Did you know Butt Acne is a Real and Growing Health Problem?
If you’re wearing your tight-fitting yoga pants to several classes a week and not washing them in between, there’s a good chance the accumulated sweat and grime is irritating your skin.
And if you’re also wearing those pants to bed and most of the day, too, you run the risk of developing a dermatological condition known popularly as “butt acne.”
Butt acne – dubbed “butt-ne” — first burst on the scene in a big way back in 2014 when a group of doctors decided to go public with their concerns about the growing incidence of the problem.
At the time, many observers assumed that their stories were intended to be largely satirical and amusing. There wasn’t much serious talk about the condition – or what to do about it.
But in the past 5 years, as the number of yoga practitioners has continued to mushroom nationwide, the condition has become more widespread.
Technically, butt-ne is called folliculitis – because it derives from blockage of the pores that help sprout the hair follicles on your derriere.
However, there’s actually a more serious version of the skin condition known as hidradenitis suppurative, or “inverse acne.”
This second condition – really an auto-immune disorder — can be influenced by hormone levels, and made worse by smoking or being overweight.
But folliculitis is far more common. And it often remains undetected unless the sufferer makes a close examination of his or her rear end. Even those that see it often try to minimize the condition, largely out of embarrassment.
Many doctors say they only detect folliculitis accidentally or during a full-body exam.
Butt-ne is fairly easy to treat with the same acne medications people apply to their faces. Gentle exfoliation also helps immeasurably.
“A topical antibiotic prescription or an over-the-counter salicylic acid leave-on cream can help to soothe the skin, prevent overgrowth and calm inflammation,” says Deidre Hooper, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist. “Similarly, a benzoyl peroxide wash, such as PanOxyl or Proactiv, can limit bacteria already present on the body.”
But many butt-ne sufferers make the mistake of applying more extensive exfoliation which only makes the condition worse. So does using a loofa or scrub to try to scrape away the white-headed pimples associated with folliculitis.
These applications can lead to blemishes and even scarring.
Of course, the best form of treatment is prevention. Wearing cotton clothing and special moisture absorbing products – and avoiding thongs — can prevent the sweat and grime from accumulating on your backside and causing inflammation
The more obvious solution is to wash your yoga pants more often – and of course, to
shower more regularly between yoga classes and work-outs.
But that seems to run counter to what’s become a deeply-ingrained lifestyle trend.
Much of the blame for rising butt acne can be traced to the boutique yoga apparel company Lululemon. Based in Toronto, the firm almost single-handedlypioneered the contemporary “ath-leisure” trend which features upscale women donning high-priced tight-fitting yoga pants for every venue imaginable occasions — from gym work-outs to dinner dates.
Chip Wilson, the company’s brilliant multi-billionaire founder, developed a synthetic nylon-like product with unique butt-enhancing properties that quickly captured the imagination of women seeking every advantage they could find to cultivagte a sleek svelte form – regardless of their actually weight or pants size.
Thanks to Lululemon major retailers like GAP and Nike have developed their own cheaper knock-off brands that have spread the elite clothing trend to the broad masses.
Today, nearly every woman in America own at least one pair of yoga pants or leggings – sometimes a half dozen – even though just a relatively small percentage of these same consumers actually practice yoga or go to the gym.
This is “conceptual” marketing at its best. You create a trendy product that allows its consumers to make a personal statement about their core values and lifestyle.
The problem? The new yoga-inflected fashion craze has many women neglecting basic hygiene considerations.
No doubt we’ll survive the current scourge of pimply derrieres. Butt-ne is not life-threatening after all.
But it’s not exactly healthy, either. And taken to extremes, it’s in decidedly poor taste. Watching a growing number of women scratch their itchy backsides in public is a sight to behold.