Acne is a common skin condition that plagues most people at some point or the other. In the United States, almost 50 million people are affected by acne every year.
It is caused when the hair follicles or pores get clogged with oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells. The most common site acne pops up is the face.
However, in many cases, acne can also affect different parts of the body. They can pop up on your back, chest, upper arms, underarms, and even your bottom.
Acne does not only affect people's self-esteem but also causes great discomfort and sometimes acute pain.
To find the best body wash for acne, it is important to understand what causes it.
In this article, we will examine this skin condition comprehensively and also give you tips to deal with it.
Table of Contents:
- What is Body Acne
- Causes of Body Acne
- Acne Mechanica
- Hormonal changes
- Family history
- Treatment for acne on the body
- Preventing acne on the body
- Avoid over-cleansing
- Spot treatment
- Change lifestyle
- Best body wash for treating acne on the body
- Body washes for acne-prone sensitive skin
- Hydrating acne washes
- Body washes with great acne-fighting ingredients
What is Body Acne
It is essential that you know what to look for when you are trying to identify body acne. You might have many types of marks on your body, from moles and freckles to birthmarks; however, body acne is markedly different from these.
Body acne is also known as truncal acne, and it is usually not very different from facial acne. In fact, most people with facial acne tend to have body acne too.
The skin condition is characterized by upper body cystic acne, which is largely concentrated on the shoulders, back, chest, and bottom.
This is because these areas tend to have large oil (sebaceous) glands, the common culprit of acne. When the pores get clogged with excess sebum and dead skin cells, an ideal environment is created for C.acnes bacteria.
As a result, the pores become inflamed and infected, and this is what causes inflammatory acne.
The other type of body acne is non-inflammatory acne. The most common among these are blackheads and whiteheads.
Non-inflammatory acne can also be found on the shoulders, chest, arms, and bottoms.
Body acne is usually found to be more common in men. If they are not treated timely, it can certainly lead to long-lasting scars that can impact an individual's quality of life. Severe body acne can also lead to raised scars or keloids.
As a result of scarring, people might find it uncomfortable to keep their shoulders or back exposed in clothing. Thus, it is important to detect body acne timely so that you can look for ways to treat it.
Causes of Body Acne
The triggers of both facial acne and truncal acne are usually the same. These triggers can be C.acnes bacteria, overactive sebum glands, and excessive dead skin cells.
Pimples, which are the most obvious sign of acne, usually develop when the dead skin cells and oil get trapped in the pore or follicle, creating a blockage. This blockage turns into blackheads, and if C.acnes bacteria invade the region, it turns into a pimple.
Body acne is usually found in the upper half of the body as this area also has many oil-producing sebaceous glands, just like the face.
These glands produce oil, which helps in regulating temperature and maintaining moisture. However, they can become sites of infection themselves when the acne-causing bacteria invade the region.
Acne Mechanica is a different type of body acne that results from pressure or friction on the skin. This usually happens when people wear sports equipment, backpacks, tight clothing, and other things that rub against the skin. The friction on the skin combined with sweat and heat can lead to breakouts in the form of inflamed and irritated follicles.
Rapid changes or fluctuations in your hormone levels can also lead to acne. This is because the sebum or oil glands of the skin tend to become overactive during periods of hormonal fluctuations.
In such a case, the body starts producing more androgens, which leads to increased sebum production and acne. This is why many women might experience increased acne problems during pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause.
Besides the basic causes of body acne, there are some other factors that trigger body acne.
If there are cases of acne in your family, you might be more susceptible to developing body acne. This was corroborated by a research study in which around 5,000 acne-affected individuals' genomes were examined.
From the study, the researchers were able to identify variations in 15 genome regions that were common in people with acne.
There were variations in the structure of the sebaceous glands which made it more difficult to protect the sebaceous glands from the build-up of bacteria.
This means that the cause of body acne could be because of the prevalence of the acne gene in your family history.
When you are stressed, it is usually accompanied by an influx of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. Stress can lead to an acne breakout even among people who are not acne-prone.
It slows down the healing process of the breakouts and often worsens the existing acne.
There are several factors that come into play during stress:
- When you are under stress, your body releases small proteins called cytokines that bind to the sebaceous glands' receptors. This leads to inflammatory acne.
- Stress also harms the immune system of the body. This makes it difficult for the body to fight acne-causing bacteria. When your immune response is low, the healing process of acne can also be slower.
- Prolonged and acute stress often leads to an increase in the level of androgen in the body, which causes excess production of sebum, thereby leading to acne.
- Stress also affects the sleep schedule and the eating habits of people. Although losing sleep and eating unhealthy food does not lead to acne on its own, these conditions make your body more prone to acne.
Treatment for acne on the body
If you are experiencing acne on your back, there are several ways you can treat it.
