Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages. While it is most commonly associated with the face, acne can also develop on other areas of the body, particularly the chest and back. In fact, acne on the chest and back is quite common, and can be just as frustrating and embarrassing as acne on the face.
Like acne on the face, chest and back acne occurs when sebum and dead skin cells clog the hair follicles. However, there are several factors that can cause people to break out on their back and chest. One of the main causes of back and chest acne is irritation caused by prolonged pressure and friction by anything repeatedly rubbing on the skin, such as tight shirts and backpacks. Acne that is triggered by irritation on the skin is called acne mechanica.
Back acne can also be a result of sweat. Sweat that is not washed off can mix with the natural oils and other toxins in the skin, causing pores to become clogged and irritated. Even the type of clothing can cause acne on the chest and back. Tight clothing does not allow the skin to breathe and traps in sweat. Synthetic materials such as lycra and polyester also trap in sweat. The sweat is then combined with the natural oils released by the body. This creates a film over the skin, causing the pores to clog and create whiteheads and blackheads. It is therefore better to avoid working out while using synthetic materials and better to wear cotton or a material that allows the skin to breathe.
Hygiene is very important in order to prevent chest and back acne. It is very important to shower and cleanse the skin every time after working out. Sheets that are not washed regularly can also cause acne. Natural oils released by the skin and dirt are absorbed by the sheets and cause buildup over time. Dirty sheets and dirty clothes can transfer dirt and bacteria into the hair follicle, causing it to clog and become infected.
Women that use makeup on their neck are also more prone to chest acne. Makeup along with sweat can cause the pores to clog. A lot of the makeup women use is oil-based, which can cause flare-ups in acne. The oil of the makeup along with the sebum that is secreted by the skin creates an excess of oil and therefore causes acne. To avoid this, try buying makeup products that are labeled as non-comedogenic.
Items such as laundry detergent and body wash can also cause chest and back acne. For this reason, a fragrance-free and made for sensitive skin detergent should be used to wash clothes. When choosing a body wash, avoid grainy body scrubs as they can irritate the skin and create blemishes.
Pores on the back tend to also be larger than those on the face, therefore they release more oils. Cases of severe acne, such as nodules and cysts, are more common on the back because of the excess oils being released. A very effective treatment for back acne is benzoyl peroxide, which penetrates the skin and delivers oxygen to the affected area. Bacteria cannot live in the presence of oxygen so it kills 99.9 percent of it. Resorcinol, salicylic acid and sulfur also help to treat acne breakouts on the back.
In conclusion, chest and back acne can be caused by several factors, including tight clothing, sweat, makeup, and poor hygiene. By taking the appropriate steps to prevent acne, such as using non-comedogenic products and practicing good hygiene, you can reduce your risk of developing chest and back acne. If you do experience acne, there are several effective treatments available, including benzoyl peroxide, other topical treatments and chemical peels. By working with your Medical Aesthetician, you can find the right treatment for your skin and enjoy clearer, healthier skin.
Are you still struggling with body acne?