Bust Open The Dandruff Shampoo
If traditional acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid dont seem to be making a dent in your bacne, that could be an indication its yeast folliculitis, says Dr. Bhanusali. In that case, he recommends using a dandruff shampoo like Head & Shoulders as a body wash. The zinc pyrithione in the formula, which attacks dandruff-causing yeast, can also control yeast that could be leading to pimples.
$12.98 Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Consider Light Or Laser Therapies
A dermatologist may recommend photodynamic therapy to treat acne and pimples.
In photodynamic therapy, a medical professional applies a topical solution that makes the skin more susceptible to light. Following this, they will target the acne area with a focused light source. This can destroy dead skin cells and bacteria.
There are many other light and laser therapies that can reduce the appearance of acne blemishes and pimples through similar means.
Spot Treat Like On Your Face
Generally, you want to use products that can easily cover a large area like your back, but if you have just a few pimples here and thereor a few especially large onesyou can use the same spot treatments that you use on your face. Pimple patches can be especially good, since you dont have to worry about gels or creams rubbing off on your clothes. Some even come in large sizes perfect for areas like your back.
$17.99 Hero Mighty Patch Surface Strips
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Ways To Beat Body Acne
Its summertime, which means youre probably showing a little more skin than in the colder months. But if you have body acne, this can be an anxiety-producing time of year. The pimples, blackheads and cysts on your neck, back, and chest cause the millions of Americans with acne to suffer embarrassment when putting on a bathing suit or a sundress. If you have body acne, you might benefit from the care of a dermatologist. But there are also many things you can do for yourself to reduce the breakouts. Follow these 8 tips to beat your body acne and feel confident no matter the season.
Causes Of Chest Acne And Back Acne
Acne is thought to be related to the sensitivity of your sebaceous glands. These are glands that produce sebum, an oily substance that keeps the skin lubricated.
In people with acne, the sebaceous glands produce too much sebum. This excess sebum plugs the hair follicles in the skin and mixes with dead skin cells. Bacteria on the skin that is otherwise harmless can infect these plugged follicles and cause painful, pus-filled spots.
BreakoutsIf you have acne, youll probably live with spots most of the time simply because thats how your skin works. However, you might notice that certain things trigger worse breakouts, or cause particularly severe spots like nodules or cysts.
Breakouts of chest or back acne might be triggered if the skin in those areas is rubbed or put under pressure. One example would be wearing a backpack, or a bag with a strap that goes across your chest.
You might also have more severe acne on your back and chest because you treat these areas differently to your face. Because your back and chest can be harder to see and reach, and because they arent usually on display, its easy to end up neglecting the skin here.
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Treat Acne From The Inside Out
“Back acne is a real challenge to treat,” says New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engelman. For one thing, “the thickness of the dermis on the back is the thickest anywhere on the body, so the penetration of products that you apply topically can only do so much,” she says. If you have been following our previous steps for treating bacne, and youre still not seeing improvement, you might want to consult a derm who can prescribe oral antibiotics and, in even more severe cases, Accutane. “Some cases of back acne, particularly those with extreme cystic acne, may find that antibiotics are more powerful and may be needed to avoid long-term scarring,” adds Renée.
Use Your Special Body Wash Regularly
Once your bacne clears up, keep your benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid body wash around. Use it regularlyonce a week or even once a monthto add an antibacterial mix into your routine which can help keep pimples away, says Dr. Bhanusali.
$5.74 Neutrogena Body Clear Acne Body Wash
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How To Get Rid Of Chest Acne And Back Acne
The first thing to know is that theres no cure for acne, but there are lots of different treatment options. Over time you should be able to reduce the severity of your symptoms.
Mild acne on the back and chest can usually be managed with pharmacy treatments like gels or creams that contain benzoyl peroxide. Moderate or severe acne will need attention from a doctor. Your GP should be able to prescribe stronger treatments like antibiotics and retinoids. For an explanation of what counts as mild, moderate and severe acne, read this article: Types of acne and its causes.
If your GP thinks that your acne is really severe they might refer you to a dermatologist who can provide specialist help. You can find out more about what treatments are available by consulting this guide from the NHS.
Recurring Acne On Your T
Id be willing to bet that your T-zone is one of your main areas of concern. Why? Simple: These areas tend to be oilier. As dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, MD, explains it, the oily sebum your skin makes to lubricate itself collects and forms sebaceous filaments, and when mixed with dead skin and dirt, can create clogged pores, blackheads, whiteheads, and even cysts.
Since your skin is constantly creating sebum , it makes sense why your pores keep filling back up. So to help prevent breakouts from repeatedly forming in the same place, incorporate regular exfoliation into your routine with either a topical retinol treatment or an acid-based peel to keep pores clear over time.
