What is Body Acne?

by Anza Goodbar
(last updated February 8, 2016)

Acne can be embarrassing whether it is on the face, chest or back. Our bodies naturally secret a substance called sebum that acts as a moisturizing agent to keep skin from becoming dry and cracking. Sometimes, pores around the hair follicles become clogged and attract bacteria. The production of sebum doesn't stop when a pore is clogged causing the pore to erupt into a painful swelling of the skin.

Acne is a genetic condition that can show up anywhere on the body where sebaceous glands are found. Most people that suffer from facial acne also struggle with body acne to some degree. Since pores on other part of the body are larger than facial pores, cysts often form from the clogged hair follicles.

There are several ways to reduce body acne outbreaks:

  • Diet. Drink lots of water to wash toxins out of the body. Avoid fatty and greasy foods like French fries and potatoes chips.
  • Clothing. Active men and women who perspire can wear looser clothing made of breathable fabrics like cotton. Tight fitting clothing made of lycra or polyester tend to hold moisture from perspiration in. Perspiration mixed with natural body oil can create a film on the skin which can clog pores causing cyst like blemishes on the back or chest.
  • Skin care. Skin for the body is just as important as skin care for the face. Do not use body scrubs over the affect area as it will add to discomfort and irritate the swollen glands. Use an anti-bacterial soap on the affected areas. Be sure to pat skin totally dry. Follow up with an astringent. Topical creams or lotions may also be applied to dry out the cyst-like blemishes. Facial astringents will not be strong enough for the back or chest.
  • Workout schedules. Since damp conditions are a breeding ground for bacteria, plan workouts at a location that will allow a shower and change clothes immediately. Wearing damp clothes can irritate an already sensitive area.
  • Fabric softeners. Fabric softeners can leave a waxy film on clothing which may leave a film on the skin causing a breakout. Discontinue the use of a softer and see if the condition improves.
  • Over-the-counter treatments. Over-the-counter products containing alpha hydroxy acid or benzyl peroxide can provide positive results. If acne is widespread and is leaving scarring consult a dermatologist for additional treatment options.

Genetics can affect the amount of success experienced from outside factors; however, there are many environmental conditions that can be controlled. Most of the remedies for treating body acne are painless and easy to implement into our daily lives.

Author Bio

Anza Goodbar

Anza is a single mother of four who makes her home in Colorado. She enjoys writing, hiking and is an avid football and hockey fan. She is the owner of a virtual business services company; writing is just one of the many services her company offers. ...

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