Body acne is a skin condition that can affect anyone of any age, but it is most common among teenagers and pregnant women. Body acne can be caused by hormones, heredity or oil buildup on the skin. It is not caused by eating chocolate, greasy foods or being dirty. If you have body acne that is mild or moderate, it can likely be cleared up with a home remedy or over-the-counter product. If acne is more severe, consult a dermatologist for a prescription treatment.
Try a home remedy for body acne. For a homemade spot treatment, dermatologist Ava Shamban suggests crushing two aspirin tablets into a fine powder and mixing it into a paste with a drop of honey and a drop of water. Apply to the skin for 10 minutes, then rinse off. The mixture will help dry out pimples and reduce swelling. To treat larger areas of body acne, mix 10 crushed aspirin tablets and add 1/2 teaspoon of honey and 1/2 teaspoon of water.
Wash your body once a day with a body wash containing an effective active ingredient. The Mayo Clinic suggests body washes like sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, resorcinol or lactic acid to dry up oil on the body and prevent clogged pores. For best results, the body wash should be oil-free and noncomedogenic.
Exfoliate the body once a week with an exfoliating body scrub, like Burt's Bees Radiance Exfoliating Body Wash or Clinique Exfoliating Body Wash. Exfoliating scrubs should be oil-free and noncomedogenic to prevent clogged pores and irritation.
Apply a strong spot treatment to large, stubborn pimples on the body before bed. The Mayo Clinic recommends benzoyl peroxide, which is available over the counter at a strength of 10 percent. Stronger benzoyl peroxide treatments are available by prescription.
Consult a dermatologist if your acne does not respond to an over-the-counter acne treatment. Your dermatologist may prescribe a topical prescription medication like adapalene, tazarotene or tretinoin to be used on afflicted areas of the body. Oral antibiotics soothe inflammation and fight bacteria that may be causing breakouts on the skin. Often, oral antibiotics are used alongside a topical prescription antibiotic, and only for a short period of time. Consider isotretinoin, also known as Accutane, only if no other effective options are available, as isotretinoin can cause severe side effects like depression, thoughts of suicide and birth defects.
Things You'll Need
Exfoliating body scrub
Benzoyl peroxide spot treatment
Avoid picking or squeezing the acne, which may cause scarring.
If you are feeling depressed or suicidal while taking isotretinoin, call 911 or (800) SUICIDE immediately.