Men's Top Concerns

How to Get Rid of Body Acne

Don’t let back and chest acne prevent you from enjoying the beach. Learn how to get rid of body acne once and for all, with the right habits and products.
How to Get Rid of Body Acne

Body acne can be extremely frustrating, often because it can be difficult to diagnose. However, with a general awareness of the different causes of bacne, chest acne, and other body blemishes, it becomes easier to “work backwards” to stop the problem from recurring—and to finally look forward to clearer, more confident days.

Read on to learn how to get rid of body acne, and how to prevent it in the first place. Let’s start with zeroing in on those key causes, though.

What is the Main Cause of Body Acne?

Alright, there isn’t a single main cause of body acne. If there was, then it would be much easier to prevent and treat it. So, have a look at the handful of primary culprits below, which might help you deduce the main cause of your body acne.

1. Genetics / hormones: Unfortunately for some of us, we are just genetically predisposed to this acne proneness. Whether it’s a reflection of oil levels, pore size, skin sensitivity, finicky hair follicles, or frequent hormonal fluctuations. Hormones specifically can affect sebum production in the body and cause periodic upticks in breakouts, especially if one is prone to them. (If you use steroids for bodybuilding, well, that's your main culprit.)

2. Stress: When we are stressed, our body produces more of the hormone cortisol. And as mentioned above, this can impact sebum production in the body. This is why it is so common to experience more blemishes when you are stressed, especially if you are predisposed. At the very least, do what you can to regulate sleep and overall wellness, if you can’t control other stressful factors in your life.

3. Diet: Overly processed foods can lead to acne, as can high glycemic foods (white rice, white pasta, white bread, potato chips, etc). Alcohol, dairy, and red meat are common culprits too, as is whey protein. It’s really no surprise that the cleanest, leanest diet (and a well hydrated one) are going to yield the clearest skin all around.

4. Hygiene: Bacteria is one of the primary causes of acne, so your hygiene routine deserves an audit. Shower regularly, wear clean clothes daily, and change your bedsheets and towels weekly. A buildup of sweat creates the perfect home for those microbes to build up, so keep things well ventilated, too.

How to Treat Body Acne

1. Let skin breathe

First, make sure your skin isn’t suffocated. You want to avoid creating any situation where it can build up sweat and oil and allow bacteria to proliferate. By avoiding friction and constriction, you give your skin a better chance at self regulation—including the chance to heal existing blemishes all the quicker, and without any aggressive rubbing.

2.  Use high-grade ingredients

Acne treatments should typically be a step above what you’d use for prevention. Key ingredients could be benzoyl peroxide, a clindamycin gel, or even a hibiclens cleanser—all of which are great for bacterial acne. Tea tree oil and salicylic acid are great for targeting other types of acne, where oil and dead skin might be trapped around a hair follicle. But only use products that are formulated to treat acne, and always get the advice of a doctor. Which brings us to… 

3. Visit the dermatologist

Your doc has seen a million acne cases, and chances are, they can diagnose the problem a lot faster than WebMD. S/he will also be able to recommend a targeted treatment (and a prescription, if necessary—potentially even an oral antibiotic), so don’t wait another day to get their professional opinion.

4. Start incorporating preventative measures (see below)

Many of the best acne prevention techniques can also help expedite healing and treatment of existing acne. Just be sure to keep things gentle with active outbreaks.

5. Use pimple patches on big blemishes

If you have a big blemish that feels deep-seated—and you want to prevent it from bursting—then consider applying a pimple patch to freshly cleansed skin, ideally with loose clothing or while you sleep. This little skin sticker uses hydrocolloid-bandage technology to help relieve inflammation in the skin and keep it hydrated in isolation—to expedite its recovery. The best acne patches, like Cardon’s, use salicylic acid to unclog the pore and clear out any trapped sebum and dead skin cells, too.

How to Prevent Body Acne

We hit on some of these in the framework for acne culprits above, but they bear repeating. Here is the best routine for acne prevention.

1. Shower regularly

Don’t let bacteria accumulate on your skin, and use this opportunity to rinse away excess sebum and to exfoliate the skin, too—to prevent any trapped skin cells inside pores. 

2. Shower quickly after workouts

Again, do what you can to mitigate moisture accumulation and bacterial buildup. Sweat is prime for these problems, so get cleaned off quickly, and wash those clothes straight away, too.

3. Use deep-cleaning cleansers and oil-balancing ingredients

To keep pores clear, use clay-based cleansers, especially in pimple-prone areas across your face, neck, upper back, and upper chest. Clay is terrific for soaking up sebum while also nourishing skin (so that it doesn’t dehydrate skin, and instead leaves it balanced). Cardon’s Purifying Clay Cleanser is great to use on acne-prone areas for this reason.

4. Exfoliate twice weekly

By buffing away dead skin cells, you can lower the odds of clogged pores. You can use a washcloth, loofah, brush, body scrub, or even a chemical exfoliant like salicylic acid or gentle polyhydroxy acids to remove surface cells. (Salicylic acid will also flush out any sebum and cells built up inside the pores.)

While most exfoliation efforts should be done every few days, Cardon’s exfoliating and toning pads are gentle enough for daily use, thanks to their inclusion of sensitivity-minded polyhydroxy acid). They’re great for targeting problematic areas across the face, neck, back, or chest, and will also tone the skin’s pH levels, to prevent irritation.

5. Wash bedsheets and towels weekly

Hygiene should stay top of mind. Replace your bedsheets (all of them, especially pillowcases) every week, and don’t overuse towels, either. 

6. Wear looser clothing

Again, let skin breathe, and prevent situations of high friction and sweat accumulation. Ventilation and relaxation can go a long way with acne prevention.

7. Audit your diet + overall wellness

Overly processed foods, white carbohydrates, alcohol, dairy, and red meats can all commonly cause acne in blemish-prone skin. Thus, it’s worth doing a general audit of your diet—and perhaps systematically add or remove things to measure progress. Do the same with your everyday habits, in an effort to lower stress, improve hydration levels, ensure quality sleep, and routine physical activity. Do whatever you can to lead the healthiest life possible—acne will be but one of the many benefits you experience.

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