When we hear the term ‘acne’ we normally assume that it refers to the skin condition that causes pimples and inflamed blackheads on the face. Most commonly in teenagers and young adults. However, there are actually various other acne types. This includes a condition called body acne.
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions the world over. In the United States alone, up to 50 million people are diagnosed with it every year. While the majority of cases present with pimples and lesions on the face, 15% of patients have active acne on their chests, and up to 60% also report pimples on sites such as their backs and buttocks.
What exactly is body acne?
The term ‘body acne’ refers to pimples and lesions on sites other than the face. This includes the back, buttocks, chest, neck and shoulders. This is one of the acne types that is normally the result of overactive oil glands and excess dead skin cells that lead to the proliferation of acne-causing bacteria.
What can you do to combat body acne?
1. Choose your body care products carefully
Body acne can easily be inflamed by products that are too harsh or abrasive. As such, it helps to invest in a gentle body cleanser such as a shower gel with natural fragrances, revitalising body cream, and a repairing formulation that can help your skin to keep its barrier intact. It is normally best to consult with your primary healthcare provider or dermatologist in this regard. They can provide expert insight into the products that would be best suited to your skin.
2. Avoid obvious sources of friction
There is a specific form of body acne called acne mechanica, which is caused by rubbing or pressure on the skin in combination with heat and sweat (i.e. the kind of thing that happens when you exercise in tight-fitting clothing, cycle with a backpack on, etc.). This irritates and inflames the follicles of the skin, causing pimples. The solution is to try and avoid friction while exercising and to shower as soon as possible once you’re done.
3. Eat mindfully
While there aren’t any foods that definitively cause acne, dairy products and sugar have been linked to this condition. As such, it can help to minimise your intake of foods like cheese, milk, yogurt and ice cream, and refined sugars.
Remember that the body is a holistic system. If you feed it well, it’s natural defences are stronger and more likely to fend off infections, including skin conditions like acne. Stick to the basics by eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Filling up on whole grains and lean meats (or vegetarian protein sources like legumes). Moreover, staying properly hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day.
Suffering from body acne can be very uncomfortable, both physically and emotionally, but there are ways to lessen its severity. The guidelines set out in this article can make a big difference when it is put into practise alongside other selfcare measures like a balanced diet, adequate exercise and sufficient sleep.