If you’ve ever had to deal with body acne, then you might be familiar with the headache of having to treat and deal with it. For one, it's pretty hard to reach some spots on the back making it difficult to apply treatment to pimples on certain parts of your back. For another, when areas like your back and chest are constantly covered by clothing it can be hard to apply treatments that are meant to be left on, like spot treatments. (And who has the time to wait for that to dry?) But, luckily blemish patches exist so you don’t have to worry about that anymore.
The good news is that treatment of body acne isn’t radically different to the treatment of facial acne. You can still use the same types of exfoliating acids (like Salicylic Acid) on your body just as you would on your face.
How is body acne different from facial acne?
While there are some causes of body acne that are different from causes of facial acne, body acne tends to have similar triggers.
Acne on the body generally tends to pop up more commonly on the chest and back since these areas have more sebaceous glands than other areas of the body. Just like on the face, if these sebaceous glands become clogged with dead skin cells and excess sebum, then acne occurs. Additionally, just like facial acne, body acne can also be affected by genetics and hormones (like increased breakouts during your period).
As for the differences between facial acne and body acne, there are some triggers that are unique to body acne. For instance, friction from tight-fitting clothing mixed with sweat, like after a workout, can trigger acne known as acne mechanica, which is just acne caused by pressure and friction. In this instance, it’s important to let the skin breathe to help prevent breakouts caused by friction.
How to keep body acne at bay
Now that you know some of the causes of body acne you can follow these tips to help curb and treat body acne:
🚿 Tip #1: Shower after a workout
It’s generally good practice to shower after any type of exercise to rinse away excess sweat and oil on the body to prevent clogging up your pores and triggering breakouts. Similarly, it’s important to keep clean towels and bed sheets in rotation since sweat, oil, and bacteria can get caught in these fabrics.
👕 Tip #2: Wear breathable clothing
It’s also good practice to wear breathable, looser-fitting clothing to avoid trapping sweat and oils in the skin that can lead to breakouts on the body. Sometimes this isn’t easily avoidable especially when it comes to athletic or work out clothing. But in that case refer to tip #1 and make sure to thoroughly cleanse your skin after a workout.
🧴Tip #3: Use topicals
Whether it’s sprays, washes, or creams, using topicals on body acne can also help to treat and prevent body acne.
Using exfoliating acids, like you would on facial acne, can help treat body acne as well as prevent future breakouts. Salicylic Acid exfoliates the skin as it removes excess oil, dead skin, and all the gunk that can get trapped in pores. So, if you use body wash or a spray with Salicylic Acid, it can help treat existing breakouts while also killing bacteria that can continue to cause breakouts. However, try to avoid over-exfoliating because it can dry out the skin and trigger excess oil production.
Benzoyl Peroxide is another topical you can use on body acne as it also kills acne-causing bacteria. However, be wary of formulations with higher concentrations of Benzoyl Peroxide since it can stain towels or bedding. Or, you can also opt for Benzoyl Peroxide resistant linens (yes, there are linens just for that).
🩹Tip #4: Patch up body acne
While you might have a favorite spot treatment for your face, it might not be as easy to use on your back or chest especially if your clothes cover that area. And, it would be pretty annoying to have to wait for a spot treatment to dry down enough so it doesn’t rub off on your clothes.
Instead of your typical spot treatment, you can try out hydrocolloid patches. Hydrocolloid patches are pretty perfect for body acne since there is no risk of transfer onto clothing, you can leave it on for a couple of hours, and there’s not much maintenance involved. Our Custom Patch also comes in a larger size so you can cut it up for larger areas and clusters of acne (so you don’t have to apply multiple round patches).
While it may suck to deal with body acne, the good news is that treatment isn’t a whole lot different for body acne as it is for facial acne. You can still use your favorite exfoliants on your back as those that you use for your face. Although make sure to not overdo the exfoliating since that can dry out your skin.
However, if you are struggling with particularly severe body acne, it’s best to seek advice from a dermatologist if topical treatments have not helped.