Best Body Acne Treatments
Acne is a common skin ailment that can affect any follicle on the skin close to a sebacious gland. This includes the neck, face, shoulders, back and multiple other areas of the body. When it comes to treating large body areas affected by acne, some standard acne treatments may not be affective, or you may risk an overdose if topically applied to such a large surface area. Such risks make it important to choose the best treatment option available for your individual acne outbreak.
Salicylic acid is a common over-the-counter topical acne treatment product. Acne is caused by a mixture of natural sebum oil and dead skin cells clogging the follicles. The skin cells of these clogs are largely made up of a protein called keratin.
Because salicylic acid is a keratolytic agent, it can break down keratin in the clogs, clearing up the acne-affected follicle.
Benzoyl peroxide is also a common over-the-counter product that can be used on your body to treat acne. Another contributing factor to acne formation is a bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes.
The P. acnes bacteria is unable to survive and multiply in areas high in oxygen. Benzoyl peroxide works by penetrating clogged skin follicles and introducing high levels of oxygen to the bacteria.
For more severe cases of acne, a short course of antibiotics may be required. For small patches of acne, topical antibiotics, such as erythromycin or clindamycin, may be used to both reduce colonies of P. acnes bacteria and reduce inflammation.
For acne that covers large areas of the body, oral antibiotics may be needed. In this case, oral erythromycin, doxycline or minocycline may be prescribed.
Antibiotics come with some risks of developing bacterial resistance. As such, your doctor may also recommend an antimicrobial, such as azelaic acid or benzoyl peroxide to accompany the antibiotic and prevent resistance.
Isotretinoin may also be prescribed to treat more severe cases of body acne. Isotretinoin is a retinoid that is currently the only acne medication capable of treating all four main causes of acne formation, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. These causes include inflammation, sebum production, follicle blocking and bacteria.
Laser treatments are growing in popularity for treatment of body acne. These treatments use specially tuned lasers to penetrate deep into the skin and target your sebacious glands, which are responsible for producing sebum.
The laser damages the sebacious glands, reducing the amount of sebum produced. This lessens the amount of sebum material available to mix with dead skin cells that create follicle clogs.
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