it be avoided?
Absolutely. One way is to wear looser clothing when working out or doing anything strenuous. If you can’t see yourself giving up your leggings anytime soon, Dr. Rubin also suggests making sure that you wear clean gym clothes, and that, post-workout, you also make sure to not wear them too long. Get to that shower and clean off that sweat as soon as you can. One (slightly unconventional) preventative option is putting antiperspirant on your butt before working out, especially if you know you’re a sweater.
As far as your washes and hair products go, Dr. Rubin says to make sure to look out for ingredients that might clog your pores. Certain comedogenic oils, like coconut, wheat germ, and cocoa butter tend to do so, as well as thick and heavy ointments or creams.
What about post-bump marks?
Well, those can definitely happen and can often be just as frustrating as the bumps themselves. One thing that helps them not pop up in the first place is to avoid picking or scrubbing the buttne when you have it. If hyperpigmentation still occurs, Dr. Rubin says sun protection, time, and lactic acid-based products (like the Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Lemon), which speed up the skin turnover rate, can all help.