Back, shoulders, upper arms are areas of the body more prone to acne. Body acne lesions are more resistant to most treatments and more likely to persist even in thirties and forties both in males and females. Lifestyle routines and diet play a major role in control of lesions on the body and should be seriously considered in management of body acne. Here we have provided you with simplistic lifestyle tips as well as an evidence based skin care for body acne treatment.
1. Do not use any type of soap to wash your body. Soaps not only tend to change the natural skin’s mantle and deprive your skin of essential proteins, ceramides and fatty acids but also alter skin’s pH by which predispose the skin to comedone formation by overstimulation of sebaceous glands to increase their sebaceous glands production. Instead use a pH balanced body wash or a hair shampoo to cleanse your skin. Acne patients show higher than normal skin’s pH and soap can aggravate this situation.
2. Daily showers are of crucial importance for treatment of acne especially on the body. Not daily hot showers! Try cold to lukewarm daily showers.
3. Do not use any harsh scrubbing cloth to wash your body. Use a soft sponge. Your skin is even more sensitive to acne in certain areas of your body for instance, back, shoulders and chest. These areas are very sensitive to mechanical stimulation.
4. Once-a-week hot bathes are great addition to your body hygiene routine. Bring the water to about 50C, the hottest you can tolerate. You can find Epsom salts or Deadsea salts in any drugstore. Add one cup to your hot tub. If you can add a cup of dried chamomile to the hot water that would be good too. If not that’s ok. Add your shampoo to this hot water. Stay in there for at least 20 minutes and relax. If there is a fan in your bathroom, turn it off. You should sweat. Turn the lights off and lit a candle. Try to relax. Do not overdo this. This simple bath is detoxifying. However doing it more than once a week could cause acne breakouts and it is of no help to alleviate acne lesions on your back.
5. Do you exercise? If not you should start. If you do, do you take a shower right after? Skin breakouts right after exercise for those who don’t wash their bodies is a likely phenomenon. After exercise, while your skin is still moist, the body environment is very vulnerable to opportunistic bacteria. Taking a shower leaves your skin clean and much less prone to acne by interfering the action of opportunistic bacteria, propionibacterium acnes, always present on your skin. Staphylococcus epidermidis and corynbacterium acnes are pathogens involved in back acne lesions as well as facial acne.
6. Hormonal form which may be direct result of hormonal imbalance is common to a great extent in overly-stressed males and females over the age of 25. Excess androgens in males and females can cause acne. An example is polycytic ovary which is assoicatied with hirsutism and acne in females. Production of androgens in this disorder makes the skin more prone to acne. Hormonal imbalance could result in acne breakouts especially in areas of body such as chest, shoulders and back, a specific culprit which necessitate addressing in control of body acne. Exercise can eliminate the tensions , increase microcirculation of the skin and let your body endocrine system regulate itself. Remember twenty minutes, three times a week will do.
7. What do you wear? Cotton shirts are so great in that they let your skin breath and not touch your skin too much. Mechanical stimulation of the skin more sensitive to acne can cause breakouts. This mechanical stimulation includes your hair topped with styling products hanging on the forehead. If you wear anything tight, try not to sweat too much. If you did, wash your clothes before wearing them next time. Even at night patterns of sleep predispose areas under pressure to a comedone that get gradually more inflamed. Change your body positions frequently.
8. How about sun lights? How does it affect my body having acne? Controversy continues in effect of sun rays on sebum production, inflammatory skin markers and skin bacteria involved in pathogenesis of acne. Sunlight may calm your inflammatory acne temporarily. However, this effect will soon go away. Sunlight will not treat back acne. If you are exposing your body to sun rays, wear a sunscreen and wash your body as soon as you are home. Should it be an oil free sunscreen? No, oil free products do not necessarily help your skin or improve your acne. Making your skin too dry is an over stimulation to sebaceous glands.
9. I have this red, inflamed acne on my chest and back, is there anything that can help with body acne? If there is nothing available such as a body treatment for acne prone skin, try a solution of benzoyl peroxide 3%. You can find it in any drugstore. This solution will not treat you acne, however, it can prevent from getting blemishes too inflamed and large. It can help with control of skin breakouts on the body. Do not overuse it as it could be very drying and irritating to the skin.
10. Is that right that I have to wear water-based moisturizers on my body? Absolutely not. This all depends on the type of moisturizer you use. Even though oil-based moisturizers are more likely to contain pore-clogging fats you should avoid, there are multitude of water based moisturizers with pore clogging ingredients. However if a moisturizer is good enough to contain nourishing oils such as omega-3-contained oils, natural sebum-like oils, linoleic acid, it not only improves your skin but helps to treat your excessive oil excretion. Some studies suggest moderate antibacterial and anti inflammatory effectiveness of long chained polyunsaturated fatty acids in acne vulgaris. Research indicates ratio of skin lipids changes in acne patients. Borage oil, Jojoba, Rosehip, Walnut oil, Hemp seed oil all are good oils that a good moisturizer may contain. Do not be mislead by over-the-counter moisturizers in your local drug store though. On the label you may see contain Jojoba or sometimes at the back of the bottle where the ingredients written. However, Jojoba, for example, is only a tiny fraction( less than 1%) of that cream or lotion. Creams containing nourishing natural oils can regulate sebum secretion and help with treatment of chest, shoulders, back and arms lesions.
11. Diet has always been subject of controversy in sebum alterations. Many studies support the idea of a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, a good source of antioxidants and vitamins, moderate use of dairy products and whey proteins and avoidance of trans fat and saturated fat. Several studies warrant low glycemic diet in control and management of acne vulgaris.