Acne has been one of the most widespread chronic skin disorders affecting not only the face, which it does largely, but also the entire body as a whole. Acne breakouts on the body can be quiet painful and cause a lot of difficulty in your routine lifestyle. This article will discuss body acne in detail while at the same time laying down its best known ways of treatment and shall further suggest ways to prevent the occurrence of body acne in the very initial stage.
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What is body acne?
Body acne is the same as facial acne with the only difference that it develops on your entire body, mostly concentrating on your chest and back the cause of its development is the same as facial acne. Acne develops because of the over production of sebum by the sebaceous gland which is induced by testosterone or androgen. This excessive sebum gets trapped under the skin because of the accumulation of dead skin cell on the surface. Also, since the skin is thicker on your body as opposed to that on your face, the clogging of skin pores is more difficult to fight .
Body acne commonly occurs extensively on the neck, chest and back. It does not occur on your palms or sole of the feet because these spots do not have sebaceous glands. Body acne is often believed to be a genetic problem.
Prescription medications to treat body acne
Since the symptoms and cause of body acne is similar to that of facial acne , the medicines that are prescribed for the former is the same as the latter. This can further be divided into topical prescriptive medication and oral prescriptive medication. Given below are certain prescribed medications that are generally taken to reduce and fight the acne causing bacteria:
Topical prescriptive medication
They usually come in the form of lotion, gel or cream, sometimes even pad and are usually recommended to people with sensitive skin. Creams and lotions not only help in the treatment but also provide moisture to the skin which helps in keeping the skin soft and supple. These medications are prescribed depending on the skin type of the person concerned.
Topical retinoid: Retinoid is typically vitamin A derivatives. They tend o unclog the pores of the skin thereby preventing accumulation of sebum under it. They might cause mild irritation or sensitivity to the sun if used on a regular basis but awareness and protection can always handle those short comings. Some of the topical retinoid that are prescribed are as follows:
- Adapalene: It comes in the form of a gel or cream and apart from unclogging pores, is also known to have an anti inflammatory effect on the skin. It can be applied daily on the affected area after properly cleaning and drying it. The results are visible only after a regular use of 8 to 12 weeks, sometimes less.
- Tazarotene: It comes in the form of a gel or cream and works towards unclogging the pores. It may cause mild skin irritation. However, it must be made sure that this medication is not used by an expecting or nursing mother as it may have possible side effects on the baby.
- Tretinoin: While the earlier two retinoid mentioned above are synthetic, tretinoin is a natural retinoid. This also works by unclogging the skin pores. The quantity to be applied must be discussed by the doctor, depending on the skin type. It may cause irritation and dryness of the skin.
Topical anti bacterial: These medications work by inhibiting the growth of acne causing P.acne bacteria and can be used either independently or in combination with other medicines. Some of the topical anti bacterial medicines prescribed for acne vulgaris are as follows:
- Azeliac acid: This works in numerous ways to prevent breakouts and reduce its impact. Not only does this inhibit the growth of acne causing bacteria but also reduce inflammation. It may however cause skin irritation, dryness and lightening.
- Benzoyl peroxide: This also works b killing the acne causing bacteria. It is available in different strengths of 2.5%, 5% and 10% and comes in form of gel, lotion, cleanser, cream and wash. It is most commonly used in combination with clindamycin or erythromycin. It, however, can have allergic and bleaching reactions.
- Clindamycin: It is effective in reducing acne breakouts by inhibiting the growth of acne causing bacteria and also reducing inflammation. It is often used in combination with benzoyl peroxide which tends to increase its effectiveness.
- Erythromycin: It works as both an anti bacterial and an anti inflammation medication. This also is mostly used in combination with benzoyl peroxide and comes in the form of a gel or cream or lotion. It may cause skin dryness and irritation.
- Sodium sulfacetamide: This works by killing the acne causing bacteria and inhibiting its growth while at the same time unclogging the blocked pores. Since it may contain sulphur, the smell of products containing this might be bad.
Oral prescriptive medication
These medications are taken orally and work towards treating mild to moderate inflammatory acne.
Isotretinoin: It is a retinoid used for treating severe, cystic acne. It is used when most other medications do not work and must be taken only under strict guidance of a dermatologist or doctor. It is not safe for use by pregnant or nursing mothers as it may cause birth defects in the infant. Researchers are still arguing over the dangers of using this medication which include anything from depression to suicidal symptoms. However, concrete facts are still not available or very scarcely available.
Oral contraceptives: It has often been seen to be overly effective in women and works by controlling the androgen levels in our body which when unchecked causes the excessive secretion of sebum forming the underlying primary cause of acne breakouts.
Oral anti biotic: Just like their topical counterparts, these works towards reducing the acne causing bacteria by inhibiting their growth and reducing inflammation. It usually involves a shift from higher to lower dosage of the medicine and is often prescribed for a short period of time. These specifications on the time over which these medicines are prescribed are because of the resistance that the bacteria tend to develop towards anti biotic, which thereby becomes ineffective on them. Some such oral anti biotic includes erythromycin, tetracycline and doxycycline among others.
Home popular remedies for the treatment of body acne
There are various ways of treating body acne for which you do not have to leave your house. You can make your very own medicine for the required treatment and keep yourself free from the dangers of side effects that are usually accompanied by the use of medicines. Some of the home remedies of treating body acne are enumerated below:
Toothpaste: Tooth paste is a time tested treatment for acne and works by affecting a drying effect on the pimples and inhibiting sebum, the oily substance to accumulate under the skin. It can be effectively used on the back, face and chest acne by a thin layer over the affected area which must be washed off with water after it has dried out in 30 minutes.
