Getting spots anywhere on your body isn’t pleasant, but no body wants butt acne. Aka ‘butne’.
If you get a spot on your face you know the drill, but breakouts on your bottom are something no one talks about, let alone knows how to deal with.
But having a spotty bum is actually pretty common, particularly among those who frequently workout.
So why do we get them and what the heck can we do about bum spots? Because no one really wants a spotty botty.
What is butne?
According to dermatologist Dr Gabriel Serrano Founder of Sesderma there are various factors that can cause spots on your bottom.
“Sweating and remaining in your clothes means bacteria and sweat are in close connection with your skin, allowing it to penetrate your pores leading to irritation and ultimately spots,” he says.
The clothes we wear can also up the pimple risk.
“Tight clothing, such as non-breathable lycra or polyester can also contribute to trapping sweat and bacteria against the skin, which can lead to spots,” Dr Serrano continues.
People who have more body hair or thicker, more coarse hair may also find that they are more susceptible to butne.
“Also the use of heavy lotions and creams can contribute to blocked pores and inflammation resulting in spots on the bottom,” Dr Serrano adds.
Butne Vs acne - the difference
According to Dr Serrano acne often occurs on the face, back and the chest and is often due to hormonal reasons, or simply genetics.
“Acne is caused by sebum, an oily substance trapped in the pores,” he explains. “However, spots on your bottom are likely to be caused by folliculitis, a condition that occurs when bacteria and dead skin cells get into your hair follicles, causing inflammation.”
This usually looks like small red bumps clustered around the follicle. The spots can be itchy and sometimes painful.
To squeeze or not to squeeze bum spots
However tempting it may be to squeeze spots, it is advised not to do so as this can increase inflammation and make the condition much worse.
Use a gentle scrub
“While it’s important to remove dead skin to prevent spots, it’s also important not to strip away too many of your natural oils, so a good balance when using scrubs is essential,” advises Dr Serrano.
“A scrub is an exfoliating product that often uses some particles like sand, seashells, or sugar, to help remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin,” he explains.
But some scrubs can be too abrasive, especially if these contain particles with rough edges, as these can scratch and damage your skin, causing more inflammation and irritation.
“Exfoliating too harshly, which many of us tend to do, can demolish the protective barrier, leading to reddened and irritated skin, and once removed, the skin is exposed to environmental toxins that can cause spots.”
Dr Serrano suggests choosing a product that contains Glycolic acid, which is less harsh on the skin.
“Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliator, as opposed to a physical exfoliator. Glycolic acid can be used to help eliminate rough textures by sloughing away dead skin cells and smoothing out the top layer of the skin,” he explains.
Glycolic doesn’t just exfoliate your skin, it also hydrates and helps to prevent pimples from occurring.
Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse
The best way to stop butne from forming in the first place is to keep your follicles clear and prevent bacteria build-up.
“Before showering try sitting on a damp/hot towel as this will help to open up the pores, allowing more depth of cleansing,” advises Dr Serrano.
“Washing the body last will help rid any excess shampoo and conditioner, which can cause irritation of the skin thus exacerbating the condition.”
Sitting down for long periods of time means that your bottom doesn’t have a chance to breathe. Dr Serrano suggests setting an alarm to remind you to move around at work, or perhaps offer to make a tea round and take a walk around the block at lunch, to up your daily step count.
Switching to loose, breathable fabrics can help too.
“Try to wear more breathable clothing, whenever possible, such as cotton underwear as this will help prevent your pores clogging up,” he adds.
Change out of workout gear
While getting your sweat on in a spin class is great for your fitness goals, all that trapped moisture is less helpful when it comes to avoiding butne.
“Try to get out of gym clothes, or clothing that you have sweated in as soon as possible and have a shower to cleanse and clean the skin,” advises Dr Serrano.
“This will prevent pimples from occurring.”