How To Get Rid Of Body Acne & Breakouts

How To Get Rid Of Body Acne & Breakouts

Posted by Neutriherbs Editors on

how to get rid of body acne

Body breakouts can happen to anyone. Our backs and chests, like our faces, has sebaceous glands that secrete sebum which can combine with dead skin cells, bacteria, dirt and sweat to block the hair follicles and create inflamed pores, leading to acne.

Thanks to all kinds of targeted treatments, from exfoliating body washes to skin-soothing lotions, body acne can be managed. 

This article breaks down what body acne is, how to treat it and the best kinds of products to have in rotation for smoother, clearer skin all over. 

Where does body acne appear?

As you may have guessed, acne that appears in places other than your face is termed “body acne” and it can manifest in various formats such as — whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. 

That said, body acne doesn’t appear everywhere on your body. There are some specific areas where you might notice body breakouts pop up and they are:

1) Back acne or Bacne

Back acne (or bacne) is acne that appears on the back and shoulders especially common in areas that your hair or clothes touch. 

For example, bra straps can contribute to shoulder acne, and long hair can contribute to upper back blemishes, especially if your hair products contain comedogenic ingredients. 

2) Chest acne

Body acne can also occur on the chest for the same reasons as back acne. Chest acne can develop from a number of factors, including fluctuating hormone levels, bacteria, fungus, and lifestyle factors (more on lifestyle down the line).

3) Bikini-line acne

While you may sometimes find red bumps along your bikini line, that isn’t actually acne—they are likely ingrown hairs or folliculitis, inflammation or a skin infection that develops in the hair follicles. It can be triggered by tight clothing, shaving, or friction—especially when your skin is damp and hot (like when you’re sweating).

4) Butt acne or Butne

Breakouts on the buttocks are common, but these are usually due to a condition called folliculitis (inflamed hair follicles) rather than true acne. Sweat combined with tight-fitting non-breathable clothing and a lot of time in an office chair can irritate hair follicles leading to pimple-like outbreaks all over your backside.

Body acne can also appear on the neck, although this is sometimes lumped in with facial acne. 

The Causes: What Brings About Body Acne?

Typically, both body acne and facial acne are frequently caused by the same trigger – inflammation, increased oil production, clogged pores by oil and dead skin cells, and irritation of the follicle as the common culprits. 

In addition to these four factors, body acne is particularly triggered by trapped sweat or oil, Rapid hormonal changes such as pregnancy, periods, menopause, and perimenopause can also contribute to body acne since the oil glands become hyperactive during these transitional periods.

Other factors that might surprise you are:

  • Friction and Pressure: sometimes body acne could be triggered by friction or pressure on the skin, caused by tight clothing, heavy backpacks, or sports equipment.
  • Poor Hygiene: Neglecting to clean certain parts of your body, such as your back, can lead to a buildup of oil and dead skin cells, which can clog your pores and cause acne.
  • Certain Products: Some body washes, lotions, or sunscreens can cause acne. Always look for products labeled 'non-comedogenic,' which means they won't clog your pores.
  • Food: Certain foods—especially dairy products like cow’s milk and highly glycemic foods can contribute to the development of acne in some people.
  • Laundry detergent: If your clothes, pillowcases and sheets are washed with pore-clogging ingredients, that may contribute to body acne. Switching to a laundry detergent without sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate may help some people with body acne. Also, fabric softeners (including dryer sheets) can leave a waxy residue on fabric that may clog pores in acne-prone people.
  • Over-exfoliating or being too rough with towels, loofahs, or body brushes: Skin irritation can trigger or exacerbate breakouts. If you can, avoid or limit harsh cleansers and physical methods of exfoliation such as loofahs and back brushes. Be gentle on your skin!
  • Stress: When we're stressed, we trigger more androgen production, which creates more inflammation and oily skin, Excess oil clogs our pores, creating acne. So while the stress itself does not create acne, it makes a bad situation worse.

Everything You Need To Know About Treating Body Acne - 9 Tips

Tips #1

Keep Skin Clean With a Gentle Body Wash

Switch soaps.

Whether you have chest acne or forehead pimples, clearer skin often starts with keeping your pores clean of trapped oil and skin cells. The first step in your daily body care routine should be to wash thoroughly with a gentle body wash specifically formulated with ingredients such as bacteria-killing benzoyl peroxide and exfoliating glycolic and salicylic acids is beneficial for treating acne and reducing the appearance of dark spots over time, like Neutriherbs Salicylic acid exfoliating body wash, which is suitable for all skin types especially acne prone skin. 

Neutriherbs salicylic acid body wash

The foaming wash gently yet effectively cleans the skin and helps to maintain moisture, leaving skin feeling clean and comfortable.

Salicylic acid washes are our top choice for body acne, but you need to leave them on for three to five minutes before rinsing to get the best effect.

Shop Neutriherbs Salicylic acid exfoliating body wash 

Tip #2

Exfoliate Regularly

Exfoliating helps remove dead cells from your skin’s surface, which may help to prevent clogged pores. That said, there’s a balance to be struck: While exfoliating can be beneficial for those prone to body acne, over-exfoliating can irritate your skin and make you more likely to break out.