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Don’t Let Shampoo And Conditioner Sit On Your Back
Sometimes some of the blame for bacne lies with how we wash our hair. When shampoo or conditioner-coated hair sits directly on our backs, it seeps into the skin, which can be a significant cause of back and body acne. So the answer to getting rid of bacne might be as simple as clipping your hair up if you’re letting a conditioner sit in it for a bit. Or rinse out your shampoo in a way that doesn’t let the suds sit on your back. It’s also essential to keep it off your back after the shower. Freshly conditioned hair can irritate sensitive, acne-prone skin even after you’ve rinsed.
Acne Medications Cure And Control Acne
Most people anxiously await the day they will no longer have to use their acne medications. Unfortunately, stopping treatment usually means a return of pimples.
This doesn’t mean that your medication isn’t working. In fact, if you’ve had a significant clearing, your medications are actually working quite well.
Acne treatment medications don’t cure acne, and they don’t stop the factors that cause acne in the first place. Instead, they just control these factors to keep breakouts at bay.
Acne is caused, in general, by an overabundance of oil, dead skin cells, and acne-causing bacteria within the pore. Acne treatment medications work by reducing oil and bacteria and help keep pores clear of dead skin cells.
But acne medications don’t change the way your skin behaves. If treatment is stopped, the pores become impacted again and breakouts return.
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Swap Out Your Current Body Wash
That ultra-creamy, coconut-scented shower gel may feel seriously luxe, but if it doesn’t contain zit-zapping ingredients such as salicylic acid , glycolic acid , and lactic acid , then it might not be doing your body acne any good.
‘Acids like these prevent dead skin cells from building up and blocking your pores,’ explains London-based consultant dermatologist, Dr. Justine Kluk. ‘And remember, cleanse your skin thoroughly in the shower every day.’
Replenix Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Body Wash With Aloe Vera
As an alternative, use zinc-packed dandruff shampoos:
I find that often back acne is actually pityrosporum folliculitis, an overgrowth of a yeast normally found on our skin. Using antifungal shampoos and body washes, daily for 10 days, then weekly for maintenance, is helpful, says Dr. Debbie Elder.
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What Causes Acne Scars
Inflammatory acne can cause painful, swollen, red, and deep skin lesions that damage the skin and underlying collagen. As these lesions heal, the body produces collagen. Too much or too little collagen production results in acne scars that dont look like the surrounding skin.
A few factors can increase the risk of scarring, including:
- delaying treatment for inflammatory acne
- picking or popping acne
- severity of the acne, which usually correlates to the amount of scarring a person will experience
Hyperpigmentation is a darkened patch where skin has healed. It occurs when inflammatory acne increases the amount of melanin in skin. This pigment gives skin its color. Dark spots usually affect people with darker skin.
Refrain From Excess Exfoliation
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead cells from the skin.
While some exfoliation can help improve acne, too much can worsen breakouts. This happens when a person removes too much natural oil from the skin. The skin may compensate by producing more oil, which clogs pores and produces more pimples.
If a person exfoliates too much, the skin may become irritated or feel very tight after washing.
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How Long Does It Take Acne Scars To Go Away
Acne scars do not go away entirely on their own. Depressed acne scars often become more noticeable with age as skin loses collagen. However, there are a variety of treatments that can make acne scars less noticeable.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or redness may lighten on its own within several months. However, it may take years to go away without treatment for some people.
Try Treating Breakouts With Retinol
We recommend this over-the-counter retinol treatment to hydrate your skin.
Retinol, a form of vitamin A, is a popular ingredient in the skincare world that’s commonly known for its anti-aging abilities, but according to Shamban, it can also be a great treatment for back acne . “You can get an over-the-counter retinol product, but I usually recommend having a tele-derm or in-office visit. Altreno’s Retinoid Lotion for body is highly effective to treat the area,” she says. Retinol encourages cell turnover, getting rid of dead skin cells so that younger skin cells can make their way to the surface. Oh, and that removal of dead skin cells? It prevents buildup that can result in clogged pores, which is why it’s a great treatment option for acne. It also helps to improve skin texture and tone. That said, if you can’t get to the dermatologist, we’re fans of this option from Paula’s Choice.
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Power Up With Retinoids
Retinoids help to stimulate cell turnover and remove dead cell buildup from your skin . Its commonly used on the face, but Dr. Bhanusali says it can work just as well on your body. Apply it generally in the areas where you have acne, he advises, not as a spot treatment. You might get a pimple in one place today and another place tomorrow, so by using it over the whole area, the goal is to prevent that.
$12.26 Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1%
What To Avoid When Treating Back Acne
Everybody is different and there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for curing acne, but there are a few things to avoid which can potentially hinder the process.
- Scrubs or physical exfoliation: Boh said exfoliating scrubs are not useful and can irritate the skin, which makes acne worse. Secrest agreed, adding that scrubs and physical exfoliators arent going to get rid of your acne any faster, so just be gentle and wait until your acne clears before exfoliating.
