Body Acne 101: Why You Get It and How to Get Rid of It

Say bye to below-the-chin zits with these dermat-approved tips 

If you have had it you know how difficult it is to deal with below-the-chin bumps. Not only is it uncomfortable but more often than not it leaves behind a dark spot that’s not easy to get rid of. Dealing with these zits is more difficult than facial acne. We talked to  Dr. Ameesha Mahajan, dermatologist and skincare expert, RM Aesthetics, Amritsar to give you a beginner’s guide to bacne and other annoying body pimples.

"Body Acne is becoming increasingly common these days. It can appear as blackheads, whiteheads , pus filled small papules or even cysts. It can leave unsightly scars on the body which could be brown spots, atrophic scars, raised scars or even keloids This year, there has been a rise in body acne and  also acne cases in general."

"The main causes of acne remain similar like overproduction of sebum, inflammation and infection. Body acne often occurs in areas which get more oily like the centre of the chest, shoulders and upper back. It can be associated with scalp dandruff or dermatitis. It can also occur over buttocks since that is an area where there is a lot of irritation from sweating or tight fitting clothes or sitting for long periods."

"There are a lot of reasons ranging from emotional to physical to lifestyle changes during the pandemic that have contributed to the rise in acne.

1. Stress: Pandemic related stress could be one of the main factors for increase in body acne this year. Stress increases the cortisol levels in the body, it also promotes oil production and increases inflammation in the skin which can cause flaring up of acne. 

2. Increase in sedentary lifestyle: We already have a very sedentary lifestyle but because of the pandemic and lockdown there has been an increase in our sitting. Be it work from home, watching Netflix or just lying around, everyone has had an increase in sitting or lying down. It causes more friction and occlusion of our skin, thus resulting in acne eruptions. 

3. Poor Eating habits: Diet is also a contributing factor towards the body breakouts. While some people switched to home cooking in the pandemic versus eating out, a lot of us indulged more in baking, sweets, ice cream, eating junk food in general while sitting on the couch. Studies show that the high glycemic index foods, basically the foods which are higher in sugar and carbs, can worsen acne. 

4. Home-workouts: Even though working out is great for our body and skin in general, a lot of people do not change the sweaty clothes right after the home workout. Staying in sweaty clothes can increase the clogged pores and also chances of fungal infection and fungal acne."

"Some simple measures can help us effectively tackle body acne 

1. De-stress: I recommend finding ways to actively destress. It could be listening to light music, some meditation or yoga.

 2. Exercise: Exercising reduces our stress levels and produces the happy hormones. It also reduces the inflammation in our body. Makes sure to shower and change your clothes right after your workout to keep the infections at bay.

3. Wear loose fitting clothes because the tight occlusive clothing can also cause clogged pores.

4. Anti- acne bodywashes: try using a bodywash with anti acne agents like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Lather, keep them for a minute  and then wash off.

If these measures do not improve the situation or you feel that you are developing acne scars, head over to your dermatologist for specialised treatment."