Not only do blackheads and pimples appear on the face but they can show up pretty much anywhere on the body. Not an ideal situation in the summer months when you want to show some skin. Let’s take a look at the causes of body acne, what to avoid and treatments for clearer skin. Follow our top tips and have your skin healthy and glowing for the Summer!
Causes of Body Acne
Breakouts that emerge anywhere on the body are usually caused by overactive oil glands or excess dead skin cells. Generally speaking, body acne is more likely to appear on the upper part of your body as opposed to your legs. The skin on the upper part of your body is similar in structure to your facial skin in that there are many sebaceous glands. These glands produce a protective oil called sebum which functions to retain moisture, regulate body temperature and works as a barrier to any harmful bacteria penetrating the skin. Since so many of these glands are on the upper body, the follicles are more likely to become plugged with excess oil and dead skin cells.
Acne mechanica is a specific type of body acne which is caused by friction between the skin and the material of tight clothing or sports equipment. This friction is most likely to occur during a workout or sports practice. The pressure and rubbing combined with heat or sweat irritates and inflames the skin which can lead to a breakout. Breakout locations for acne mechanica depend on the equipment or clothing being worn. For example, hikers might get acne on their shoulders and backs from carrying heavy backpacks. Dancers and gymnasts can get it on their backs and chests from wearing synthetic fabrics for prolonged periods. You should try to avoid sources of friction while you’re trying to heal body acne, including:
- Tight-fitting clothing
- Too-snug collars
- Athletic pads or gear
Sweat can also irritate body acne. To reduce irritation, you should shower as soon as possible after exercising. Be careful not to aggressively scrub your skin as you want to avoid friction. A thorough but gentle cleansing method using a salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide body wash is preferable.
Certain oils and silicones present in hair products that you use could clog your pores and cause body acne to appear around your hairline and the back of your neck. This form of body acne is referred to by dermatologists as acne cosmetica. Depending on the length of your hair, acne cosmetics may even extend to your back, shoulders and chest areas. If you notice bumps, spots or whiteheads forming around where your hair falls then it is best to change up your hair products. This type of body acne can be caused by shampoos, conditioners and styling products so it may be a process of elimination to find out which product is causing your breakouts.
Sun exposure can also be the culprit for body acne. When you get sunburnt, your skin dries out. As a result, your body overcompensates by producing more oil, which can clog your pores and cause acne on the affected areas. This may not be what you want to hear if you’re planning to lay in your back garden wearing a bikini on the hot summer days. However, it is important that you take caution not to get sunburnt by using quality protective sunscreen. Make sure also to moisturise your body after spending any prolonged periods of time exposing your skin to the sun.
How to Get Rid of Body Acne
If you don’t shower daily then you may be more prone to body acne. Especially during those summer months when the temperature rises and you sweat more. Regular showers will help to remove the excess oil, and dead skin cells that block your pores. For best results you should use lukewarm water and try a final rinse in cold water to help seal your pores.
Exfoliate Once a Week
Your skin is constantly going through a process called cellular renewal, where dead skin cells make their way to the surface to make way for new ones. Dead skin cells don’t always shed on their own and without regular exfoliation they can remain on your body and block your pores, leading to acne. The key is to exfoliate your skin gently no more than once a week as frequent or aggressive exfoliation will irritate existing blemishes.
Use a Non-comedogenic Body Lotion
‘‘Non-comedogenic’’ simply means non-pore-clogging. This is something important to consider when choosing products such as body lotion. A non-comedogenic body lotion will hydrate your skin without causing acne and is a summer essential to keep your skin healthy and glowing. A fragrance free option is best as it will not irritate your skin. Consider trying Neogenisis Body Cream which not only hydrates your skin but also helps to repair the skin barrier, reducing the likelihood of body acne.
See a Skin Care Specialist
When you come for a consultation at The Skin Health Clinic, we will closely examine your skin and see exactly why you are having breakouts. We offer a range of professional treatments that can help with your body acne. Our skin therapists can work with you to curate a specialised treatment plan just for you that will give the best results for your skin.
For more information on our acne treatments or to book a consultation with one of our expert aestheticians visit our website.