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While not life threatening, body acne is a struggle affecting the quality of life and self-esteem. Sleeveless shirts are avoided, activities are limited and deep scarring can occur. It is important to understand and recognize body acne and its causes and treatments.
Body Acne Candidates
Body acne has been known to affect teens and adults, male and female, but is more severe and common in males. It usually begins on the face and spreads downward. While facial acne may exist without body acne, the opposite is usually not true.
Like facial acne, body acne is called by an excess of dead skin cells, hyperactive oil glands, and acne-causing bacteria, Dead skin cells get trapped in pores creating a blockage which may evolve into a blackhead to a pimple. Generally, body acne is found on the back and upper torso. That is because these areas tend to have more sebaceous glands and are more likely to become clogged with skin cells and sebum.
Despite some beliefs, clothing or gear is not likely to cause body acne, but the rubbing of certain fabrics against the skin may make breakouts worse. Avoid friction inducing apparel like tightly fitting clothes, tight collars, athletic pads, backpacks and purse straps. Ladies may want to use a clutch as opposed to a shoulder bag and students may want to carry alternatives to backpacks, such as wheeled suitcases. Sweat can make body acne worse. Shower as soon as possible after exercising, but do not scrub the skin. All sources of friction, including loofahs and body puffs, should be avoided. A salicylic acid wash is recommended.
Try to wash with salicylic acid daily. Follow up by wiping with pads containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide and lotions with alpha hydraulic acid, like glycol or lactic acid. These lotions with quicken the speed of cell turnover and help to exfoliate blocked pores.
If body acne is severe, oral and topical medications can be prescribed. These include oral antibiotics, retina A, and Accutane. Accutane is usually used as a last alternative, as it is known to have significant side effects.
In treating body acne, it is important to know that the skin on the chest, back, upper arms and shoulders are tougher than the skin on the face and can tolerate strong treatment. The skin on the neck is more sensitive. If there is any irritation on any part of the body, consult a physician.It may take some experimentation to determine the right treatment for you, but most cases of body acne can be eliminated.