- Picking your acne: A lot of the hyperpigmentation and discoloration people deal with comes from acne scarring, so do your best to not pick at, squeeze or pop pimples.
- Tight-fitting clothing: If youre working out often, do your best to avoid tight-fitting clothing that add additional friction to your back.
- Staying in athletic wear post-workout: Allowing the sweat to build up inside your clothes after a workout is another no-no. Lee and Vashi both recommend showering as soon as possible after working out.
- Carrying heavy bags. Toting around heavy handbags or backpacks is another source of friction that can lead to or irritate acne. Vashi recommends avoiding this, if possible.
- Using the same sheets and pillowcases for too long. Vashi recommends changing and washing your bedding regularly to manage back acne and avoid developing any new breakouts.
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Is Back Acne Normal
You and your back breakouts are absolutely not alone. âAcne is a common skin condition that can be frustrating and difficult to treat,â Dr. Green says. So why does it happen? Dr. Green explains that when sebum and oil get trapped in your sebaceous glands and clog them, the bacteria that normally lives there begins to multiply rapidly, which leads to inflammation in the skin cells, and that inflammation is what causes the pimples, pustules, and cysts associated with acne.
Recurring Acne On Your Chest
Other places where sweat can cause zits to repeatedly pop up? On your chest. Sports bras are notorious for trapping sweat against your skin, and dermatologist Gary Goldenberg, MD, says not showering the first thing after sweatin it up could be the source of your recurring chest acne. Use an antibacterial body wash right after working out, or if you just cant get to a shower ASAP, a body or face wipe will get you by until you can properly rinse off.
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Take A Look At Your Lotion
If youre a lotion user or you use other body products besides just soap or body wash, take a look at the ingredients. Some oils, like coconut oil, can clog pores easily and make acne more likely, says Dr. Bhanusali. Instead, use lotions that say non-comedogenic on the labelit means they wont gunk up your pores.
$11.49 CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion
Can I Blame My Bacne On Exercise
Contrary to what you may have learned in your middle-school locker room, working out has less to do with your bacne than you think.
Exercise itself is great for you and does not cause acne, Iris Rubin, dermatologist and founder of SEEN, explains. However, she notes, sweat can mix with bacteria on the skin and dead skin cells, which clogs pores. Its that recipe that causes body acne, not the sweat itself.
Every dermatologist told the Cut that its crucial to work out in clean clothes, and to at least change your clothes as quickly as possible after your workout, if a full-on shower isnt possible. . Rubin also recommends using a clean towel to wipe sweat away as you work out, and if youre working out indoors, wipe down equipment before and after using it, if you can.
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Benzoyl Peroxide Is Your Friend
Like many acne-fighting ingredients, benzoyl peroxide helps to clear away oil and dead skin cells that are caught inside your pores, but its also antibacterial, so it helps kill the bacteria thats caught in there too. Using a body wash or soap that contains benzoyl peroxide is a tried and true solution, says Dr. Bhanusali, but warns to be careful with your towels. Its been known to sometimes have a bleaching effect.
$9.48 PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash
Eliminate Pressure On Your Back
Anything that results in increased sweating and friction on your back, such as backpacks, sports gear, and back braces, can cause back acne, which is often referred to as acne mechanica, says Dr. Shah.
Shah recommends choosing a backpack thats lightweight and fits properly to minimize friction and irritation.
If you wear sports equipment that puts pressure on your back, dont wear the item for longer than you need to, or wear a clean cotton T-shirt underneath to reduce prolonged pressure and friction.
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Properly Wash Your Face
Pimples can appear anywhere on the skin, but they most often occur on the face. While the skin microbiome is complex, scientists have identified a bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes that can cause acne breakouts. This bacteria causes inflammation when it turns sebum, the oil found naturally on skin, into fatty acids.
Removing excess oil, dirt, and sweat daily can help prevent pimples but washing your face too much may make acne worse.
When we strip our skin of its natural sebum with excess washing, it actually causes the skin to produce even more oil in order to rebalance your skin, says board certified dermatologist Anar Mikailove, MD. Thus, washing your face excessively can indeed make acne worse, as does using cleansers or astringents that dry out the skin too much.
As a general rule, youll want to wash your face no more than twice a day.
Mikailove suggests using cleansers that are sulfate-free, fragrance-free, and gentle enough for twice-daily use. Skip the harsh physical scrubs or drying foaming cleansers.
Knowing your skin type can help you determine which products to use and avoid. You can use the following parameters to identify your skin type, but you can also consult a dermatologist for help if youre still unsure:
In general, people with oily skin are more prone to acne, Mikailove says, but anyone can get pimples. Having your skin type information on hand can make it easier to choose an acne regimen that helps your skin clear up.