Many people with facial acne have some amount of body acne as well. The additional burden can add to the embarrassment of the acne condition, and is often more painful than simple facial acne.
Body acne develops by a similar mechanism to facial acne. Excessive oil or sebum production blocks large pores which results in growth of bacteria forming acne pimples. However since skin on the body is thicker than that on the face and pores are often larger, acne lesions on the body can be more severe and cystic at times.
One other significant difference is that body acne is aggravated by local irritation and dampness from sweating. As a result, I generally recommend that body acne patients wear breathable cotton clothing when possible, and change clothing when they get sweaty.
I also recommend that body acne patients be aware of where clothing friction may be irritating their skin and make appropriate changes where possible. I also urge body acne patients to time their workouts so they can shower and clean their skin after getting sweaty.
The following body cleaning procedure work best for anyone with body acne:
- Wash your body at least once per day with a benzoyl peroxide body wash. Always shower after becoming sweaty from exercising as the sweat can contribute to clogged pores on the body.
- Gently dry the skin with a towel, but do not rub or irritate the skin.
- Apply a generous amount of glycolic acid to the affected areas. Gently working the chemical into these areas with your fingers greatly improves absorption.
As with facial acne, body acne treatment must continue until the body outgrows the disease and results in a long-lasting remission of symptoms. Avoidance of local skin irritation and cleaning sweaty skin will help. Washing with benzyl peroxide and using glycolic acid will help to reduce oil production and destroy skin bacteria.
If you’ve any further questions concerning acne in general or body acne in particular please email us or call the office and I will address the questions in a future post.
Until next time,
John Burke M.D.