Acne is a difficult condition to deal with on the face, but when it's on the body, it can be downright uncomfortable. Dealing with body acne can be a real battle, but finding out what is causing it is the best place to begin when determining what kind of treatment will work for you.
What Is Body Acne?
Body acne is a condition that affects millions of people nationwide. From whiteheads to blackheads to cysts, pimples can appear all over a person's body—on the chest, back, arms and even buttocks.
Like facial acne, body acne is caused by clogged pores and excess oil production. It can also be aggravated by sweat and certain chemicals that might be found in certain toiletries or household products.
Chances are, if your parents had body acne, you will too. It has been proved that acne is a genetic condition.
What Is Causing My Body Acne?
Body acne is caused by excess perspiration, bacteria, oils and chemicals that can aggravate the skin and cause pimples.
While you might be inclined to think that your body acne might be a sign of improper hygiene, that isn't usually the case. In some instances, in fact, too much washing of the skin with harsh soaps and cleansers can actually aggravate the skin and cause even more breakouts.
During puberty in teenagers and preteens, acne can be caused by hormone fluctuations that affect the body's output of sebum—an oil that is naturally secreted by the skin to keep it moist and healthy. However, when puberty hits, hormone production changes significantly and alters the body's natural processes. You may even sweat more than usual, which can also aggravate the skin and cause acne.
If you have sensitive skin, certain soaps or detergents can also cause breakouts. If you noticed a sudden increase in body acne that was not there before, note any changes in habit or lifestyle. Sometimes, a simple change in laundry detergent is enough to trigger the onset of body acne.
What Can I Do to Treat Body Acne?
First, if you've recently switched detergents or toiletries, and your acne came on with this change, quit using the new product. If your skin clears up with the cessation of a certain product, you know that it may have aggravated it.
In most cases of body acne, however, a new detergent or soap is not to blame. Excess oil and sweat can get caught in your pores, so controlling those occurrences is vital in curing your body acne.
If your body is oily and prone to breakouts, try a simple acne-body wash that contains acne-fighting ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Use them once a day, and work your way up to twice a day if needed.
If acne is a continuous problem, there are prescription medications available. If your acne is extremely severe, oral medications like Accutane or certain antibiotics can help clear your skin.
There are also prescription creams and gels that can help cure persistent acne. These items can only be obtained by visiting a doctor.
How Can I Prevent Body Acne?
Wear loose-fitting clothing that is made of breathable fabrics such as cotton. This can help you sweat less and result in fewer breakouts on your body.
Remember that while it's tempting to continuously wash your broken-out skin with anti-acne products, it can actually aggravate the problem. Stick to washing your skin once or twice a day, or after a workout or heavy sweating.
Eating a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, veggies and whole grains can also prevent acne.
It is important to keep tabs on when your body-acne breakouts are occurring, if they occur sporadically. Noting the time of the month and what activities you are participating in at that time can help pinpoint a cause.
In females, menstruation can cause acne not only on the face, but on the body as well. Hormonal-birth-control pills can be a good method for controlling body acne in females who suffer from it due to their menstrual cycles.