Q: Sometimes I get painful (and gross) outbreaks of pimples on my butt. Why does this happen, and how can I get rid of them?
A: If you're talking about what I think you are, you'll be relieved to know that the blemishes on your behind probably aren't actually pimples–not in the technical sense. These red sores, which can be quite large and painful, but rarely deveop white heads, are not caused so much by bacteria under the skin as they are by outside bothers: the chaffing of tight pants, synthetic underwear, or sweaty clothing. Many people get this rash- or boil-like outbreak after many hours of sitting–at work, or on an airplane, or in a car–when the constant rubbing and pressure of pants can irritate your bum's pores. Others find that if they don't shower immediately after a workout, their sweaty underwear can clog their pores and cause more pimple-like problems.
There's really no "cure" for this situation–no zit cream especially made for bom-boms–but you can chase away your pimples faster, and prevent their appearance, by following these useful tips:
1) Exfoliate your derriere every day to make clogged pores less likely. It doesn't hurt to use an acne scrub, like Neutrogena Body Clear with blemish-battling salicyclic acid ($6.99) or L'Oreal Pure tZone ($6.99) with scrubalicious body beads.
2) Shower often, especially when you've been perspiring–even up to twice a day–to keep the area really clean and bacteria-free.
3) Do not use moisturizers or creams on the affected area.
4) Give your butt some room! Pantyhose, tight jeans, and control-top underwear don't allow any air in there. Choose instead cotton panties, sheer pantyhose, and skirts–they'll let air penetrate the region. And lest you think that cotton panties can't be cute, just remind yourself of Victoria's Secret's classic 5-for-$25 style:
Do you think that model has pimples on her tiny little bottom? Not a chance.
Once you learn the reasons for your breakouts–whether they come from sitting too much, from wearing too-tight jeans, or from not keeping the area clean enough–you'll know which of the above advice will best apply to you. Just remember: you're not alone!