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What Causes "Acne" on Your Bum and How to Deal With It

Spoiler: It's not really acne.
What Causes "Acne" on Your Bum and How to Deal With It
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Spoiler: It's not really acne.

Pimples are annoying wherever they pop up: The forehead, chin, cheeks, and sometimes the other pair of cheeks. We're talking about the bum. We can never forget times when we would feel super cute in our bikinis and then see red dots on the booty. Below, find out what causes butt acne and how to prevent and treat it.

How do I know if it's butt acne?

We've got some low-key good news: That butt acne you may see isn't necessarily acne. If your butt has red bumps that look like tiny whiteheads (and sometimes with hair follicles at the center of each spot) then they are not really pimples. Your skin condition is folliculitis, aka clogged hair follicles.

Acne is caused by excess sebum or when oil glands go overdrive and get infected. If it's an inflamed raised bump, it's most likely to be cystic acne. Whether you think you have folliculitis or butt acne, you should never pop them!

What causes butt acne?

A general rule of thumb: Anything that causes friction may result in folliculitis. There are a number of factors that trigger butt acne, and the bright side is you can prevent them. Watch out for these culprits:

Tight underwear and clothing

As mentioned earlier, anything that causes friction may infect the follicles and clog them. Plus, tight jeans and underwear can TRAP sweat, dirt, and oil. Your bum will become a breeding ground for the unthinkable when you wear super tight panties, leggings, or skinny jeans for a prolonged period.

Sweaty underwear, gym clothes

Now that you know that trapped sweat and dirt can wreak havoc on your bum cheeks, it's pretty obvious that you must take them off right after your workout. It can be tempting to just lounge after all the burpees you've done but you really have to drag yourself to the shower to clean your body. If you're pressed for time, wash your bikini and butt area and change into fresh underwear and clothes.


Prolonged sitting period

Surprise! Too much pressure on your butt is still friction and may trigger folliculitis! Stand up from your seat every now and then to let your bum breathe and stretch your back and legs.

How do I prevent butt acne? How can I treat butt acne?

Shower right after a sweat sesh

Nothing beats a cold shower after finishing a workout or any fitness activity like running or biking. Change out of activewear, wash away all the dirt + sweat, and put on freshly laundered clothing.

Do not repeat underwear

Cleanliness is key. Never repeat your underwear. While you're at it, pick one in the right size and with a breathable material like cotton.

Wear clothing with breathable fabrics

Pick cotton over nylon, Lycra, or any clothing with stretchy material. If you must wear skinny jeans or leggings, make sure to take them off right when you get home. Or, limit them in your wardrobe rotation.

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Wash with antibacterial products

Protect your skin against bacteria by choosing antibacterial soaps and body washes. Look for the ingredient benzoyl peroxide which is famous for zapping bacteria and unclogging pores. If you can, get a body cleansing product with an unscented and gentle formula that won't irritate the sensitive skin on your butt cheeks.

Use gentle exfoliating products

Keep dead skin cells from clogging the pores with a chemical exfoliator. We recommend formulas that have salicylic acid or AHA. You may ask your dermatologist which treatment is best for your bum.

This story originally appeared on Cosmo.phMinor edits have been made by the editors.

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