Whenever we talk about acne, mostly the thought of face acne crosses our minds. We don’t think about body acne all that much. While no one likes to deal with acne, no matter if it’s face acne or body acne, we have to face acne more or less through the majority of our lives.
Acne can often show up on our backs and chests. Body acne is more common in men than women. Treating body acne can often prove to be a bit tougher than the facial acne we suffer from. Body blemishes are often stubborn and deep. Also, it can be difficult to apply a cream or other treatment methods on your back by yourself. Even though it can be highly bothersome, you can always get them under control by going through specific treatment measures. With some time and patience, and with the right treatments, you’ll be able to deal with your body acne.
In this article, we will talk about how you can treat acne in your body.
Causes of Body Acne
Acne can be of two types, inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne. The type of acne most people usually face is non-inflammatory acne. The most common comedones of acne people face are blackheads and whiteheads. The reason most people face non-inflammatory acne is that facial acne is mostly the non-inflammatory ones. Whereas body acne is mostly the inflammatory ones.
A person can have comedones on their chest, back, shoulders, and even buttocks too. Those regions are more prone to inflammatory acne particularly, as these areas contain more sebaceous glands than other areas of the body. When dead skin cells, bacteria, and oils build up in the sebaceous glands of a person, they face a breakout of inflammatory acne.
The body interprets the breakout of acne as an infection, so it sends white blood cells to fight against it. Deep in the tissues of the skin, cysts can appear and become tender, red, and inflamed as they try pushing through the skin. This results in papules, nodules, pustules, and other comedones that can be tender, and more difficult to get rid of. These can sometimes leave scars.
There are some factors that can contribute to the breakouts of body acne on your body-
If one or both of the parents of someone have a history of acne, then they might be more prone to acne breakouts. There is no particular gene for it, a person can inherit an underlying biological trait or health condition that can cause body acne from their parent(s).
Androgens are featured as primary male sex hormones, but women have them too to some extent. When the androgen levels go out of balance, they can cause increased production of sebum oil, inflammation, and change skin cell activity. All these can lead to the breakouts of acne. This happens a lot during puberty, as a change of hormones is normal during that time but it is important to realize that this can happen at any age.
The androgen levels remain constant in adult women throughout their whole menstrual cycle. The estrogen level falls just before the beginning of the bleeding, and as a result, more testosterone comes in to bind to receptors on the sebaceous glands. This stimulates sebum production and can cause acne.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS, adrenal hyperplasia, etc. Endocrine disorders can also cause acne in women.
When a person goes through stress, several stress hormones get released in the body. This influx of stress hormones can trigger the breakouts of body acne, worsen the state of existing breakouts, and slow down the process of healing from the acne. Cytokines are released in the body because of stress. These bind to receptors in the sebaceous gland, which, in turn, activates an inflammatory response and causes breakouts.
Also, the immune system gets impaired due to stress. That’s why it gets more difficult for the body to fight the bacteria off the body. This means it will take a lot longer to clear up the acne breakouts. Stress can also cause a surge of androgens in the body, which can lead to excess sebum production and inflammation.
Treatment of Body Acne
Here are some procedures that you can follow if you want to get rid of your body acne-
Using An Acne Cleanser
Any body wash or gentle body soap can help remove oils and dirt from your body, but there are certain products that are geared towards fighting the breakout of acne. You can use such products to wash your skin. Products that include benzoyl peroxide are good for this, but the benzoyl peroxide should be mild (<5%).
Trying A Topical Retinoid
Whether an over-the-counter adapalene gel or a prescribed cream or medication, they are a great option for treating the breakouts of body acne. There are products such as Retin-A and Differin (adapalene 0.1%) gel that play a vital role in treating acne by reducing inflammation and regulating skin cell turnover deep in the skin. This not only clears the skin but also prevents any future breakouts.
Dirt and sweat can irritate your body with acne. Make sure to shower regularly, especially after breakouts. Make sure to use specific products while showering that can help with your acne. Also, showering regularly can clean elements from your body that can block your pores, such as dead skin cells, bacteria, dirt, sebum oil, etc.
Medicated Sprays or Lotions
There are medicated sprays and lotions that are specially formulated to deal with body acne. You can maintain a routine in applying them to your acne. You can go for sprays that contain salicylic acid. You can also look for ones containing aloe vera, as aloe vera is great for protecting skin from excessive dryness.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Alpha Hydroxy acids can often help boost the effectiveness of the OTC acne products you use to deal with your mild body acne. You can go for OTC products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids, such as lactic acid or glycolic acid. Rapid exfoliating of the skin, speed turnover of cells, reduction in the number of pores or blockages can be initiated by alpha hydroxy acids.
Using Light Therapy
Light therapy is one of the most popular and effective forms of therapy. A person can easily take light therapy at their home by using a light therapy device. Light therapy devices emit a strong light that can penetrate the skin, muscles, and even bones to work on a cellular level to deal with the issues a person is facing. The light can be of different colors, as each color has its own set of advantages.
Among all the colors, blue light therapy can help with treating acne. Light therapy can benefit those who suffer from skin problems. Blue light therapy can generate specific hormones and chemical reactions in the body that can help clear the breakouts of body acne. It also helps kill the bacteria that cause acne in the body. You can easily take the therapy by exposing your affected area to the emitted blue light. Taking therapy for some time on a regular basis will help you a lot in treating acne.
Using Natural Home Remedies
You can go for various natural remedies that you can easily produce at your home. This can be things such as cinnamon and honey, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, etc. You can apply them to your body acne regularly, and keep continuing the treatment for several days. This can help you get rid of your body acne.
Body acne is something that’s really normal to occur and can happen to anyone at any point in their life. Whenever it occurs, make sure to take proper measures to get rid of them. Be careful about not popping or squeezing your body acne pimples, as it can cause further inflammation, and can also cause scarring too. You can go for the abovementioned treatment methods, as each of them can be really helpful in dealing with your body acne.