Chest acne, back acne, and acne on the buttocks are a very common problem. Unfortunately, body acne frequently disregarded by physicians. The same as facial acne, chest, and back acne can leave on the skin long-term acne scars that are usually difficult to treat.
What are the signs of chest acne?
The most common location for body acne is on the back. Then said more than half of the people that have back acne also have blackheads, whiteheads, and pustules (=inflamed acne pimples) on the chest. In severe cases of chest acne, people will also have deep acne cysts. These cysts are usually painful and can leave deep scars. (Cystic acne).
What are the causes of chest acne?
The causes of acne pimples and cysts on the chest are different than the causes of teen or adult facial acne. Genetics (familiar tendency) and hormonal fluctuation play a role, but external factors cause chest acne. Chest acne will be more frequent and more severe in people, exposed to heat and humidity. Tight, synthetic clothing is also a common triggering factor for chest acne. Other less common causes of chest acne are steroid drugs and bodybuilding hormones.
How can I prevent chest acne?
People who suffer from chest acne of other types of body acne should always start with a few simple changes in their habits.
1. Shower daily.
Regular showers will reduce bacteria, fungi, dead skin cells, dirt, and excess oil that acclimate to your skin. Frequent showers help remove elements that block your pores. Lukewarm (not hot) water is the best.
2. Choose your clothing wisely.
Wearing loose and breathable fabrics are vital for people with a tendency for back acne and chest acne. Tight clothing collects dirt, bacteria, and oils and rubs and damages your skin's protective layer. The clothes to wear are made of loose cotton. The worst are wool, nylon, and spandex, which are a frequent cause of skin irritation.
3. Wash your exercise clothes as soon as you can.
Chest and body acne, in general, are frequently triggered by excessive heat, sweat, and clothes rubbing on these areas. Damp sweaty exercise clothes can rub on the chest and back while rough jeans can rub on the buttock and thighs. This friction should be avoided, and everyone should shower immediately after a warm day at work or sports activity.
4.Use a light body lotion.
Excessive moisturizing of the skin on the chest and back is one of the triggers of chest acne. Look for a "non-comedogenic" body lotion that will not clog your skin pores. People with acne look for oil-free moisturizers for their faces but forget their chest and rub on it oily body pore-clogging lotions. If you have acne on your chest, back, or buttocks, you need to avoid oily thick body lotions or oily body moisturizers. Applying those heavy cream can make your acne that worse.
5. Using the wrong laundry detergents can make acne worse.
Frequently washing your clothes is essential. That said, some of the laundry detergents can irritate your skin and cause more acne. If you have chest or back acne, it would be better to look for fragrance-free laundry detergent, optimally labeled hypoallergenic, or for babies.
6. Improving your diet can help with your chest and back acne.
To prevent body acne you will also need to have a good diet. Although diet alone does not cause face or body acne, a recent study has found that people with acne consumed more sugar and refined carbohydrates (white flour, pastries, etc.) than people without acne. Another study found that increased sugars in the diet are linked to a 20-30% greater risk of developing acne. Similar data was related to a high intake of cow’s milk and dairy.
How to get rid of chest acne?
Salicylic acid cleansers and benzoyl peroxide creams are your best bet for fighting pimples on the chest. The best combination would be a salicylic acid acne cleanser to remove dirt and sweat from your chest or back and leave on benzoyl peroxide cream for the night (check out the MDacne Body Duo, which has both).
Salicylic acid helps remove excess oil and exfoliates dead cells from the surface of the skin. Benzoyl peroxide kills acne-causing bacteria and helps reduce inflammation. To be effective, your salicylic acid body wash should stay on your body for at least 3 minutes before you wash it off. Salicylic acid cleansers such as the MDacne hydrating body cleanser contain in addition to high percentage salicylic acid (2%), plant-based additives such as aloe vera, and green tea provide better efficacy with less irritation.
The salicylic acid in the salicylic acid cleanser removes the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, reducing the risk for clogged skin pores and chest pimples. This type of medicated body wash is great for all skin types including people with oily skin.
The best over-the-counter topical treatment for chest, back, and body acne is benzoyl peroxide. New formulations of benzoyl peroxide use a special microparticle of the active compound to increase penetration in the skin pores, boosting efficacy and reducing irritation. The newest body acne treatment medications also include plants based additives such as tea tree oil that has anti-bacterial properties’, providing a faster anti-acne effect.
The skin on the chest is different than the skin on your face. It has less sebaceous glands per square inch than the face and can easily be irritated by retinoids. Thus, retinoids (Differin, Epiduo, and retinoic acid) should NOT be used on chest acne).
What should I do about chest acne cysts?
Acne cysts are deep enlarged sebaceous glands. They are usually painful and inflamed and are very hard to eliminate with topical treatment alone. People with many acne cysts on their chest would need to refer to their local dermatologist and consider adding oral antibiotics or Accutane to their topical treatment routine. Acne supplements rich in pantothenic acid *vitamin B5 and vitamin A can be a good addition to topical treatment for people with acne cysts on the chest and back.
Can sunscreens cause acne on the chest?
Using the wrong sunscreen can cause body acne, including acne on your back and chest. Your chest is especially susceptible to clogged pores because these oil glands on the chest are bigger and more active than facial pores. To prevent sunscreen-induced body acne breakouts, make sure you use only oil-free sunscreen specially formulated for acne-prone skin.
Can you still have chest acne after your facial acne has cleared?
Facial acne and body, chest, and back acne are different. The main differences are pore size (bigger on the body) and skin thickness (thicker on the body). The third and most important differences are in the trigger factors. Facial acne can be made worse by the wrong makeup, stress, and food, while body acne is usually triggered by tight sweaty clothes that rub on your skin and shower frequency. When the clothing keeps rubbing against the skin, the excess sebum gets trapped and can clog pores.
What is the best way to fade post-acne dark spots on your chest and back?
A medicated dark spot remover (available only in the US) combines hydroquinone and plant-based anti-pigmenting agents like bearberry and licorice can help with dark body spots. People out of the US can use a similar Dark Spot Remover based on arbutin.
More info on body acne:
The best treatments for body acne
The best treatment for neck acne
Acne on the body, back, and buttocks - 7 best tips
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