There is a common misconception that acne only affects the face; unfortunately, it does not always seem to be the case.
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Skin is the largest organ in our body and it in are oil-producing glands called sebaceous glands. These glands are present in our entire body except on the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet.
Sebaceous glands are attached to hair follicles and these follicles are attached to the pores. When these follicles get blocked by oil, dead skin cells, and hair, it can form a plug which may get infected by bacteria, swell and develop into acne.
Therefore, no part of the body, except our palms and soles of our feet, is ever excused from developing acne, not our face, not our back, and not even our butt.
Our butt may be kept hidden most of the time, it is not exposed to dirt and pollution unlike the face, neck, back and scalp, but it is always exposed to sweat, oil and bacteria, the most common culprit for acne.
Butt acne can be a serious problem and you cannot just sit on it, literally and figuratively. Not only it is itchy and painful, it can also be embarrassing. Butt acne or “butt-ne”, a coined term for easy recall, is caused by two common factors namely:
- Folliculitis – a mild infection of the hair follicle which can cause pimple-like bumps or pus-filled bumps. Unlike acne on the face, folliculitis is not just caused by sebum but more of a combination of various factors such as friction, blockage of pores due to oil and sweat, and bacteria. These small bumps are usually itchy and may lead to burning sensation.
- Carbuncle – a cluster of boils or an infection of a hair follicle under the skin with a collection of pus (abscess). This is usually red, swollen, painful and uncomfortable when exposed to friction. It is the common result when folliculitis gets worse after severe scratching leading to scraped or punctured skin. Carbuncles can be contagious if untreated and caught in skin-to-skin contact or sharing of personal items like undergarments, clothes, blankets, etc.
Tossing and turning, scratching and scraping, patting and poking, are these common scenarios of butt acne flare for you? This can be mind-boggling and irritating. Ever wondered why you have a clear, pimple-free face, but have acne on your butt? Here are the reasons why you have it and how you can get rid of it:
- Your skin is dry
Your cheeks down there may be experiencing a lot – friction, sweat, lack of TLC. Sometimes, we tend to neglect or forget the things that are kept hidden, including our body parts. If you ever feel like you butt is dry, flaky and bumpy, there is a higher chance that your skin there needs your utmost attention.
The remedy: You can do more than just washing your butt – CLEANSE, EXFOLIATE and MOISTURIZE. Wouldn’t it be nice to actually have a butt as clear and as smooth as your face? Same rules apply. Spend a little more time ensuring that dead skin does not clump and clog, that makes the skin feel bumpy and will most likely lead to breakouts.
Wash it with gentle soap and water, at least twice a day. To exfoliate, you may either try all-natural body scrubs or dry brushing to shed off dead skin, promote good blood circulation and get ready to unveil a smooth and glowing skin.
Moisturizing the skin on your butt after showering is a must. Remember that this part of our body is subject to a lot of stretching throughout the day. Use gentle and light moisturizer than can easily be absorbed by the skin. Baby lotion can be named as the most favourite because it also proves to be the most gentle yet it serves its purpose even for adults.
Ensuring that it is always clean, exfoliated and moisturized will prevent itching and scratching that may lead to nasty acne.
- Your clothes are too tight
Our skin needs to breathe, especially that our butt area is covered almost all the time. Tight-fitting clothes could mean that our skin and pores get suffocated. I can also lead to sweating and accumulation of bacteria.
While wearing rough and synthetic fabric like denim, nylon, rayon, acrylic and spandex can also be damaging your skin through friction.
The remedy: Wearing comfortable clothes, with skin-friendly fabrics like cotton, silk, flax/linen and hemp are made from natural fiber products that cause less friction and are cooler on the skin. This will make sure your skin is given its most deserved royal pampering.
- You left your workout clothes on for too long
Have you ever worked out outdoors, drove yourself back home for another 15 minutes and your sweaty clothes have dried up? Have you ever worked out so hard and was too tired to shower after the workout?
