Almost everyone gets the occasional zit on the chin or cheek, but breakouts on your body are a little harder to cover up, especially as we get ready to don swimsuits and other light clothing this spring and summer. Acne is common on the back, chest and rear end, and some people can break out on other parts of their body, too. Luckily, there's still time to clear it up before beach season kicks off.
Just like all acne, body acne occurs when oil mixes with dead skin cells and clogs pores, creating a breeding ground for bacteria that causes the zits. Of course, there are some parts of your body that are more oily or produce more sweat than others, essentially creating playgrounds for nasty bacteria to fester and grow into something that definitely does not look good in a bikini.
Here are the best ways to clear up any "bodne" you have and prevent more from coming back!
Keep it clean. Acne is not necessarily caused by poor hygiene, so having backne doesn't mean you're a dirty person. That said, keeping your problem areas consistently clean may prevent acne-causing bacteria from growing. Here's a good game plan:
• Exfoliate. Giving your body a scrub down every week is a good way to slough away dead skin cells so they can't clog your pores to begin with. You can also use a loofah daily for gentle exfoliation.
• Cleanse. Not any old body wash will necessarily do the trick if you're trying to get rid of those nasty whiteheads on your back. Look for soaps or body washes that contain salicylic acid or glycolic acid. These ingredients, found in many acne products, help unclog pores. Also make sure your soap does not have too many harsh antibacterial agents, as this can make acne worse. Try Neutrogena's Body Clear Body Scrub, which exfoliates with microbeads while also treating the skin with salicylic acid.
Also, always remember to shower (or at least wash your problem areas) after exercising, since excessive sweating can clog the pores and breed bacteria. Cleanse your skin no more than twice a day for the best results, and keep up with the regimen!
Chill out. Raging hormone levels were the number one cause of your acne flare-ups in high school, but now, stress is one of the top triggers. When you are chronically stressed out, your adrenal glands produce more cortisol, which then causes a change in hormone levels. This change then triggers oil production on your skin. Plus, stress is trying on your immune system, leaving it weak and unable to kill that infection festering on your back.
Treat it over the counter. There are sprays, creams and gels that contain ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to dry up the oil and kill bacteria. These usually help for mild cases of body acne.
Talk to a doc. If your skincare routine is perfect and you still have a bumpy back, you should see a dermatologist for further guidance. There are a number of prescription acne medications that reduce oil production, fight bacterial infections, speed up skin cell turnover, or a combination of these. A doctor might also be able to better pinpoint an environmental or biological cause so you can zap your zits once and for all.