Acne Butt or Acne Butt Mimics
What we know as acne butt or acne buttocks is not real acne. The reason: the butt is not thickly populated with sebaceous glands as in other areas. Actually, there is only one real acne butt, the rest are acne butt mimics!
Most often, infections of the skin of the buttocks is mistaken for acne, hence the name acne butt. Let us look at the causes and diseases mimicking acne on the buttocks, collectively known as, acne butt.
Definition: Acne butt is a misnomer and can be considered as a collection of superficial and deep skin infection of the buttocks mimicking acne.
Causes for Acne Butt Mimics:
Our butt is our seat. The longer and continuous pressure we apply to the area will heat up the buttocks and also cause occlusion. This predisposes to bacterial infection, as hot, humid and sweaty areas are the breeding ground for the bacteria.
The heating up of the butts is especially severe in obese persons, drivers and those who do not leave their seats for hours together.
Any individual whose immune system is compromised, either due to diseases like diabetes or due to medications like steroids or anti-cancerous drugs are prone for acne butt like infections.
Many people apply OTC steroid creams mistakenly for fungal infections of the groin, which predispose the area for bacterial super infection
The proximity of the butts to the anal canal, which is the seat of millions of bacteria, is another cause of frequent infections in the area in predisposed individuals.
Wearing of occlusive and synthetic non absorbent type of under wears is another cause for acne butt mimics.
Treatment of Some Important Acne Butt Mimics
General Measures for the Treatment of Acne Butt Mimics:
Keep the area well ventilated
Avoid prolonged sitting. Get up and take a walk every half hour if possible.
Use only cotton under wears
If your chair cushion feels hot and uncomfortable, change it.
Always wash your buttocks and thighs with soap and water after you use the toilet seat. Wear freshly ironed underwear after that.
It is advisable to make it a habit of using the toilet seat of the commode before taking a bath.
Always make it a habit of keeping the toilet seat elevated while not in use and while passing urine (males) as this will avoid the soiling of the seat.
Take a nutritious, well balanced food with plenty of vegetables, salads and fruits. Avoid fried, spicy, or sweet fast foods.
Control your weight
Do regular exercise
Specific Measures for the
Treatment of Acne Butt Mimics
Folliculitis (Boils): Simple
infection of the hair follicles is the commonest acne butt mimic.. If localized,
topical antibiotic creams are all that is necessary along with the general measures. If
generalized eruption of boils are present, a systemic antibiotic will be prescribed by
your dermatologist. Read more on
how to prevent recurrent boils.
Furuncle (Abscess): This is deep
seated infection of the hair follicle and subcutaneous tissue and can be quite painful.
It may require drainage along with systemic antibiotics. Specially difficult is the
ischio-rectal abscess which can spread to a wide area and cause complications.
Hidradenitis Suppuritiva: This is
the inflammation of the apocrine glands in the groin, which can be considered an acne
butt mimic. Surgical intervention is required in most cases for a cure.
Steroid acne: Caused by use of
fluorinated topical steroid applications. Treatment: withdrawal of steroid application
plus measures as in boils. If you have to use topical steroids for any skin diseases, it is better to know about
how to avoid the side effects of topical corticosteroids
Fistula in Ano: This can cause
single or multiple boil like permanent eruptions in the vicinity of the anal opening
and buttocks. The boil is nothing but an opening of a sinus tract connection the anal
canal to the skin surface. It becomes inflamed periodically with pus and blood
Acne Conglobata: This is the only
real acne butt! In sever generalized nodulo-cystic acne, deep seated nodules, cysts and
resulting scars will appear on the butts. The treatment is same as in the
best treatment of very severe nodulo-cystic acne.
Molluscum Contagiosum: These are
yellowish eruptions with a dimple in the centre, caused by a virus. A dermatologist can
remove these easily with electro or cryo-cautery or a combination of needle
'episiotomy', curettage and chemical cautery. Read more about how to get rid of
Recurrent Herpes Simplex:
Recurrent painful grouped eruptions of grouped vesicles of herpes simplex virus attack
can mimic acne butt. This requires specific measures for treatment as described for
cold sores in the
skin care tips from dermatologist by Dr.Hanish Babu.
Keratosis Pilaris: These are
horny eruptions of the hair follicle caused by multiple vitamin deficiency, especially
Vitamin A. Commonly seen on the elbows, knees, thighs, upper arms and also buttocks.
They look like comedones and thus mimic acne butt. Treatment of keratosis pilaris involves high dose of
vitamins and topical tretinoin. See the Suite101.com article by Dr.Hanish Babu on
Pilaris for details about the disease
In addition, certain subcutaneous and
deep mycoses (fungus) can affect the area and mimic acne butt.
From the above discussion on acne butt mimics, it is clear that you consult a dermatologist when get acne butt like lesions for correct diagnosis and proper management of the condition before it goes into chronic stage.
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