Acne. No matter how hard you fight it or how long you’ve been out of high school, these blemishes can pop up unexpectedly and often (and, usually, at the most inconvenient time.) And it isn’t limited to you face, sending people on a never-ending search for ways to get rid of body acne.
And although you may think you’re alone in the body acne battle, you’re not. According to the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Disease, an estimated 80 percent of people have acne outbreaks between the ages of 11 and 30. And some lucky individuals continue to deal with the blemishes well into their 40s and beyond. (Dang, Mother Nature. Can I live?)
But as annoying as these blemishes may be, they aren't a reason to panic as there are many ways to get rid of body acne. You may need to switch up your cleansing routine, do a little more laundry, or even visit your dermatologist, but the extra effort is worth it if it means clearing up your acne for good.
What Is Body Acne?
But before you embark on a battle with your body acne, it’s important to know what it is you’re fighting. To get the 411 on blemishes, I enlisted the expertise of board-certified dermatologists Sandy Johnson and Michele Green.
To start, Johnson notes that there are two main types of body acne. The first is yeast acne, which, “consists of tiny pimples and sometimes occurs when taking oral steroids or antibiotics.” The yeast pityrosporum is a normal inhabitant on the skin, and it usually doesn’t cause any trouble. But according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, when an overgrowth of pityrosporum yeast occurs, it may irritate your hair follicles and cause acne eruptions. Basically, your body acne may be a result of pissed-off hair follicles brought on by too much skin yeast. Excellent.
The second variety, acne vulgaris, comes in the form of larger bumps, according Johnson. The Mayo Clinic further explains that acne vulgaris is caused by hair folliclesthat have been plugged up with dead skin cells and oil. When this happens, the skin eruptions we all know and hate abound. Today’s lesson: hair follicles have no chill.
What Causes Body Acne?
One may assume acne is a result of poor hygiene, but Johnson and Green say a number of factors can contribute to these unwanted blemishes. Johnson says genetic and your environment play a large part in the development of acne. But ultimately, these factors have one thing in common.
“The main causes of body [acne] are hormonal,” Green says. She adds that when a patient comes in complaining of acne, her first step is to “investigate if there is a hormonal reason, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, underlying the breakouts in the body.”
So to sum up, having body acne does not mean that you are an unclean person. It may actually mean that something is slightly off with your hormones.
How to Prevent Body Acne
Now that you know the basic terminology and causes, here are some ways to get rid of body acne.