What is "buttne"?

Acne on your other cheeks 🍑

Skin & skincare

Quick summary 📝

1️⃣ Identifying butt acne: buttne, or butt acne, is often not true acne but rather a form of folliculitis or even keratosis pilaris

2️⃣ Causes: clogged pores, folliculitis from friction, and keratosis pilaris can contribute to buttne

3️⃣ Treatment: buttne might resolve on its own, but specific products can help if there's an underlying condition. Tips include changing underwear daily, wearing loose clothing, preventing sweat buildup, drying after washing, and gentle exfoliation

4️⃣ When to seek help: most cases resolve naturally, but if it’s persistent or worsening, consult a GP for advice and potential treatment

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Butt acne, also known as ‘buttne’ is a frustrating but common problem a lot of teenagers experience. You might think the little spots on your butt are from acne, but the reality is that these annoying and sometimes painful bumps aren't exactly true acne, it is usually something called folliculitis!

So, what is buttne? 👀

While buttne can occasionally be related to excessive oil production like true acne, this is not very common. Unlike facial, chest and back acne, buttne is actually a form of folliculitis, which is a mild inflammation of the hair follicles on the bum. In some people the pimples may be masking another harmless skin condition called keratosis pilaris (getting a bit medical we know, but probably worth knowing!)

Causes of buttne...

  • Clogged pores: Classically, blocked pores occur due to excess oil production, which can happen anywhere on the body, including the skin of the bum. This results in the follicles trapping dead skin and dirt leading to typical acne comedones (whitehead or blackhead spots)
  • Folliculitis: As we go about the day, friction from tight clothing and sitting down for prolonged periods of time can irritate the hair follicles which can trigger a mild inflammatory reaction. The inflamed follicle can look like red bumps in those with light skin, and purple or brown bumps on deeper skin tones. Though acne and folliculitis can look similar, folliculitis usually has a hair in the middle of the red pimple and usually appears in small clusters unlike acne, which is usually more widespread
  • Keratosis pilaris (that long, medical word again): Keratosis pilaris is a harmless condition where excess protein (keratin) builds up in the hair follicles of the arms, thighs or bum. It usually appears as lots of tiny white bumps, which may also appear either red or brown around their edges, depending on your skin colour. Unlike acne there is no absolute cure, as it is largely a genetic condition. Whilst it is harmless, there are ways in which to help soften the texture of the skin.

Treating buttne 🍑

Generally buttne may subside on its own, however if there is an underlying condition you may need specific products, which can be recommended by a GP. Some general tips include: 

  • Change your underwear daily  to prevent prolonged contact with dirt and moisture 
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing and opt for looser clothing helps prevent friction with the fabric
  • Prevent sweat from building up! After exercise, have a quick wash to clean the butt area, which can also prevent oils from clogging the pores
  • Dry yourself well after washing!
  • Exfoliate gently, especially if you have keratosis pilaris - but the key word here is gently as aggressive exfoliation can make the problem worse!

Most of the time, these 'buttne' spots will go away on their own after a few days or weeks without needing any treatment. If the spots aren’t going away as you'd like, or if it becomes more red, painful, or if you feel unwell, you can always visit your GP. They can explain what you are experiencing and they will let you know if any treatment is needed ❤️✨

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