If you’ve got spots on your bottom, don’t worry – you’re not alone. In fact, it’s actually quite common to get spots in that particular area and while you may find it embarrassing, there’s actually a pretty easy way to treat them. To spare you the bother, we’ve tapped up the skincare expert dermatologist Dr Gabriel Serrano, founder of Sesderma, for his top tips on how to cure a spotty botty, as well as to find out exactly why it happens and what you can do to prevent it happening in future.
Why is my bottom spotty?
According to Dr Serrano, there are various factors that can cause spots on your bottom. “Sweating and remaining in your clothes means bacteria and sweat are in close connection with your skin, allowing it to penetrate your pores leading to irritation and ultimately spots,” he explains. “Tight clothing, such as non-breathable lycra or polyester can also contribute to trapping sweat and bacteria against the skin, which can lead to spots.”
Then there’s the issue of body hair. “If you are prone to body hair, or have thicker, more coarse hair then you may also find that you are more susceptible to pimples. Also the use of heavy lotions and creams can contribute to blocked pores and inflammation resulting in spots on the bottom.” Noted.
Are bottom spots the same as other spots?
We all know that acne is caused by a variety of factors, including hormones and genetics, and is the result of excess sebum production becoming trapped in the pores. Bottom spots are a little different, as Dr Serrano explains; “Spots on your bottom are likely to be caused by folliculitis, a condition that occurs when bacteria and dead skin cells get into your hair follicles, causing inflammation. This usually looks like small red bumps clustered around the follicle.”
What do I do about it?
Ok, first things first – do not squeeze. We know it’s tempting, but just don’t do it. “Squeezing the spots is not advisable as it can increase inflammation and make the condition much worse,” says Dr Serrano (see, doctor’s orders!).
Next, you’ll need to apply topical products to treat the area, ideally choosing formulas which combine chemical exfoliators like glycolic acid or salicylic acid, as well as soothing ingredients. “Sesderma’s ACGLICOLIC Classic Moisturising Gel Cream contains aloe vera to soothe and calm the skin, along with glycolic acid which is specifically used to help treat and prevent spots and has a very low molecular weight therefore penetrating more deeply into the skin.”
Using a chemical exfoliators as opposed to a physical exfoliator is preferable when dealing with bottom spots. “Scrubs can be too abrasive, especially if these contain particles with rough edges, as these can scratch and damage your skin, causing more inflammation and irritation,” says Dr Serrano. “Exfoliating too harshly can demolish the protective barrier, leading to reddened and irritated skin, and once removed, the skin is exposed to environmental toxins that can cause spots. Rather than opting for a harsh scrub, choose a product that contains glycolic acid, which is less harsh on the skin. Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliator, as opposed to a physical exfoliator. Glycolic acid can be used to help eliminate rough textures by sloughing away dead skin cells and smoothing out the top layer of the skin. This miracle ingredient is a multitasker; it doesn’t just exfoliate your skin, it also hydrates and helps to prevent pimples from occurring.”
Another top tip? “Before showering try sitting on a damp, hot towel as this will help to open up the pores, allowing more depth of cleansing. Washing the body last will help rid any excess shampoo and conditioner, which can cause irritation of the skin thus exacerbating the problem.”
And how do I stop them coming back?
The best thing you can do to avoid future spots, is to let your bottom breathe. As weird as it sounds, our sedentary lifestyles means that our bottoms are squished onto a seat for the majority of the day and they’re basically suffocating. “Sitting down for long periods of time means that your bottom doesn’t have a chance to breathe. Try setting an alarm to remind you to move around at work, or perhaps offer to make a tea round and take a walk around the block at lunch, to up your daily step count. I’d also suggest that you try to wear more breathable clothing, whenever possible, such as cotton underwear to help prevent your pores clogging up.”
And if you’re a gym person, try to get out of gym clothes, or clothing that you have sweated in as soon as possible and have a shower to cleanse and clean the skin.