Bum Spots: Why You Get Butt Acne & How To Stop It

Nobody really talks about bum spots. It’s the sort of thing you keep firmly in your pants. But remember, spots aren’t just reserved for our faces. On the contrary, you can develop them wherever you have pores and follicles.

Factor in friction, a lack of ventilation and a humid, warm environment and you can expect the chances of breakouts to increase on the body.

This is why pimples can bloom across your shoulders, your chest and your back (also known as bacne).

It’s also why ‘buttne’ – which, for the uninitiated, is butt acne – is an unsurprisingly regular occurrence, especially for people whose jobs require them to sit at their desks for long periods of time.

Are bottom spots the same as other spots?

Bum spots, like regular acne, can be caused by hormones and genetics. It’s possible for them to look similar in terms of whiteheads, pus-filled spots and cysts.

But, depending on the cause, bottom spots can also be a little different, as Dr Serrano explains; “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.”

They are also commonly caused by external factors, which acne on your face is not. “If you’re sat down all day, it is very likely that this will be a supplementary risk factor for buttne,” admits Dr Tiina Meder, dermatologist and founder of Meder Beauty Science.

But don’t be embarrassed – there’s actually a pretty easy way to treat bum spots, even those larger, more painful ones.

Why is my bottom spotty?

Reason 1: Blocked hair follicles

Spots on your buttocks are quite common, and usually caused by a skin condition known as folliculitis which occurs due to irritation, infection or blockage of the hair follicles. It can look like a bumpy rash and occur equally in men and women. The rash or bumps can actually happen anywhere where there are lots of hair follicles – not just your bum.

Reason 2: Long periods sitting

“The warmth from sitting and the inevitable trouble of blood and lymphatic circulation are aggravating factors for existing buttne and present a risk factor for new breakouts.”

Reason 3: Synthetic fabrics

The constant contact with surfaces through clothes is also a factor. As is tight loungewear, leggings and gym gear, combined with not always showering straight after workouts. “Synthetic fabrics should be avoided when battling a buttne outbreak. I would also recommend avoiding jeans with a high stretch content – like jeggings,” says Dr Meder.

Also, switch nylon and synthetic for cotton underwear.

Reason 4: Sweating

“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,” dermatologist Dr Gabriel Serrano, founder of Sesderma, explains. “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.”

Reason 5: Body hair

“If you are prone to body hair, or have thicker, more coarse hair then you may also find that you are more susceptible to pimples. The use of heavy lotions and creams can also contribute to blocked pores and inflammation resulting in spots on the bottom.” Noted.

What do I do about it?

1. Don’t squeeze


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