How to banish butt acne
So you’re either reading this and being all, “Butt acne! As if!” OR you’re going,”OMG yes, finally an answer about that random pimple on my bum!” Good news for both camps – I'm about to blow your mind about bum acne, which isn’t a sentence I ever thought I’d write back when I was completing my journalism degree. But then one morning a few years ago I woke up, and there it was – a pimple on my bum.
What was it doing there? I’d had bacne and boob acne before, but not since I was a teenager and there were never any pimples on my bum. Plus it was beach season and that little red blemish on the edge of my butt cheek was making quite a scene next to my cute white bikini. Eventually the spot faded, but I never forgot my angry red butt pimple friend and often wondered just why he had sprung up.
After finding out that loads of women have experienced butt acne at some point in their lives, I decided to get some answers from Terri Vinson – cosmetic chemist and founder of Synergie Skin (BSc.DipFormChem.DipEd.ASCC) – who kindly let me ask her questions about my bum.
Okay Terri – why was there a pimple on my bum?
Terri: Acne on this area is very similar to other parts of the body. It can be related to hormonal fluctuations, particularly with testosterone in both men and women, stress, nutrition and environmental issues.
Was it really butt acne? Or was it just an ingrown hair?
T: Ingrown hairs are usually isolated single lesions whereas acne on the buttocks is generally more widespread with a number of acne lesions that may appear as whiteheads, blackheads, papules, which are red irritated bumps, and pustules, which are infected red bumps with a pus filled centre.
Cute! So are there any butt acne treatments I can do if another one pops up?
T: Chemical exfoliation, particularly with salicylic acid and lactic acid – Synergie Skin BAcne is perfect. A spray formula is best to reach inaccessible areas. Use once daily immediately after showering. The acids will exfoliate the dead skin from the surface and clear out oils and debris trapped in pores and follicles. Salicylic and lactic acid will address both pimples and ingrown hairs. Try physical exfoliation with a light scrub in the shower twice weekly but consult a dermatologist for widespread painful infected acne on the buttocks as this may require short term use of antibiotics.
Another thing to try is to avoid synthetic underwear. Bamboo is ideal as it is breathable and antibacterial, and avoid wearing synthetic or tight underwear to bed. Work on reducing stress levels as elevated cortisol directly impacts oil production and improve your gut health – prebiotics and probiotics both internally and topically restore balance in the gut and skin which reduces body acne. Lastly, say no to sugar and refined carbs – these guys are enemy number one for our skin.
I’m worried about bum acne scars! What can I do?
T: Dark brown pigmented scarring results from inflammation and can be treated with ingredients that reduce hyperpigmentation like niacinamide, retinol and anti-pigmentation peptides – Synergie Skin Enlighten is ideal. Apply to dark pigmented areas twice daily. Clinical treatments to address pigmented scars include chemical peels, IPL and certain laser treatments.
Pitted textural scars should be treated clinically. Medical skin needling or fractional laser resurfacing is recommended for reducing the appearance of pitted scars. These clinical treatments should be accompanied with products to support scar healing and collagen production.
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