Treatment for Acne on Thighs and Buttocks

I am a 42 year old woman with fair skin and red hair. For the past 10 years or so, I have had embarrassing pimples and spots on my thighs and bum (some with white heads and some like blind pimples).

Recently, I took a course of Cefalexin, but this has made no difference. I have sensitive skin that reacts to shaving and waxing, which leads to redness and infected hair follicles. I’m getting too old for this!! Would love to have my legs back! Any suggestions?

Doctor Answers 3

Treating Body Acne

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Sorry to hear you have been suffering for a long time. I would first recommend you find a board-certified dermatologist who can first determine what the problem is, find out if there is something else that needs to be addressed, and recommend a treatment plan that will work for you.

Sometimes, an acne treatment program here will work. The problem may be more deep-seeded than that – in what we call folliculitis and you may need a different treatment plan here. Sometimes in these areas, if there is hair involved, using a laser hair removal device may make a difference.

See your dermatologist and get this taken care of.

Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Possible conditions

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This can be either an acne condition/folliculitis or a condition known as keratosis pilaris. Both can be improved and controlled with topical treatments to provide both symptom improvement and cosmetic improvement.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Several skin conditions and treatment options for your problem

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Having a long standing history of these type of bumps can be very frustrating, uncomfortable, and discouraging. There are several different type of skin problems that can cause the type of bumps that you are describing. These may include Acne Vulgaris, Folliculitis, or Keratosis Pilaris.

From your description, it seems that the underlying problem may be a folliculitis or keratosis pilaris. Folliculitis is an irritation of the hair follicle either from friction, chemical irritation, or underlying bacterial infection. There are several topical and systemic therapies that may help to control this process and help heal your skin.

Keratosis Pilaris is a problem in which the hair follicles become trapped and plugged. This may cause red "pimples" and white heads. Common locations for keratosis pilaris can be the upper arms, back, buttocks, and thighs. It is often an inherited problem with one or more family members sharing the same problem.

Meeting with a dermatologist to evaluate the problem would be a very good start to identifying the underlying issue and then focusing on the treatment. It may take several months to win back your healthy skin, but after ten years I know your motivated. I hope you get some improvement soon. Good luck!

Darrell W. Gonzales, MD
La Jolla Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.