Body acne - there's no pleasant way to bring it up. You'd probably be surprised to hear how common it is, because nobody really talks about body acne. It can be unsightly and embarrassing, but the truth is that in their lifetime, everyone will get at least one or two zits, or blackheads, on their chest, back, shoulders or buttocks.
Acne is an inflammation of the pores, so it makes sense that anywhere on the body where there are a lot of pores, there's a chance of developing pimples. Body acne can vary in severity from small, mild breakouts, to large, painful lesions.
Causes of Body Acne
Like facial acne, the exact causes of body acne are not known. What is known is that there are probably several contributing factors, such as:
- Tight clothing, or clothing that doesn't breathe well. People who work out in tight clothing may be especially prone to body acne.
- Backpacks: if the wearer's back sweats while carrying one.
- Genetics: if your parents or other family members suffer from body acne, you may too.
- Nutrition: Poor nutrition may contribute to all forms of acne.
- Hormones: especially in women, who can develop acne as a result of elevated levels of male hormones, or androgens, which control the body's production of sebum.
Getting Rid of Body Acne
Since the skin is tougher, body acne will need to be treated differently than acne on the face and neck. However, acne treatment is still possible.
- Wear natural fibers, or fabrics specifically engineered to wick moisture away from the skin. This is especially important if you're working out.
- Stop carrying a backpack until the acne clears. Carry a bag with your hands instead.
- Shower as soon as possible after perspiring
- Wash the affected areas with a cleanser designed for acne prone skin.
- After allowing the skin to dry, apply a product containing benzoyl peroxide to the affected areas. Remember that benzoyl peroxide will bleach fabric ' if you plan on getting dressed before it dries, wear white.
- If you often suffer from dry skin, moisturize, using a non-comedongenic moisturizer. Excessively dry skin can lead to breakouts.
- See your doctor about prescription treatment options, such as Isotretinoin (Accutane), oral and topical antibiotics, retinol and oral contraceptives.
Unfortunately, body acne is likely to leave scars. Since most body acne is cystic, it's not uncommon for a cyst to burst, causing bleeding and eventually scabbing. Try not to knock or pick the scab off ' this may be hard in the shower or when toweling dry, but try to be gentle with your skin.
Once the scab has fallen off, try applying ointment to reduce the scar and moisturize the affected area. Emu oil, an alternative treatment, is recommended. If you have numerous white scars left behind on your back, you might want to look into medical treatments to reduce the appearance of your scars. These can include:
- Micro pigmentation
- Scalpel Excision
- Skin needling
Your doctor can tell you more about the treatment options available for reducing the appearance of scars.
For more tips and tricks to preventing and treating all kinds of acne, check out Bye Bye Blemishes.