How does body acne form?
Body acne is caused by the same factors that trigger facial acne: overactive oil glands, excess dead skin cells, and a proliferation of acne-causing bacteria.
Oil and dead skin cells become trapped within the follicle, or pore, and create a blockage. This blockage becomes a blackhead and may progress to a pimple, if bacteria invade.
Body acne is generally confined to the back and upper torso. Like the face, these areas have more sebaceous glands per square inch than other areas of the body, so the follicles are more likely to become clogged with excess sebum and dead skin cells.
Friction caused by certain apparel may aggravate existing cases of body acne. Rubbing or pressure on the skin can irritate already inflamed follicles and exacerbate breakouts. Sweat can also irritate body acne and may aggravate the condition.
So how can we get rid of it?
Shower Smart. Shower as quickly as possible when you get back from the gym or the beach or after sweating. Rinse off all the oil, sweat, and sunscreen that can build up around the hair follicles. And use a gentle body wash that contains salicylic acid.
Exfoliate, But be Gentle. It’s important to keep your skin exfoliated. But there’s no need to scrub the top layer off of your body. Body acne can't be scrubbed away. A soft shower puff, washcloth or soft body brush is all you need. Apply a squirt of body wash and gently (gently) buff the skin. Super abrasive scrubs and loofahs can do more harm than good, so steer clear.
If your acne is especially inflamed, skip the scrubbing altogether. You’ll further irritate breakouts.
Change Your Sheets. As you sleep, oil, dead skin cells, and sweat rub off your body and collect on your sheets so swapping them regularly (ideally twice a week if you can) helps keep skin acne-free.
The cleaner your bed linens are, the lower the chances that whatever accumulates on them will end up clogging pores and causing acne. You may also want to choose lightweight cotton, which traps less moisture compared to thicker materials.
Skip Spandex. Just say no to synthetic materials. They’re thicker than cotton, so they trap in the moisture and oils that clog pores and lead to breakouts.
Diet. It’'s always a good idea to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Not only is a balanced diet important to an overall healthier self, but it's also good for the health of your skin. Eat foods that are high in antioxidants, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
It's also important to keep skin hydrated from the inside out, so drink plenty of water, and avoid drinking too many alcoholic beverages -- alcohol is a diuretic, which will dehydrate your skin.
Treat it on Time. This is one way of treating body acne.
- Prepare a salt soak. Combine one liter of water with one cup of sea salt in a bathroom sink or large bowl.
- Dip a washcloth into the solution and apply to the chest or affected area. Wring the washcloth out and wash your chest, shoulders, neck and upper arms. Allow to air dry, about two minutes.
- Reapply the solution. Rinse the washcloth in the solution and saturate the cloth again, without wringing the cloth too dry. Dab the saturated cloth onto the skin, using a gentle application. Allow the solution on the skin to air dry and only rinse the cloth in the solution. Repeat five times and empty out the solution.
- Make a nonoily moisturizer that inhibits acne flare-ups and soothes the skin. Wait two to three hours after using the salt solution before applying the moisturizer. Combine 2 tbsp. of buttermilk and 1 cup of sour cream into a small container and stir. Apply to your chest and remove the excess with a tissue.
- For stubborn chest acne, apply calamine lotion to the chest with a cotton ball. You can leave calamine lotion on the chest for all-day use or apply before bedtime. The calamine lotion dries up sebum as well as it does for ooze in poison ivy and other skin rashes.
- Apply calamine powder to your chest after a shower. Chest acne and other skin rashes occur more frequently during warm weather or exposure to heat and humidity. Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester retain heat and agitate the skin, causing acne and other skin irritations. Wear a soft cotton shirt after application, and wear breathable fabrics in warm weather and when working or playing outdoors.
- Prepare an oral remedy to clean chest acne from the inside out. Heat two cups of hot water with one tbsp. of honey and two tbsp. of apple cider vinegar. You should see chest acne clearing up within 24 to 48 hours. Drink this remedy daily to prevent acne flare-ups.
If all of these isn’t enough, of course, a consultation with a dermatologist will always be a great idea.
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