Summer is peak swamp ass time, and also therefore, peak time for the rashes that can result from that radioactive concoction of sweat and bacteria brewing between them cheeks. To help you keep your own personal Grand Canyon fresh this summer, I asked four very different butt rash experts how it happens and, more importantly, how to make it go away.
Anthony Rossi, dermatologist: That area doesn’t get a lot of airflow, especially in between the butt cheeks. That can prompt irritation, moisture buildup and rashes — just all over irritation. Keeping things cool and dry is the first line of defense. If you know you’re prone to this, you should be wearing loose-fitting, breathable fabrics — cotton is very breathable, but spandex is going to trap moisture there.
We also tell people, after they workout, they should shower and change. If it’s really bad, you can use zinc oxide butt paste, like baby diaper paste. I tell my patients to use that, since it prevents the skin from rubbing against itself and prevents chafing. It’s antibacterial, too, so that’s really helpful. I also tell people to carry around baby wipes, which cool down the skin and get rid of moisture and bacteria.
Melanie Mari, trained manscaper at Bare Skin Studio: Keep the area clean and washed! Literally scrub your butt with some sort of exfoliant, especially after shaving it down or waxing it. You can use a basic plain washcloth to exfoliate your butt — the big plus with exfoliating after shaving or waxing your butt is that it helps untrap hairs that would get stuck otherwise. Wearing cotton or something moisture-wicking helps, because when you’re sweating, the sweat can get trapped underneath your skin, and that’s part of what causes irritation and “buttne.” You can also throw some sort of cornstarch down the middle (baby fresh ointment helps a lot down there, too).
Ethan, a fitness (and butt!) model: You may be a little disappointed with my reply, because when it comes to looking after my butt, I don’t actually do any skincare, just basic body wash in the shower. I always shower as soon as I can after exercise, though. Underwear-wise, I wear briefs instead of boxers, as boxers can bunch up and make things a little too warm when exercising.
Devin Feldman, a cyclist who knows a thing or two about butt rashes: A big thing for prevention — and it sounds so obvious — but you need to keep your shorts clean! If you don’t keep them clean, you’re just asking for some sort of infection.
Another thing is to avoid sitting down for a long time, especially on hard surfaces, when your butt is sweating. The big thing is ventilation, so if you’re sitting on a hard surface, it’s 90 degrees out and really humid, you have to stand up every once in a while. When you get home, putting some baby powder down there also goes a long way. It kinda dries everything out and keeps it from rubbing together too hard.
This tip is especially helpful for when you go to the beach — the sand and saltwater will kill you [or at least your butt] — but definitely rinse super well after any activity, and bring a change of clothes if you can. If you’re prone to butt rashes or you already have a problem, make sure you have an extra pair of underwear on hand in case it gets super sweaty out there. Just run to the bathroom and change — I think you’d rather tuck some dirty underwear down into your backpack than get a butt rash.