Ask a Dermatologist: Why Am I Getting So Much Body Acne?
Many people are well-versed in tackling a common face pimple. Whether it's applying pH-balancing toners, face mapping, or even learning the art of careful pimple popping, developing a battle plan can make breakouts much less stressful. Less discussed, however, is body acne, which can set up shop on your back, chest, butt, and pretty much anywhere there's skin. So how do you treat it, especially if it crops up in hard-to-reach places? We tapped dermatologists and skin experts to get some insight.
What Is Body Acne?
When it comes to back and chest acne, most people get either large pustules (whiteheads) or cysts, says Renee Rouleau, celebrity esthetician and skincare expert. "Pustules are no different than your everyday pimple, but cysts are deep under the skin, never come to a head, and can be painful. It's important not to pick at cystic blemishes since the body usually reabsorbs the infection from within."
Body breakouts often crop up in the same areas, like the center of the chest, buttocks, and upper back. "Since these areas have many oil glands, we are more likely to see acne there," says Ife Rodney, MD, board-certified dermatologist of Eternal Dermatology. You may also experience different variations of body acne, including fungal acne, which is a yeast infection that usually occurs after excessive sweating.
Body Acne Causes
How to Treat Body Acne
As with all acne, you'll need to be strategic when tackling body breakouts. "Remember that it will take some time to clear things up. Then you'll want to tackle both the internal and external factors that cause your body acne," says Dr. Rodney.
When to Consult a Doctor
If your body acne is cystic and hormonal (or it's simply not going away), you may need to consult with your dermatologist to develop a customized treatment plan. They may recommend a prescription alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) or beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), birth control, or a diuretic like spironolactone to keep your hormone levels in check.
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