Acne treatment Acne treatment

How to Treat Body Acne

How to Treat Body Acne How to Treat Body Acne


Acne is a common skin blemish that can occur on any area of the body that is in close proximity to a sebaceous gland. This allows acne to form on the face, neck, shoulders, back, legs, scalp and many other areas of the body. Sebaceous glands produce a natural oil, called sebum, that can mix with dead skin cells on your body and create plugs in your follicles. When acne occurs on your body, there are several options available for treatment.

Step 1

Use a body cleansing soap to prepare the affected area for treatment. Body cleansers remove excess dirt, oil and bacteria that can worsen your acne outbreak. Make sure the cleanser is oil-free, water-based and noncomedogenic. Using a daily cleanser to wash the skin twice a day can also prevent future outbreaks, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Step 2

Apply an over-the-counter medication containing salicylic acid. The dead skin cells that make up acne plugs are largely made up of a protein called keratin. Salicylic acid is a keratolytic agent, meaning it has the ability to break down the keratin that makes up the acne on your body. The acid clears the follicles of acne as the protein breaks down. According to the New Zealand Dermatological Society, salicylic acid can also prevent future outbreaks with regular use, by slowing down the rate in which skin cells shed inside your follicles.

Step 3

Talk to your doctor about prescription acne treatment products. There are a wide variety of prescription products on the market for treating body acne, ranging from antibiotics for killing acne-causing bacteria (such as erythromycin and azelaic acid) to retinoid products, which can help break down acne plugs and prevent future outbreaks from occurring (such as adapalene and tretinoin). For acne outbreaks that take up large areas of skin, an oral acne prescription treatment, such as isotretinoin, may be used to prevent having to apply prescription-strength medications to a large area.

Step 4

Schedule a laser acne treatment. Laser treatments use specialized lasers designed to target the sebaceous glands deep in the skin. Laser treatments emit light energy, which can be used to damage the sebaceous glands. This allows the laser to reduce the amount of sebum being produced over large areas of skin.

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