Acne doesn’t just affect the face — it can (unfortunately) appear on your back and chest, too. It can be frustrating to address, especially because it’s often located in those hard-to-reach areas. Here are a few tips you can use to help clear up those problem areas.
What is body acne?
Body acne occurs when you have overactive oil glands that cause blocked pores. The skin is thicker on the back and chest, which means there are more glands that produce oil. That’s why body acne commonly occurs in those areas.
You’ll likely see large pustules, which are inflamed red spots with a whitehead, or you’ll see cysts, which are painful bumps that never come to a head. Make sure not to pick these blemishes as it can result in scarring or hyperpigmentation.
What causes body acne?
Most body acne is caused by the same thing as face acne: hormones. Stress can also be a common trigger for body acne as it encourages the production of hormones that stimulate oil production. It also can be caused by sweaty clothing after workouts, or other athletic equipment like football pads.
Here are some tips to get your body acne under control.
Clean your sheets weekly
Have you ever heard the suggestion that you should change your pillowcase to help face acne? The same idea goes for body acne. Be sure to change and clean your bedsheets on a weekly basis. It’ll minimize oil, dirt, and bacteria buildup.
Avoid tight-fitting clothing
Tight clothing can be a big trigger for body acne, especially in warmer weather. Clothes trap heat and moisture against the body for long periods of time, which can clog your pores. If you’re working out, opt for looser-fitting clothes to make sure your sweat isn’t causing some of your body breakouts.
Check your hair conditioner
Especially if you have long hair, your conditioner may be the cause of your body acne. There is an ingredient called panthenol that can cause breakouts on your back after you put in conditioner and let your hair rest on your back. Be sure to examine the ingredients list of your conditioner to make sure yours doesn’t contain panthenol.
If you have oily skin, it’s best to shower frequently to clear the excess oil away — especially if it’s a hot day, since oil is a breeding ground for bacteria. Whenever you exercise, it’s also important to shower immediately after working out if possible. Don’t sit in your damp workout gear — your skin will have a higher risk of clogged pores and bacteria.
Use a cleanser
Just like with face acne, it’s important to cleanse your back and chest, too. Apply a cleanser when showering to remove oils and clear out your pores.
We have a great benzoyl peroxide body wash that is an excellent treatment option; it specifically targets body acne. We also have clear skin body spray that was designed just for body breakouts and is perfect for applying post-workout.
Still struggling to manage body acne on your own? Don’t worry — our practitioners specialize in acne and can come up with a treatment plan tailored specifically to you and your skin’s needs.
Schedule an appointment at The Derm Institute of West Michigan and we’ll come up with the right plan to help clear your skin!