Let's Talk About Bum Spots

Bum Spots: Woman in velvet body suit

Our skin is pretty fascinating. It's such a complex and hardworking system yet we hardly give it any credit. When our skin changes and does things we're not quite into, it's even harder to think of it in a positive light. One such change can be bum spots. Nope, it's not just you, and you're not the only one who has them (even though it can often feel like it).

While we're all happy to share our skin successes and serum recommendations, we rarely discuss topics like getting spots on our bums with our friends. Of course, this lack of conversation doesn't help in normalising the random things our skin does. So that's what we're about to do. Pull up a chair, as we're going to delve into all things bum spots.

There's nothing to be embarrassed about. Our skin is a barrier, and it's there to protect us, so if you've had (or currently have) these spots, it's just your skin sending a message that it's not happy at the moment. We decided to get to the bottom (no pun intended) of these spots and have a chat with Kate Bancroft, nurse independent prescriber and founder of Face the Future, to learn about why we get bum spots and what we can do about it.

Why do we get spots here?

Trust us—if you've ever had spots on your rear, you're not alone, and there's definitely nothing wrong with you. As with most skin-related issues, there are a few possible reasons behind it. It's also worth noting that this particular area of the body is more prone to spots. Why? "The skin in this area is nearly always covered up and is, therefore, more susceptible to inflammation caused by friction," says Bancroft.

She says that it could also be folliculitis, a skin condition caused by the inflammation of hair follicles. Bancroft also adds that the spots can be a result of everyday behaviours, as "tight-fitting clothes that rub can cause friction, which leads to spots. It might also be from a build-up of products, most notably conditioners, which a lot of the time are oil-based, so when washed out of the hair, they can end up on our backs and buttocks and leave a light film on the skin which can clog pores and trap bacteria."

If you exercise frequently and tend to linger in your clothes afterwards (like we've all done), it could be to blame. "Increased sweating from exercise and summer conditions can also lead to an increase in spots on the buttocks too," says Bancroft.

Are there any preventative measures?

With that said, prevention is always easier than a cure. Also, don't stress yourself out—the spots will go away eventually, and worrying about spots usually makes them stick around longer. Bancroft's advice? "Remove sweaty workout clothes, and shower as soon as possible post-workout to avoid the spread of bacteria."

For shower etiquette, she adds: "On hair-wash night, don’t let the conditioner sit on your back and run down to the buttocks. When you wash conditioner off, take your hair over your shoulder and let it rinse away from your body." These slight changes in your routine should help if you've had these spots before or want to prevent getting them in the future.

Are there any products that can help?

Once you've incorporated the above (along with trying not to think about the spots too much), there are products that can help treat the symptoms. Bancroft says to incorporate products containing exfoliating acids like salicylic and glycolic, as they'll help slough away dead skin cells, clear pores and reduce inflammation. Don't forget to use an antimicrobial body spray as well. Curious? Here are some for you to try out…

Cinisept Plus Aftercare
Cinisept Plus Aftercare $15

This will help to clean the area without being harsh to the skin. Bancroft recommends it, as the spray has "the latest antimicrobial technology, which balances skin pH levels and has a disinfecting action without any stinging or irritation."

Nip + Fab Body Glycolic Fix Body Cream
Nip + Fab Body Glycolic Fix Body Cream $5

With a powerful trio of glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids, this lotion will get to work on exfoliating and smoothing the area.

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant $26

To remove dead skin cells, deeply exfoliate and clear out pores, this leave-on treatment is great to have on standby.

Murad Clarifying Body Spray
Murad Clarifying Body Spray $35

An antibacterial spray that helps to soothe and reduce blemishes as well as cleaning the area to prevent any future ones.

Next up, how you can treat your feet this party season.

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