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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Why does my husband have so many pimples on his back side?

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    My husband has been having acne on his bottom & thighs for the past few months. He has tried Saproderm soap with not much help, he has also dabbed cotton balls with Dettol & Betadine to no avail. What can he do to cure his acne problem?
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    Dr Richard Beatty

    GP (General Practitioner)

    Brisbane GP With Special interest in Complex Medical, Men's health, antenatal, paediatrics. Skin Cancer Clinic Designated Aviation Medical Examiner Specific interests in Vasectomy, Dermatology & … View Profile

    Hi, It's a bit of a stab in the dark without seeing the spots, but he probably has folliculitis because this looks similar to acne (without the white heads/blackheads) and often occurs in areas subject to friction (sitting, clothes rubbing) and sweat. The bacteria staphlococcus often inhabits normal skin, and can infect hair follicles.

    So these are the things that could help, starting with the most simple! Wear loose clothing where possible (avoid tight underwear and jeans). Add 1:9000 potassium permanganate (as an antiseptic) to bath water and use antibacterial soaps. Consider oral antibiotics - These can be taken for a few months at a time and sometimes need to be taken at a lower dose for longer periods to keep the folliculitis away.

    The condition is commoner in people who sweat easily or are overweight or have diabetes and so these issues might need to be addressed. Finally, there are more unusual causes that might need to be considered - eg. if he's been using a spa pool then “spa pool folliculitis” tends to occur in areas covered by the bathing costume. Good luck!

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