Cinnamon powder and lemon juice: This simply requires mixing cinnamon powder and lemon juice in the ratio of 3:1 and combining it to make a smooth and uniform paste. This can then be applied on the affected area in a thin layer and left on for 60 minutes before washing it off. It is considered effective for the treatment of acne on the chest, back and face. Both these elements posses anti bacterial property and also have a cleansing effect thereby removing the dead skin cells that clog the skin pores otherwise. This mixture can be used on a daily basis .
Drinking water: One of the easiest and most carefree ways of doing away with these breakouts is to drink a lot of water each day. It helps in removing the toxins from the body and maintaining the general health of the skin. Drinking green tea also helps as it contains anti oxidants and helps in inhibiting the free radicals and killing the bacteria thereby. These two ways do not require any effort on your part and are by far the easiest way to do away with the pimples and also at the same time enjoy the flavours of green tea.
Using aloe vera: Aloe vera is an effective natural remedy for the health of the skin. You can use it by simply applying the aloe vera gel on the affected area and leaving it on for some time before washing it of preferably with lukewarm water. Aloe vera contains anti bacterial and therapeutic properties and can works towards killing the acne causing bacteria along with keeping the skin smooth and supple.
Fuller’s earth clay. You can use a paste of the fuller’s earth clay by using it either independently or in combination with aloe vera or tea tree oil and formed into a uniform, smooth paste which can then be applied over the affected areas of the body. Keep the paste on for 20 minutes and then wash it off. You can also use rose water or sandalwood paste with it. It tends to have anti bacterial property and also has a drying effect on the skin which will dry out the clogged pores.
Tea tree oil: Using tea tree oil on the affected area is fairly simple. You just need to use a cotton ball to soak the oil and rub it smoothly over the affected areas. Tea tree oil exhibits anti septic properties and help in repairing the damaged skin caused due to the breakouts.
Using garlic juice: This requires using crushed garlic cloves which can be applied over the affected areas. The juice of the garlic can also be used for application. Garlic tends to exhibit anti bacterial properties and helps in fighting the acne causing bacteria.
Epsom salt bath: An effective way of treating body acne in the house is to soak your body in a bath of Epsom salt. This simply requires mixing 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt into a bucket of lukewarm water. Salt not only posses anti bacterial property which fights the acne causing bacteria but also has a drying effect on the skin which helps in draining the oily substance, namely sebum, out of the blocked skin pores.
Oat meal bath: Oat meal benefits acne affected skin in various ways. It absorbs excess sebum from the skin and also exfoliates the skin removing the dead skin cell and preventing thereby the clogging of pores. This simply requires grinding the oatmeal and binding it in a muslin cloth that can then be immersed in water so that its juices comes out while the coarse grains are filtered through the cloth.
These are the various home remedies as well as prescriptive medication that can be used to do away with your acne troubles on the body. Discussed below are certain pre cautionary ways to prevent the outbreak of acne on your body.
Ways of avoiding acne breakouts on your body:
It has been said that ‘precaution is better than cure’. Discussed below is a list of cautionary ways that you can use to prevent or avoid any outbreak of acne on your body.
- Wear cotton clothes as it tends to reduce sweating and will thereby reduce consequent irritation which very often causes or at least aggravates these breakouts. Try wearing clothes that do not absorb moisture.
- It is very important that you take a shower when you get excessively sweaty as sweat can always promote the already existing acne breakouts and motivate new ones.
- Try using a lotion or moisturizer that is non-comodegenic. It will not cause excessive oiliness of the skin while at the same time retain the required moisturizer.
- Try avoiding any such product on your cloth that might leave residue that can cause irritation.
- Try exfoliating your skin at least once in a week. This will prevent the accumulation of dead skin cells that clog the pores and prevent sebum accumulation under the surface of the skin. It is however advised that you use a gentle cleanser so that it is not too harsh upon your skin.
- Reducing stress can be an extremely effective way of controlling acne breakouts. Though scientific research is still going on, on this subject, it is by and large an accepted fact that stress contributes towards acne breakouts.
- It is advisable that you change your bed sheets as often as possible. This is so because the dead skin and sweat from your body tends o accumulate on the sheet as you sleep on it. Therefore changing it will keep your body clean and more hygienic.
- It is generally advised that wearing lose clothes is far better than wearing tight clothes for your skin
- Synthetic fabric traps dirt, oil and sweat and therefore avoiding their use will benefit the skin.
- Re-structure your diet, keep out junk food and eat food that is high in anti oxidant content, namely green vegetables
- Remember to keep our skin hydrated by drinking plenty of water which will flush away the toxins from your body .
- Wash your clothes regularly
- Never prick at any of the existing pimples or it may increase in severity
- Keep your hair tied when oily or it may cause irritation on your back and result in breakouts .
Body acne can be an extremely painful and disturbing experience for you. It is very important that you maintain the hygiene of your body and your surroundings to prevent any breakouts and if in spite of all precautions, the breakout still occurs you can always resort to the various home remedies and medicines mentioned above.
Antra is a seasoned writer and has written for several health and wellness topics especially related to skin problems. When not researching and writing, she loves to travel and explore the world.