22 Feb So You Have Body Acne. What Do You Do Now?
There’s a common misconception floating around the beauty sphere about body acne that seems so obvious and yet, equally dumbfounding. It happens to anyone, regardless of your lifestyle or age. While we associate angry, flared pustules with cute little acne stickers and pimple creams galore, the truth is a lot less kitsch.
Given how the skin is the largest organ on your body and works overtime to defend it from harm around the clock, it should come as no surprise that your chest, back and even your butt (yes, really!) can suffer from an unsightly and sometimes painful breakout.
In fact, in severe cases, your body could even develop a form of acne known as nodulocystic acne, where inflammation and sebum-filled cysts remain persistent.
Like other forms of acne that we are more acquainted with, body acne forms as a result of a number of different factors. Chiefly among them include overactive sebaceous glans producing an excess of sebum that clogging open pores, rising stress levels and your choice of clothing. The last one may sound strange, but if you’re prone to wearing tight clothes, the friction between fabric and skin can lead to instances of acne occurring.
But are there active steps you can take to counteract instances of acne that occur on your body? Of course.
1. Shower often
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re not the kind of person who showers or bathes often, you may be increasing your likelihood of suffering from recurrent body acne. Washing your body often not only rids it of dirt and grime, it also clears away any excess amounts of sebum on your skin.
But beware, showering too often could also strip your skin of moisture, potentially leading to dehydration. And the more dehydrated your skin is, the more likely your body is to create sebum, which will lead to acne!
2. Avoid wearing tight-fitted clothes
Body acne triggered by tightly-fitted clothes is termed as acne mechanica, or an acne condition triggered by excessive rubbing or pressure on the skin. Typically seen in athletes, body acne of this variety can flare up when constant friction on skin intermingles with sweat and heat, leading to the formation of pimples.
If you notice patches of acne where your body is closest with your clothes, then that can be a strong indication that you suffer from this condition. To treat it, shower often as always and of course, wear loose, roomy clothing. Oh and, launder your clothes regularly too.
When you’re deprived of hydration, your body signals to your skin to produce more sebum to lock in moisture. And as we know, more sebum can only lead to more acne as pores become clogged. This premise doesn’t just work on your face, it works throughout the skin on your body too.
The recommended amount of water you should consume depends on your weight and individual lifestyle habits, of course. But to lean on the safe side of things, eight glasses is a good start.
4. Use non-comedogenic body lotion
While we have established that keeping your skin well-nourished and hydrated is essential, it’s important that you’re doing it without ingredients that could very potentially clog your pores. If you’re picking out a new body lotion, go for ones that have a less viscous texture that is non-comedogenic. (to find out what that means, click here.)
But if you’re uncertain if a particular body lotion is suitable for your skin, you can make an educated guess by checking its main ingredients. Body lotions that are thicker in consistency, such as those that contain milks or certain oils, may not a great bet for acne-prone skin.
5. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate
Oh, and one more thing. Acne isn’t merely caused by a buildup of sebum. The accumulation of dirt and dead skin cells also contributes a significant part to clogged pores that can lead to pustules forming in the skin’s surface.
The best way to prevent this is not only to shower, but to exfoliate your body often using either a loofah, pumice stone, or body scrub. Use only gentle, circuitous motions when rubbing over your skin. Significant force could cause abrasions that will leave microscopic tears on the surface of your skin, or lead to mild irritation.