When the weather starts to heat up, for some of us that means low necklines, even lower backs, and short shorts. But for some people, showing that much skin can be a bit stressful if you’re prone to body breakouts — especially if you’re the type to get a bit of acne on your booty. It sounds embarrassing, but it’s a thing, and you’re not alone.
So if you’re looking for a way to avoid the kind of lady lumps Fergie wasn’t talking about, we’ve got you. We spoke to New York City–based cosmetic dermatologist Shereene Idriss to learn how to handle those pesky bumps.
What are some of the causes of butt acne?
“Butt acne is not truly acne — it is, in fact, most often due to inflammation around hair follicles known as folliculitis, or an irritation secondary to chronic rubbing, which can come with wearing tight-fitting clothes or even waxing. It usually appears as small, shallow bumps that tend to be itchy or painful, but can occasionally develop into larger, cyst-like clusters if they get unruly.”
How can you avoid a breakout down there?
“The best way to avoid a breakout down there is by maintaining good hygiene and washing regularly. In addition, wearing loose-fitting clothes, especially while sleeping, can help prevent a breakout, since tight-fitting garments, in addition to sweating, can lead to irritations, further worsening butt acne.”
What are some of the mistakes people make in trying to get rid of butt acne?
“Scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing. Please stop scrubbing, whether with a scrub or a loofah. People often think they are doing themselves a favor by doing this because it makes their rear end feel — key word — smoother. In reality, they are just worsening the inflammation, which could lead to potential scarring and hyperpigmentation.”
What can you do to ensure that you don’t get hyperpigmentation on your behind?
“Hyperpigmentation can be avoided with less manipulation and more therapeutic treatment. Moisturize your backside with gentle exfoliators, such as AmLactin, or urea-based creams.”
When treating butt acne, what are some things/activities to avoid?
“Avoid scrubbing, and lay off the SoulCycle for a while! The combination of tight-fitting spandex in a sweaty environment and chronic rubbing due to cycling is a recipe for disaster. Also, after a workout make sure to get out of your workout gear ASAP and into something more breathable. Waxing should also be avoided as it can lead to further obstruction of hair follicles, worsening of inflammation, and subsequent pigmentation.”
What are some of the best products to use to curb/prevent a breakout?
“Washing regularly with benzoyl peroxide (like the Murad Clarifying Cleanser) helps keep pesky bacteria at bay, decreasing your chances of developing a bacterial folliculitis. Folliculitis, however, is not always due to bacteria alone; it can also be caused by a fungus. It is important to be evaluated by your dermatologist, as treatments can vary greatly. If you’re prone to irritations, regular use of gentle exfoliators, such as salicylic acid or lactic acid, helps keep your skin surface smooth and avoids buildups. In general, if you are prone to sweating, keep your tush clean and dry — and if you do get folliculitis, don’t wait to get it treated.” (We love the salicylic-acid-spiked Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment Acne).
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