Body acne can be embarrassing and frustrating, just like facial acne. Like acne on the face, understanding what type of acne you have is the key to clearing body acne. Using the right products that do not clog the pores and using them the right way will get you clear.
Many of us are in a routine of washing our face every morning and night and even using special products designed for the face. However, the back, chest, and shoulders are typically only cleansed once a day or sometimes every other day with a body wash of some sort. Most lotions for the body are meant to moisturize the skin instead of treat bacteria, inflammation or bumps. It is definitely easier to have an acne clearing regimen for the face than the body but do not let this stop you- with the dedication and right products (the same that are used on the face) we can get you clear!
This means that having a regular regimen, morning and night, as well as getting in-office treatments every few weeks are absolutely necessary for a minimum of 3 months to get clear.
You will want to treat your body acne with a combination of exfoliation and antibacterial topical serums/lotions. The will start to treat the microcomodone under the skin as well the calm the surface acne. Please read What is Acne? to understand the cycle of acne and the microcomodone.
If the acne on your back, chest or shoulders is inflamed, red painful or pustular you need less exfoliation and more antibacterial work. We suggest a 2.5% benzyl peroxide cleanser (Face Reality Acne Wash), 15% Mandelic Serum and at least 5-10% benzyl peroxide (Face Reality Acne Med). What makes our program unique and the benefit of having an Acne Specialist to coach you through the program is that we will start you off on these products gradually. As your skin starts to get used to them, we will increase the frequency of use and concentration. We often see that body acne is associated with increased androgen/testosterone hormones caused by whey or soy protein shakes, steroid use and bodybuilding or weight lifting.
If the acne on your back, chest or shoulders is non-inflamed and has more of a bumpy texture combined with blackheads or build-up, you need more exfoliation and less antibacterial lotion. We suggest cleansing with an exfoliation cleanser (Face Reality Mandelic Wash), using a scrub 3-4 times per week (Face Reality Silica Scrub), 15% Mandelic Serum for exfoliation and also to lighten any brown hyper pigmentation.
Also, when treating the body for acne, you want to be sure to not use shampoo and conditioner with sulfates or pore clogging ingredients or laundry detergents and fabric softener sheets. All laundry items should be fragrance-free. Conventional dryer sheets should be avoided all together as they have a residue on them that gets on your clothing, bed sheets and towels that clog your pores.
Keep in mind that the body tends to respond slower to treatment than the face. While progress can be seen as you go through the program, it may take 3-5 months to get completely clear.