Chest Acne Help
Sixty million Americans--including 20 million adults--suffer from acne, according to a 2010 report by The Acne Resource Center Online. This dispels the myth that pimples only afflict teenagers. While the root cause of acne is unknown, overactive sebaceous glands, bacteria, quick cell turnover and dead skin cells clog pores and cause pimples to form. Chest acne--also known as body or trunk acne--is one of the most common areas for breakouts.
The regimen necessary to combat chest acne involves generous amounts of benzoyl peroxide along with a 10 percent alpha hydroxy acid, according to Acne.org. Apply benzoyl peroxide to your chest during and between breakouts. Benzoyl peroxide helps dry pores and kills the bacteria that causes acne. Alpha hydroxy acid, including lactic and glycolic acid, work by removing dead skin cells and reducing inflammation, according to MayoClinic.com.
Severe, widespread body acne that hasn't responded to over-the-counter treatments may need a more powerful medication, according to Acne.org. Accutane, or the generic drug isotretinoin, is an oral medication that shrinks the size of sebaceous glands and reduces oil production. It limits the amount of bacteria in your skin and slows your body's production of skin cells. Isotretinoin also can reduce inflammation. Oral isotretinoin is the most effective medication in treating severe acne, according to a 2007 study conducted by Ayse Akman et al. and published in the "Archives of Dermatological Research." People with less severe acne who are prone to scarring also are good candidates for this medication. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant shouldn't take isotretinoin--this drug increases the risk of severe birth defects, according to iPledgeProgram.com.
Scarring often is one of the biggest concerns for acne sufferers. When acne clears after a serious breakout, it can leave scars, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, or AAD. The chest area is especially prone to keloid scars, which are raised, smooth scars that may cause itching. You may need more than one type of treatment to reduce or remove scars associated with acne, according to the AAD. Treatments may include surgery to remove the scar or intralesional injections, which can help shrink the scar.
Sweat and friction from clothing can aggravate chest acne. Avoid tight tops and clothing made from rough fabrics. Wear breathable cotton shirts and change your clothing if you become sweaty. Time your workouts so you can shower afterward. Don't wash more than twice a day--this can irritate your skin, according to the AAD.
Acne can significantly affect your quality of life, regardless of whether your breakouts are mild or severe, advises the AAD. Acne has been linked to depression and anxiety. People with acne often admit to avoiding social activities that require clothing that exposes skin affected by acne, according to the New Zealand Dermatological Society. Some acne sufferers also report problems forming intimate relationships. Body acne can limit job choices for people interested in a career in entertainment or modeling.
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