If you answered YES, then there’s a higher chance that you could be facing a butt acne problem soon. Leaving your workout clothes on for too long, letting sweat evaporate, leaving all the oil and bacteria on your skin is a terrible practice.
The remedy: Keep a soft towel handy. Have a nice sponge bath in the car or in the locker if you feel like it will take you quite a long time before you hit the shower.
This will help remove the sweat, oil, and bacteria, temporarily. Imagine using an exercise bike for 30 minutes which might have been used by several sweaty people who did not wipe after use? That’s too gross to imagine. Always have change of clothes ready, including your underwear. Lastly, always shower as soon as you get home.
- Your blood sugar is high
It could be that the dry skin, rashes, blisters and scaling in your butt that often lead to acne has an underlying reason – high blood sugar.
The remedy: Diabetes-related skin conditions usually go away and clear out once the blood sugar is managed. It is always best to immediately consult your physician if you notice that your butt acne becomes an open wound or takes a long time to heal.
- You sit for a long period of time
Your desk job is not only bad for your back, your digestive system and the overall blood circulation in your body. Sedentary lifestyle may also become the starting point of bad butt acne.
Similar to wearing tight-fitting clothes, sitting for too long not only suffocates your buttocks, it also cause the lack of blood flow which eventually lead to the loss of collagen and we all know that collagen is essential for a firmer and healthier skin.
The remedy: Schedule an hourly bio-break. Get up, stretch your back and your butt out, drink water and massage that bum and have a break from bumming.
You should pay attention to your butt acne in a similar way as you would take care of your acne elsewhere. Aside from following these tips, it is advisable to consult your trusted dermatologist if you see and feel something unusual. There are also home care solutions to hasten healing of butt acne:
- Warm compress
You need a clean, soft towel and warm water. Warm compress soothes the affected area and opens up clogged follicles. You may also try adding salt or baking soda to water to alkalize it.
- Use natural antiseptic solutions
If you are enjoying warm compress, you can make it more effective by mixing natural antiseptic essential oils and herbs in your warm water.
Leaves from plants you can grow in the kitchen like Basil, Mint, Chamomile, Lavender and Marigold can be boiled in the water and be used as antiseptic or spongebath. For added potency, apply the essential oil directly to the affected area, just make sure both your butt and your hands are clean and dry.
- Use essential oils
The dawn of essential oils in modern times proved to have quite a good following. Essential oils, like Tea Tree Oil, when used in acne, specifically butt acne, can help cleanse and accelerate drying and healing.
- Moisturize naturally
Naturally available moisturizers like Aloe Vera, which is known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory nature and Coconut Oil, known for its antifungal and antibacterial benefits will aid dryness and prevent recurrence of butt breakouts.
- Deal with the clogged pores
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) may sound like a solution for every health problem and yes, that includes butt-ne. ACV acidity can melt away clumped hair follicles that may lead to folliculitis.
Aside from the home remedies, there are available topical medications available at drugstores and pharmacies that do not require a prescription like soaps, creams, or gels that contain the following:
- Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) to remove dead skin that clogs the pores.
- Benzoyl peroxide that removes excess oil, exfoliates and kills bacteria.
- Salicylic acid that has anti-inflammatory properties and heals swelling of acne.
- Sulfur although known for its foul odor, this mineral is good for exfoliation and decreasing inflammation.
Whether it is from excessive workout, tight clothes, hormones and illnesses or poor hygiene, butt acne is something we should take seriously.
Not only it can cause permanent acne marks and scars, it can also cause sleeplessness, anxiety and low self-esteem, if taken for granted.
You deserve to feel comfortable and feel free in your own skin. Have no fear and bare it whenever you’re on the beach or whenever you feel like it.
Go find what causes it and more importantly, find out what solutions would work for you, your budget and your lifestyle – no ifs, no but(t)s.