beauty

Butt acne: Exactly how to get rid of pimples on your bum.

It’s time for an honest, non-judgemental conversation about the pimples on your bum.

Yep. The angry, red bum pimples otherwise referred to as butt acne that you’re too embarrassed to talk about.

It’s OK. This is a safe space.

The thing is, pimples on your bum are really normal. And common… there’s a good chance the person sitting next to you has pimples on their bum too.

In even better news, butt acne is treatable. You can get rid of it if you want to.

To find out how, we spoke to Dr Adam Sheridan from the Specialist Dermatology Surgery & Laser Clinic about what causes bum pimples and how to get rid of pimples on your bum.

How to get rid of pimples on bum summary:

  • Pimples on your bum are different to the pimples on your face.
  • Bum pimples can be caused by sweat, heat, wearing tight clothing and exposure to irritants.
  • To get rid of pimples on your bum:
    1. Find out what is causing your bum pimples.
    2. Use antibiotics if it’s an infection.
    3. Use a cortisol steroid ointment if it’s an irritant or rash.
    4. Use a chemical exfoliant or alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) cleanser on the affected areas.

What are the pimples on your bum?

Dr Sheridan said pimples on your bum are different to face pimples, simply due to their origin.

Put simply: pimples on your face come from infected sebaceous glands and pimples on your bum start in your hair follicles. In some cases, bum pimples also occur in the perineum  – the bit between your vagina and your anus – but this is much rarer. Thank god.

“Acne is an exuberant inflammation response to normal bacteria on the skin,” he said.

“On the buttocks it’ll mostly be a frank bacterial inflammation, and sometimes it’ll be fungal or yeast related, or inflammation from irritants like dust, and chemicals. Tight clothing, sweat, heat, sand could also be triggers. That sort of thing.”

Why do I get pimples on my bum?

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So you’ve been confronted by new zit-esque visitors on your backside and now you’re wondering what karmic figure you pissed off to deserve such a thing.

As Dr Sheridan mentioned, sweat, wearing tight clothing and heat can trigger pimples on your bum. For example, walking to work and sitting all day in an office chair wearing jeans or workout tights could cause bum pimples.

Certain individuals can be more prone to getting pimples on their bums depending on their occupation. Sports people, carpenters, office workers and professional drivers might experience butt acne more frequently, purely because they’re more exposed to irritants (dust, sweat and heat caused from sitting for long periods of time).

Dr Sheridan said people with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can also be prone to bum pimples due to their already present hormonal imbalances.

How to get rid of pimples on your bum.

Deep breath…

1. What is causing your bum pimples?

First things first: in order to get rid of pimples on your bum, Dr Sheridan said you need to identify the source. They might be: an infection, irritation or a rash, or pimples from blocked pores.

2. If your bum acne is from an infection:

“If the pimples on your bum are infected, then you would prescribe an antibiotic,” he said.

3. If your butt bum acne is from irritation or a rash:

“If it’s caused by an irritant than you would use a cortisol steroid ointment and if it’s ingrown hairs then laser hair removal can be helpful,” he said.

4. Best products to get rid of bum pimples.

“If it’s just a blocked gland or follicle, then a light glycolic or AHA cleanser can be helpful,” he said, referring to chemical acid cleansers that eat up dead skin and cleanse inside the pore rather than classic physical exfoliants that ‘scrub’ away at the surface. You can also use an AHA lotion.

Here are some topical chemical exfoliation products you can try to get rid of bum pimples:

Mario Badescu AHA Botanical Body Soap, $12.

mario-badescu-AHA-body-soap
Image: Mecca.
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Alpha-H Liquid Gold Resurfacing Body Cloths, $32.

alpha-h-liquid-gold-wipes
Image: Alpha-H.

Skinstitut Glycolic Scrub 14%, $49.

skinstitute-glycolic-scrub
Image: Skinstitute.
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Lanate Body Topical Cream, $26.49.

lanate-body-cream
Image: Chemist Warehouse.

However, if it's just the odd pimple on your bum, Dr Sheridan said his patients should strip their skincare routine to strictly basics.

"Get rid of fragrances and avoid irritants in your products. You'll want to and clear your skin of pollutants, and allow yourself normal cell turnover," he said.

Instead, ditch anything that is scented or too-scrubby to avoid further aggravating existing acne, and turn to a basic kit of a pH-matched cleanser (anything that foams is a strict no-go) and a lotion or light-cream.

"Products that contain coconut or glycerin are safe but avoid oil and paste formulas," he said.

You can also prevent pimples on your bum in summer by avoiding oily sunscreens, and instead opting for super-fluids or dry-touch formulas.

At the end of the day, getting pimples on your bum isn't fun, but it is normal.

This content was originally published on December 17, 2017 and was updated on February 19, 2019.

Want more content on pimples, acne and skincare? Read more here:

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