It's bad enough that breakouts on your face are still a thing, but what the heck is up with getting acne on your butt (aka buttne)? TBH, it's just as embarrassing as waking up to a zit in the center of your forehead—only, at least you can quickly hide the pimple on your butt by slipping on your clothes.
That said, at some point in the near future, you're going to be baring your bum in a bikini— or before that in front of your significant other—and you're going to want to your ass to be as clear as your complexion. Cue Shereene Idriss, M.D., a board-certified NYC-based cosmetic dermatologist who's here to save your, well, ass.
But before you can tackle this zituation head on, you first need to know what's causing it. "It's usually not a type of acne," Dr. Idriss says, "it's an inflammation of the hair follicles caused by friction." This can be a result of staying in your workout gear too long (this also allows bacteria, sweat, and oil to brew blemishes) or wearing pants, skirts, or bottoms that are constantly rubbing your bottom the wrong way (literally), triggering inflammation, she explains.
That said, there are instances where patients are experiencing actual zits on their bums (with puss inside—gross, but we've all been there so don't judge), which is why Dr. Idriss urges people to go in and speak to their derm and have them analyze what's actually going on.
Cool, another thing to worry about while you're just trying to live your best life. So, now what?
If, from what you can tell (feel free to look at your rump in the mirror to assess), you seem to have inflamed spots versus actual breakouts, take the following at-home action:
Don't stay in your work out clothes long enough for your skin to marinate in them.
Basically, take your sweaty work out clothes off as soon as you get inside your house and take a shower. The quicker you clean yourself off the less chance bacteria has to brew inside your leggings. Oh, and if a pair of pants rubs you the wrong way, maybe chill on wearing them for a hot second until you get this issue under control.
Wash with a medicinal, acne-fighting body wash.
Dr. Idriss recommends washing with a body wash that contains a high percentage of benzoyl peroxide to kill any bacteria on the skin.
Treat, do NOT pick!
Dr. Idriss doesn't want you exacerbating the issue. Instead, she recommends swiping the area with a glycolic or salicylic acid pad and then applying a skin-sloughing lotion on your butt skin, like Amlactin, which contains urea that helps keep dead skin cells from collecting and clogging your pores.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.