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The Best Acne Treatment for the Shoulders

The Best Acne Treatment for the Shoulders The Best Acne Treatment for the Shoulders The Best Acne Treatment for the Shoulders


Shoulder acne is a form of body acne that affects men and women of all ages. As with all other types of acne, no one treatment works well for everyone. To find the best solution for your shoulder acne, consult your doctor. Be patient, as it can take up to eight weeks to see an improvement.


Acne occurs when the sebaceous glands produce too much oil, clogging pores and hair follicles. The sebaceous glands on the back and shoulder are larger and produce more oil than those glands on the face. When bacteria accumulate in these pores, acne begins to form. The larger shoulder glands can produce more severe acne lesions and pimples, making shoulder acne more difficult to treat.

Moisture and skin irritation also contribute to shoulder acne. Anything that repeatedly rubs against the skin, such as tight clothes, backpacks and weight- lifting machines, combined with moisture, such as sweat, can worsen shoulder acne.

Best Over-the-Counter Treatments

Products containing at least 10 percent benzoyl peroxide are an effective over-the-counter treatment for shoulder acne. Benzoyl peroxide reduces oil production. It is often used in combination with alpha-hydroxy products. Other effective over-the counter products are gels, lotions, creams, soaps and pads that contain resorcinol, salicylic acid and sulfer, all of which break down blackheads and whiteheads.

Best Oral Prescription Treatments

The best oral prescription treatments for shoulder acne are antibiotics and retinoids. Antibiotics slow or stop bacterial growth and reduce inflammation. Tetracycline, minocycline and doxycycline are the most commonly prescribed antibiotics to treat acne. Clindamycin, erythromycin and sulfonamides are used less frequently.

Vitamin A derivatives, called retinoids, are the best way to reduce the size of oil glands so that less oil is produced. They also unplug pimples so that topical medicines can enter the follicles and prevent new pimples from forming.

Best Topical Prescription Treatments

The best topical prescription treatments for shoulder acne include tretinoin, adapalene and tazarotene. All of these treatments contain an altered form of vitamin A. They help prevent the formation of pimples. Prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide, sodium sulfacetamide, azelaic acid and sulfur-containing products slow acne bacteria growth and reduce inflammation.

Best Ways to Help Yourself

To reduce shoulder breakouts, wear breathable, loose clothing. Avoid using a backpack during a breakout. Immediately shower after workouts and strenuous activity. Use a bacterial cleanser or an anti-acne soap. If a shower is not possible, wipe perspiration away from your skin and change your clothes to prevent moisture from irritating your skin. Weekly exfoliation to shed dead skin cells can also help treat shoulder acne.

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