So you’re either reading this and thinking, “butt acne? As if,” or ”OMG, I’m not the only one with random pimples on my bum.”
Well, we’ve got good news for both camps. We’re here to inform you on both how to prevent butt acne and how to treat it. And we’re going to do it right now before beach season rolls around and those little red blemishes on your butt cheeks have nowhere to hide.
Calling on cosmetic chemist and founder of Synergie Skin, Terri Vinson, we got to the bottom (excuse the pun) of why these pesky pimples keep rearing (sorry, we can’t help it) their heads on our bums of all places.
Why do some people get acne on their bum?
Terri: Acne on this area is very similar to other parts of the body. It can be related to hormonal fluctuations, particularly with testosterone in both men and women, stress, nutrition and environmental issues.
How do we know that the red bumps aren’t actually just ingrown hairs?
T: Ingrown hairs are usually isolated single lesions whereas acne on the buttocks is generally more widespread with a number of acne lesions that may appear as whiteheads, blackheads, papules, which are red irritated bumps, and pustules, which are infected red bumps with a pus-filled centre.
Cute! So what are the best ways to treat these butt breakouts?
T: Chemical exfoliation, particularly with salicylic acid and lactic acid is perfect. A spray formula is best to reach inaccessible areas. Use once daily immediately after showering. The acids will exfoliate the dead skin from the surface and clear out oils and debris trapped in pores and follicles. Salicylic and lactic acid will address both pimples and ingrown hairs. Try physical exfoliation with a light scrub in the shower twice weekly but consult a dermatologist for widespread painful infected acne on the buttocks as this may require short term use of antibiotics.
Another thing to try is to avoid synthetic underwear. Bamboo is ideal as it is breathable and antibacterial, and avoid wearing synthetic or tight underwear to bed. Work on reducing stress levels as elevated cortisol directly impacts oil production and improve your gut health – prebiotics and probiotics both internally and topically restore balance in the gut and skin which reduces body acne. Lastly, say no to sugar and refined carbs – these guys are enemy number one for our skin.
And how do we avoid scarring?
T: Dark brown pigmented scarring results from inflammation and can be treated with ingredients that reduce hyperpigmentation like niacinamide, retinol and anti-pigmentation peptides – Synergie Skin Enlighten ($139 at Synergie Skin) is ideal. Apply to dark pigmented areas twice daily. Clinical treatments to address pigmented scars include chemical peels, IPL and certain laser treatments.
Pitted textural scars should be treated clinically. Medical skin needling or fractional laser resurfacing is recommended for reducing the appearance of pitted scars. These clinical treatments should be accompanied with products to support scar healing and collagen production.
Want to build your anti-butt acne kit? Here are some of our favourite products…
bh loves: Alpha-H Vitamin B ($71.95 at Adore Beauty), Synergie Skin MediScrub ($79 at Synergie Skin), Paula’s Choice Clear Acne Body Spray with 2% Salicylic Acid ($33.15 at Paula’s Choice) and tbh Skincare acne hack cream ($55 at tbhskincare.com)
Have you ever encountered butt acne?