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How to Treat Acne From Heat

author image Nicki Howell
Nicki Howell started her professional writing career in 2002, specializing in areas such as health, fitness and personal finance. She has been published at health care websites, such as HealthTree, and is a ghostwriter for a variety of small health care organizations. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Portland State University.
How to Treat Acne From Heat
Shower head Photo Credit: mikrus/iStock/Getty Images

Acne mechanica is a type of acne that is caused by heat or friction on the skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. This type of acne is commonly aggravated by activities that cause heat, such as playing sports. The equipment worn, such as helmets or shoulder pads, create friction on the skin, causing small uncomfortable acne lesions. Fortunately, there are a couple options for treating acne caused by heat. You can use preventative strategies to reduce heat on the skin and acne fighting medications.

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Step 1

Wear the right fabrics. People who have this type of acne often experience body acne. Wear cotton shirts, which allow skin to breath easily, recommends the American Academy of Dermatology. If you participate in organized sports, you can wear a cotton shirt under your uniform to absorb skin perspiration.

Step 2

Shower immediately after physical activity. Use an over-the-counter face and body wash containing salicylic acid. Wash places that acne commonly occurs, including the face, neck, back and chest.

Step 3

Allow the face and forehead to breath. If you typically wear a hat or headband, this causes additional friction in heat, resulting in breakouts. Bacteria can also accumulate on the item, inflaming and irritating the skin.

Step 4

Apply prescription medications. If over-the-counter treatments don’t work, contact a dermatologist. She can prescribe more powerful benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and retinoid creams to treat breakouts. Give treatments up to eight weeks to work.

Step 5

Request oral medications. Acne mechanica that doesn’t respond to topical treatments may require oral medications. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for up to four months to get bacteria under control. People with deep lesions, called acne cysts, may benefit from the use of Accutane. Side effects from this medication, however, are very powerful. Pregnant women can’t take the drug because of birth defect risks.

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