Acne can form wherever there are oil glands and hair follicles — not just on your face. While body acne is most commonly found on the back, chest and neck, blemishes can appear anywhere except the palms of your hands and soles of your feet [source: Kern].
Body acne can be more challenging to control than facial acne. The skin on your body is thicker and has larger pores than facial skin, making it easier for pores to become clogged. Plus, these areas are often covered with clothes, which means your skin has constant contact with the oil it produces [source: Acne Skin Guide].
5. Cleanse Carefully
Poor hygiene doesn’t cause blemishes, but practicing good hygiene can help prevent them. Showering daily can aid in keeping your skin clean and free of bacteria. It’s especially important to bathe after exercise or any other sweaty activities. Use mild a body wash and lukewarm water, and make sure you do a thorough job.
While cleansing is essential, you have to be gentle. Showering too frequently, scrubbing too hard, bathing in hot water and using harsh antibacterial soaps can actually make your skin worse [source: American Academy of Dermatology].
4. Work From the Inside Out
Some people believe their acne is aggravated by specific foods, but there’s no scientific evidence that supports this. It’s true, however, that a balanced diet is vital to the overall health of your skin. Eat foods that are high in antioxidants, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Antioxidants help combat free radicals, which can cause fine lines and wrinkles.
3. Squeeze That Stress Ball
Everyday stress doesn’t cause acne; however, chronic stress can make it worse. When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands produce more cortisol, and this change in hormone levels causes your sebaceous glands to produce more oil [source: WebMD]. Daily exercise and a good night’s sleep are two effective ways to reduce stress.
2. Hit The Drugstore
If your regular body wash isn’t doing the trick, try a medicated cleanser or topical over-the-counter product. Look for acne-fighting ingredients such as alpha-hydroxy acid, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and tea tree oil. Pick a product that’s easy to apply — you’ll often be dealing with hard-to-reach areas like your back.
1. Talk To Your Doctor
When over-the-counter treatments aren’t enough, prescription medications are the next step. Topical treatments usually come in two varieties: antimicrobials, which reduce the presence of acne-causing bacteria, and retinoids, which unclog pores.
Oral antibiotics prevent the growth of bacteria on the skin’s surface. Birth control pills are sometimes prescribed for women to regulate hormone production.
Although body acne can be a potentially embarrassing or uncomfortable problem, there are plenty of treatment options available.