Swimsuit models and pin-up girls get to have their blemishes airbrushed and Photoshopped into oblivion, but everyday folk have to take a more active approach to treating and preventing the dreaded butt-blemish breakouts. Luckily, remedies are available to try at home, possibly avoiding the cringeworthy, undies-dropping examination in the doctor's office.
Don't pick. Tempting as it may be to squeeze or pop blemishes, particularly if they are sore or painful, experts advise resisting this urge, especially if your butt acne could be attributed to wearing clothing that chafes or irritates the skin. Picking the red bumps could make the problem worse and could cause infection, according to the website, acneclearup.com.
Exfoliate and disinfect. Scrub your butt with a water-based antibacterial product, preferably one that contains tea tree oil, a natural antifungal and antiseptic. The website Acnetreatment-answers.com advises exfoliating the area with a loofah or soft bristle brush--the kind used to clean the fingernails--again using an antibacterial body wash or soap. Do not scrub too hard or roughly, which can aggravate breakouts. Witch hazel is another natural product with mild antiseptic properties that can be applied to the breakout area after the exfoliation step. The website Acnemagazine.com suggests that if going natural is not imperative, then use a skin-sloughing acne treatment hygiene soap or product that contains salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. It also cautions that sunscreen products, shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments can clog pores and collect in the folds of the buttocks, so rinse your back and butt area extra-throroughly. Oil-based products can also stop up pores and produce blemishes (reference 4).
Keep it dry. After bathing or showering and completely drying the body, apply a body powder containing cornstarch to help the butt stay moisture-free. Wear cotton underwear and sleep on sheets that are all-cotton or contain a high percentage of cotton. Clean clothes, linens and towels are also a must, since dirty clothes can exacerbate back and butt acne. Sleeping on your side can also help avoid butt blemishes. Another way to keep the area dry is to sleep in cotton underwear or pajamas or even go commando during the night.
Wear absorbent materials and natural fibers against the butt when exercising or for everyday wear.
Check the ingredients in your laundry detergent, soaps, or bath gels. You could have an allergic reaction to a perfume or herbal additive in the product that may be causing the breakouts, especially if you have recently switched products and are now experiencing butt blemishes.
If your butt acne is chronic, severe or the breakouts appear infected, a consultation with your primary physician or a dermatologist is advised.
Jayne Blanchard's work as a journalist and editor has appeared in "The Washington Post," "Psychology Today," "Brides," "Newsday," "USA Today," "Cosmopolitan," "ADAM," "Style" magazine and myriad other publications. In addition to writing about health, travel and women's issues, she has also worked as a movie reviewer and theater critic and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.