Neutriherbs Vitamin c body scrub

As such, we recommend starting slowly and reaching for mild products, such as Neutriherbs Vitamin C Turmeric Exfoliating Body ScrubThe main ingredients are extracted from high-quality turmeric root, mixed with Vitamin C, dead sea salt, Glycolic Acid and resveratrol alongside the refreshing properties of centella asiatica extract, it mechanically exfoliates and polishes dead skin cells while delivering hydration. 

Tips #3

Hydrate! Hydrate!! Hydrate!!!

It may seem counterintuitive to use a body lotion if your skin is producing excess oil and causing acne on your body, but moisture is crucial for healthy-looking skin. Neglecting to moisturize can leave your skin vulnerable to dehydration, and if your skin gets too dry, your body may produce excess oil to restore balance.This increased sebum production can lead to clogged pores and, ultimately, breakouts.

Argan Lotion Neutriherbs

Regularly using a lightweight moisturizer, like our Neutriherbs Argan Oil Body Lotion, can help keep your skin adequately hydrated. This non-greasy formula absorbs quickly, leaving the skin feeling soft and moisturized. Apply an even layer to your damp skin after showering to help seal in moisture for the best results.

Tip #4

Consider Your Lifestyle

Start by minimizing friction on your most sensitive, acne-prone parts by avoiding tight-fitting and occlusive clothing and wearing breathable fabrics — especially for exercise. Then, consider your diet, sleep, and overall lifestyle, which can have a major impact on body acne. 

For one, acne is worsened by foods that cause inflammation, such as dairy products and refined grains and sugar. Taking out high glycemic foods and dairy from the diet has been shown in clinical trial data to alleviate acne.

Then, there’s the brain-skin connection. Stress can absolutely exacerbate body acne. Insomnia can lead to elevated levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Beauty sleep is real!

Tip #5

Wash Your Hair First

If washing your body is the first step in your usual shower routine, you may want to reconsider especially if you’re struggling with body acne.

Hair products, like shampoos and conditioners, often contain ingredients that, while good for your hair, may not be good for skin. 

When conditioner residue drips down your back, chest, and/or other parts of your body, it can clog your pores and cause pesky breakouts if it’s not properly cleaned off with water and soap. Because conditioners tend to be thick and creamy, they can be difficult to remove effectively with just water which increase the risk of body acne for some people.

Again, that’s because conditioners—which can make hair feel soft, silky, and manageable—also tend to contain hydrating, occlusive ingredients like oils (such as coconut and jojoba) and silicones (dimethicone is a common one)

That’s why we suggests a different approach: Start from the top (wash and condition your hair first) and finish at the bottom (clean your body as a final step).

Tip #6:

Shower After Exercising

if your workouts are particularly sweaty, you’ll want to carve out time to shower afterward. Sweat and tight clothes can both contribute to body acne. So leaving that sweaty sports bra/under wear on after your workout ends definitely isn’t the best idea if you’re struggling with back acne or other body breakouts. The same goes for swimming—you’ll want to rinse off after swimming, regardless of whether it’s in a pool or open sea.

Tip #7

Use A Topical Treatment Instead Of Picking

As tempting as it may be please try and avoid picking, squeezing or scratching when it comes to body acne.

This can introduce infection and lead to scarring. Instead, apply a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid gel to juicy spots.

Picking nearly always leads to pigmentation too, which is stubborn to get rid of.

You can buy benzoyl peroxide creams, such as Acnecide and Duac, over the counter. They kill bacteria that leads to acne, but do have a tendency to dry the skin out (just to put that out there).

Tip #8

Wash laundry more often. 

Dead skin cells, sweat, makeup, and other products can leave remnants on fabric. Keeping your bedsheets, pillowcases, and clothing clean will prevent environmental irritants from affecting the skin.

Tip #9

Incorporate Probiotics Into Your Skin-Care Routine and Diet

Whether you add fermented foods (which are naturally rich in probiotics) like kimchi, miso, yogurt, and kefir, or take a daily supplement, probiotics can boost the health of the skin's microbiome. Taking an oral probiotic daily really does help not only to reset the gastrointestinal flora, but can actually help the skin flora as well. Luckily, probiotic supplements are readily available at big supermarkets around you.

How Long Body Acne Takes To Clear

As for a timeline on how long it will take to see results, it could be as little as two - four weeks since It takes 28 days for the skin cells to turnover fully although more inflamed spots may take longer.

However as long as the irritations of blocked pores, excessive rubbing or staying moist/sweaty for too long is removed, they should settle down. 

Hopefully fortified with active products like salicylic acid and following through with the recommended tips afore mentioned – your body acne should disappear as quickly as it arrived.

When to Consult a Doctor

While treating yourself topically, pay attention to your body, too. If your body acne is cystic and hormonal or if you don’t notice much of a difference after about three months, you may need to consult your dermatologist to develop a customized treatment plan. 

They may recommend prescription alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), a prescription topical retinoid, a hormonal medication such as a birth control pill, or a diuretic like spironolactone.

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