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acne on your butt
Surrendering your thong may protect against posterior pimples. Photo: Dear Kate

Polite conversation often excludes discussion one of summer’s most humbling skin-care woes. We’re talking about butt acne (or buttne). Yup, plain old pimples on your tush.

Because uncomfortable things happen to good people who exercise regularly, sweat often, and even shower with fabulous organic products, we offer a behind the scenes investigation on how this unsightly malady can happen anyway, and what to do about it.

The causes of butt acne

Summer temperatures
Non-wicking fabrics
Wearing thongs or going commando
Friction
Your bike seat
Perspiration left to dry on skin

How to treat a case of butt acne

1. Wash right after a work out with a mild salicylic-acid cleanser.

This helps prevent your posterior pores from clogging and becoming inflamed. According to Alexis Granite MD, a dermatologist at Tribeca Skin Center, the tush is more sensitive than the face (who knew?), and a bout of buttne yields best to a script for clindamycin.

2. Wear workout fabrics that wick—and granny panties or boy shorts.

Dr. Granite says these better buffer butt cheeks than thongs. “Another layer can help absorb sweat and protect the inflamed area.” (Even if it aggravates your case of visible panty line.)

3. Keep a pack of acne wipes in your bag.

Use them if there’s any significant lag time between, say, yoga class and your shower. These from Yes To (about $8) have salicylic acid in them.

Need an affordable sports bra to go with those undies? Or have you heard of leisurée? It’s proof that activewear is having a major impact on traditional lingerie