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Facing up to body acne

22nd May 2012  : 

We normally think of acne as a condition of the face (hence the snide references to "pimple-faced teenagers"), but not only can it affect people of any age, it can appear in several areas. This can mean different treatment to that for facial acne is appropriate. The causes of body acne are the same as that for the face: oil glands produce too much sebum, which can build up and get trapped alongside dead skin cells. The resulting blockage creates a blackhead or a pimple depending on whether or not it is infected. In severe cases, the blockage can damage the skin and create scarring. Body acne is most common on the back and chest, simply because these areas have more oil glands. Hormonal imbalances are the main causes; snug clothing and sweat can irritate body acne, but aren't believed to cause it.

Mild body acne cases can be treated in a similar way to facial acne, most commonly through products that attack the bacteria in pimples, stop dead skin getting into blockages, or reduce inflammation.

The good news is that the skin on the torso and back is much less sensitive than on the face. This means not only can you use more powerful products, but it may be safer to combine multiple treatments at once. Always read instructions carefully and seek expert advice if you are unsure. Remember that the neck is comparatively sensitive, so you may need a milder treatment here.For more severe cases of body acne, you could consider more direct treatment from a clinic. This can include microdermabrasion and laser treatment for acne. In both cases the idea is to unclog pores by removing dead or tough skin, tackling the problem of excessive blockages. Both techniques can also be used for acne scar treatment by reducing the appearance of the scars.

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