Where there are pores, there are pimples. Many of us are well versed in dealing with acne on our face, but body acne is an effort of its own. While body acne may hide well underneath our clothes in the winter, the heat and humidity of the summer prompt body acne to rear its ugly head, right when our skin is most visible.
Not only can body acne be an eyesore, but it can also appear in the most uncomfortable places, making you all the more self-conscious. Just imagine, it’s hot, you’re sweaty, and now you can feel the painful friction of an aggravated pimple forming right underneath your bra strap. Thankfully, there are many ways to treat and prevent body acne, and none of them includes getting a good friend to pop your pimples.
What is body acne
When it comes to beating any kind of acne, knowing your enemy is critical. Body acne is no different and is actually caused by the same processes involved in regular acne: an overproduction of sebum and dead skin cells clogging a pore. The pore then becomes the enticing home for P.acnes bacteria, causing inflammation and ultimately resulting in a pimple. However, unlike regular acne, body acne appears pretty much everywhere but the face.
How to prevent body acne
While acne involves the same process, the reasons behind this process may vary from person to person. For some, acne - and by extension, body acne - can be caused by lifestyle, hormones, genetics or any combination of these factors, with lifestyle being the easiest to treat.
So, to prevent body acne, it’s important to pay attention to factors such as hygiene, exercise, diet and stress.
Wash your bras regularly
If you’re anything like us, you’ll have one trusty, comfortable bra that has stood the test of time. Unfortunately, wearing the same bra for days on end may cause body acne. Washing your bras regularly can help ensure they don’t harbour any acne-causing bacteria.
Wash your sheets and clothing regularly
Basically, any fabric that touches your body should be washed regularly. Dead skin cells, sweat and bacteria can accumulate on your sheets and clothes, inevitably leading to body acne.
Shower and change as soon as you can after exercise
Body acne thrives in hot, sweaty and humid conditions. If you’re someone who fancies a run or a good gym session in the summertime, showering and changing as soon as possible will help prevent a body acne breakout.
Wash your hair regularly
Body acne can thrive around the back and tops of the shoulders, and any extra oils from the hair and scalp can contribute to clogged pores. Washing your hair regularly will help ensure no oils are at fault for your bacne.
Don’t pick your body acne
It may be tempting to pop your pimples, but this can irritate the skin, leading to more inflammation and further breakouts. Instead, be patient with your body acne, and if you have a particularly stubborn spot, try using a topical treatment.
Take some time out
The hormones produced when we are stressed can often trigger excess sebum production. If you believe stress could be contributing to your body acne, it may be worth it to take some time for yourself. Stress-relieving techniques such as yoga, meditation and exercise can help to reduce these hormones and ultimately your body acne.
Try reducing your intake of dairy and high glycemic index foods
The connection between food and acne has been heavily debated. Still, some people find that cutting back on dairy and high glycemic index foods such as bread and sugary cereals helps to reduce their breakouts.
Best treatments for body acne
Sometimes, no matter how much we change our routines, our body acne continues to persist. In this case, topical treatments may be required.
Benzoyl peroxide is known for its acne-fighting powers. This ingredient helps to unclog pores and works as an anti-fungal treatment. Benzoyl peroxide can be found in a huge range of acne-targeting products such as cleansers, creams and gels.
Chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid, lactic acid and glycolic acid can help defeat body acne by increasing skin cell turnover and breaking down dirt and sebum in the pores. Of course, physical exfoliants like body scrubs work just as well but can often be irritating to the skin.