Some people get acne on the body, such as on the chest, arms, back (“bacne”), posterior (“butt-ne”), and thighs. Acne on the body can be less of a pain because it’s easier to hide than acne on the face. If you have both, it can be doubly (triply!) frustrating.
Some common causes of body acne:
- Body acne can be simply clogged and irritated pores due to comedogens or allergens in products applied on or near the skin. Note that allergens and irritants don’t clog pores the way comedogens do but can irritated them, resulting in infection.
- Certain drugs, vitamins or nutritional supplements can cause body acne.
- Steroidal acne can occur on the body.
- Body acne can be a condition called pityrosporum folliculitis (PF) or “sweat acne.” If it is PF, traditional antibiotics won’t work because pityrosporum is a fungus. We all have pityrosporum living naturally on our skins, in a healthy balance with other microorganisms. If you tend to wash your skin with a lot of antiseptics or antimicrobials, or have taken antibiotics so that the population of the natural bacteria has been depleted, pityrosporum can go a little haywire. Pityrosporum also feeds on sweat. If you happen to be really sweaty or highly active, this fungus can go on a feeding frenzy, overpopulate, and clog pores.
- Other conditions can be mistaken for acne, such as keratosis pilaris (bumps on the arms). KP requires very different therapy so make sure you get the right diagnosis.
How to clear body acne?
- Avoidance can help! Steer clear of comedogens and allergens in ALL products that you use on your skin: makeup, skincare…even products not normally associated with the skin such as hair care.
- A simple regimen formulated for both face and body acne like Id Clarifying System can tackle multiple types of acne from head to toe.
- Ask your doctor if your medication or vitamins could be acnegenic, and if alternatives might work for you. As always, do not stop or change your medication without your doctor’s clearance.
- If you notice acne on sweaty areas like the chest, back, thighs, or posterior, consider a product with monolaurin like Id Monolaurin Gel to clear the bumps.