Here are some of them:
- You can consider using products for your body that contain alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid and salicylic acid. They are great for exfoliating the skin and prove to be quite effective in treating severe acne. Alpha hydroxy acids also speed up the cell turnover and reduce the amount of pore blockage.
You can also consider using body washes that contain benzoyl peroxide and hydroxy acid both. Benzoyl peroxide is great for targeting the build-up of dead skin, bacterial growth, and extreme oil production.
- You can also use lotion to treat acne on the body. Lotions that contain salicylic acid are great for targeting acne on the body. It also prevents the skin from drying up.
You should also consider using retinoid-based products. Retinoids are Vitamin A derivatives that break up whiteheads and blackheads. They also help in preventing the clogging up of pores.
Preventing acne on the body
It is important to know how to prevent back acne from recurring or developing in the first place. Here are certain tips that can help you with preventing body acne, even after you have treated them.
- Massaging with any kind of body oil can cause acne breakout and aggravate the existing condition. It is a good idea to refrain from using body massage oil.
- When you go for a workout or a run, remember to take off the sweaty clothes soon after reaching home. Any sweat, dirt, and grime collected during the workout should also be removed by showering.
- You can prevent body acne by exfoliating the skin. This helps in buffing out the dead skin cells, thereby freeing up the follicles and pores. By exfoliating the body occasionally, you can reduce the severity and size of acne on the body. It also helps in preventing the development of blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples in the future.
- When you are rinsing your hair in the shower, the hair products can leave residue on the back. The build-up of shampoo and conditioner residue can clog pores, which can lead to back acne or bacne.
- You should consider using cleansers and washes with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is great for drying out acne bumps and reducing their size and appearance.
Showering daily, particularly after a workout, is esssential if you have body acne.
For showering, you should use the best body wash for acne, which is infused with great ingredients for fighting acne and reducing dark spots.
However, over-cleansing in an effort to rub away the dirt will not do any good either. By doing this, you would end up disrupting the skin microbiome, and this worsens body acne.
The best way to fight and prevent acne on the body is by keeping your skin hydrated and nourished.
This means hydrating the skin from the inside out. You should drink enough water throughout the day.
Besides using the best body wash for acne and hydrating body lotions, you can follow it up with spot treatment.
Topical treatments containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, niacinamide, zinc PCA are all great for targeting acne flare-ups.
If you want to get rid of body acne for good, it is important to bring meaningful changes in your lifestyle, including your sleep, diet, and also clothing choices.
While exercising or performing any activity, remember to wear breathable clothing so as to minimize the friction on the acne-prone regions.
Pay special attention to your diet and remove dairy, high glycemic food, refined sugar, and grains from it.
Besides this, sleep is also very important. Lack of sleep can cause stress, which contributes to acne.
Best body wash for treating acne on the body
If you follow a good skincare regimen, you can get rid of acne for good. However, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to treating body acne.
Everyone experiences a different form of acne, which ranges from mild to severe. When searching for the best body wash for acne, look for ingredients like tea tree oil, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, retinol, azelaic acid, sulfur, and aloe vera.
Body washes for acne-prone sensitive skin
If you have sensitive acne-prone skin, a body wash with harsh ingredients can be very harmful. I
n this case, you can consider going for an acne-friendly body wash with a milder formulation and natural ingredients.
The Wow Skin Science Ubtan Foaming Body Wash contains some great natural ingredients like turmeric, saffron, and rosewater, which help in soothing and brightening the skin. The chickpea flour in this body wash also works great as a gentle exfoliant for removing the dead skin cells from the acne-prone regions.
Hydrating acne washes
If you have dry skin, the best body wash for acne is one containing hydrating properties. Dry skin tends to produce more oils, which can lead to more acne flareups.
The Wow Skin Science Melon Cucumber & Aloe Foaming Body Wash is a great hydrating body wash that can restore suppleness to your dry skin.
It contains cucumber extract, vitamin e, and melon seed oil, which deeply moisturizes your skin. Besides, the aloe vera in this body wash is an excellent gentle and natural ingredient for fighting acne.
Body washes with great acne-fighting ingredients
There are some great natural ingredients that are quite effective at targeting body acne. The Wow Skin Science Tea Tree & Mint Foaming Body Wash is a great body cleanser that contains tea tree oil for targeting oiliness that can lead to acne.
Another great option is the Wow Skin Science Apple Cider Vinegar Foaming Body Wash. The apple cider vinegar in this body wash is great for targeting pore-clogging bacteria.
With this, we have covered everything you need to know about body acne and how to treat and prevent it.
If you take good care of your skin with the aforementioned tips, you will be able to combat body acne and get smoother and glowing skin.
To keep your skin healthy and avoid body acne from recurring, avoid excessive exfoliation and products that clog the skin.
You should also limit your exposure to the sun.
And ultimately, use the best body wash for acne, which contains great acne-fighting ingredients that nourish and soothe the skin while also leaving it hydrated.