Body Acne Treatment
While most of the focus on acne treatments deals with eliminating pimples on the face, many acne sufferers have to deal with blemishes on their bodies, including on the back, neck, shoulders and chest. Body acne can be a real blow to self-esteem, but there are things that you can do to combat these zits and regain confidence in your appearance.
Body Acne Defined
Body acne is just like acne that you get on the face. It tends to accumulate on the neck, shoulders, back and chest mostly but it can appear anywhere on the body that possesses sebaceous or oil glands--basically, anywhere but the palms of your hands and soles of your feet. It can be as mild as a few blackheads or whiteheads that crop up every once in a while or as severe as large, hard nodules buried deep beneath the skin or expansive cysts that are filled with pus. Understanding the severity of your body acne is the key to seeking out proper treatment.
When dealing with body acne, there is a choice of several treatment options. Over-the-counter products are easy to obtain and usually consist of ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. You can also obtain prescription medications like antibiotics, or even Accutane, for body acne. For very severe acne, sometimes cysts will need to be drained or the comedone or clogged pore will need to be removed by a dermatologist to aid in proper healing.
As with treating acne on the face, the aim of body acne treatment is reduce the number of breakouts a person experiences and to help heal current blemishes while leaving as little permanent damage to the skin as possible. For some, a combination of treatments will be required to achieve the desired result.
Treating body acne will not produce results overnight. If using topical treatments, you should expect to see improvement within eight weeks. If your skin worsens or nothing changes, your particular cleanser or cream might not be appropriate. If using a prescription medication like Accutane, you will need to take the drug for the period of time directed by your doctor, which is usually around 16 weeks. Your skin will likely be clear following use of this drug, though it is possible your acne will return. For physical procedures like the surgical removal of a comedone, you can expect the lesion to improve within days of treatment, though the area will need to heal with proper wound care to prevent scarring.
Body acne treatments can be very effective when used properly but that doesn't mean they don't carry risks. For instance, prescription antibiotics can cause digestive tract, UTI and vaginal infections, diarrhea and stomach upset. Accutane carries a high risk of birth defects for pregnant women and has been linked to depression and suicidal thoughts. Even over-the-counter acne treatments can cause skin irritation, dryness, peeling, redness and flaking. Be sure that you understand the side effects and precautions of an acne treatment before trying it.
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