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Friday, April 2, 2021

Butt Acne

     Who knew there was such a thing as butt acne, but it really does exist. Apparently it's an uncomfortable thing that happens mostly to people who exercise regularly and sweat a lot. 
     There are special creams and lotions you can buy specifically to treat butt acne, but they aren't cheap. On 4 ounce bottle I saw advertised costs $32.99, but it must be good stuff. 739 reviewers gave it 4.9 out of 5 stars. 
     Butt acne sounds interesting enough to merit further research, so if you're interested, read on... 
     Most people assume that a breakout of pimples on the butt is acne, but it isn’t really acne. Acne is a skin condition involving clogged pores. When the pores get clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells and bacteria trapped inside them then pimples erupt. Acne most often affects body sites that have a high concentration of oil glands (face, neck, chest, shoulders and upper back), but there apparently is no such thing as an excessively oily butt because the buttocks do not have a lot of oil glands. Hence, true acne on the buttocks is rare. 
     Butt pimples are most likely folliculitis or keratosis pilaris, a harmless skin condition that results from a buildup of keratin (a hard skin protein) that blocks the hair follicle, sweat glands and oil glands. This blockage causes small bumps that can look like acne. Other conditions that look like acne are folliculitis (an inflammation of hair follicles on the butt) and contact dermatitis. 
     Here's an interesting fact. Few people talk about it, but butt pimples are very common and tends to run in families. 
     Nobody really knows what causes it, but butt pimples are the result of damage to the hair follicle that then causes irritation or allows germs to infect it. According to one article the damage can come from friction on the skin, wearing tight clothing, or shaving (people shave their butt?). 
     If one has keratosis pilaris the "pimples" usually don’t hurt or itch whereas folliculitis can be uncomfortable or downright painful. Treatment depends on the cause of the pimples. If it’s keratosis pilaris there are probably also bumps on the back of the upper arms or thighs. Moisturizing the skin right after showering can help soften the skin. An exfoliant cream containing lactic acid or similar ingredients can encourage the skin to regenerate faster and prevent plugged follicles. 
     Treatment of folliculitis depends on whether or not it’s infectious. Folliculitis from irritation may improve if the source of the irritation is removed such as tight clothing of stopping the butt shaving routine. Warm compresses and hydrocortisone cream may also help . 
     Because there can be several causes of so-called butt acne, it's recommended that one see a dermatologist if the condition persists or is bothersome. Good luck trying to get an appointment with a dermatologist! They are usually very busy and booked months in advance. 
     Most butt breakouts affect the center of the butt cheeks. Common symptoms of keratosis pilaris include, rough, dry skin that can resemble sandpaper. Small, painless, bumps that can be pointy, have a white tip or center, or look reddish and smooth. It will get worse when the skin is dry or the humidity is low, such as in the winter 
     Folliculitis often affects the skin on the butt, groin, thigh, face, neck or underarm. Common symptoms include small red or white bumps around hair follicles, swollen or irritated follicles, tenderness, pain, itching or burning. In some cases it can cause pus filled blisters that open and crust. 
     Getting an accurate diagnosis is important so you know how to treat it. The risk factors for developing a breakout on the butt depend on the cause. Keratosis pilaris is genetic, so having a parent with it increases your risk. It can show up during childhood, but is most common during the teenage years. In fact, about half of teenagers have this common skin condition. Things that make keratosis pilaris worse include dry skin and dry weather. It often goes away with age, but it can persist throughout adulthood. 
     People at risk for getting folliculitis include those who gain weight which can cause friction from clothes, having acne, dermatitis or a medical condition that weakens your immune system Other causes are shaving, waxing, wearing tight clothing, or wearing clothes that trap heat, moisture or sweat, soaking in an improperly maintained hot tub and using certain medications, such as steroid creams.
     You may be able to lower your risk of developing the scourge of butt acne by changing out of wet or damp bathing suits and workout clothes right away. These items should also be washed after each use, but who does that? Make sure hot tubs are properly maintained before using. Wear loose clothing especially when it’s hot or humid. Finally, if you are one of those people who shaves their butt, be careful and use a good sharp razor. 
     When it comes to treatment, since butt acne isn’t truly acne, acne products aren’t likely to work. In fact, they may make it worse. If you aren’t sure of the cause, see your doctor for the right treatment! 
     For keratosis pilaris, moisturizing the skin while it’s still damp after a shower is a main treatment. Products containing lanolin, glycerin, or petroleum jelly are recommended. Keeping the skin soft can help prevent keratin buildup. Using an over-the-counter exfoliant cream can also help. Look for ingredients such as lactic acid, salicylic acid, urea, alpha hydroxy acid, or adapalene. In some cases, prescription-strength retinoid creams may be necessary. 
     Other home remedies include avoiding harsh soaps and vigorous scrubbing and patting the skin dry instead of rubbing. Take short showers because long showers or baths and hot water can dry out the skin, making keratosis pilaris worse. Use a humidifier during dry winter months. Wear loose clothing. 
     Folliculitis treatment depends on whether or not it's a infection and seeing a dermatologist is probably the best course of action. In the meantime, applying warm, moist compresses several times a day and use anti-itch lotions and antibacterial soap. Towels and washcloths should be washed in hot water after each use. 
     Remember that with folliculitis, physical complications can be serious because the infection can go deeper, forming boils or furuncles. The infection can also spread, causing clusters of boils called carbuncles. This can permanently damage hair follicles and the skin, resulting in scarring or dark spots.

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