Body acne can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and hard to get rid of. There are a few herbal and cosmetic topical treatments you can turn to in an effort to get rid of body acne that has already developed. The most important thing is to remain persistent. If you want to get rid of your body acne in the long-term, you will need to implement several hygienic, dietary, and lifestyle changes.
Home Remedies for Body Acne
Use milk of magnesia. Use a sterile cotton ball or pad to dab a small amount of milk of magnesia onto areas affected by body acne once every day or two.
- This substance is a base, so it lowers the acidity of the skin. It also seems to reduce your body’s ability to produce pore-clogging oils.
Make a paste with baking soda. Mix 2 Tbsp (30 ml) baking soda with a few drops of water until a paste forms. Apply the paste to acne covered skin, using a gentle circular motion, and leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
- You could also mix the baking soda with castile soap instead of water.
- Baking soda works as a natural exfoliator. It removes dead skin cells that clog your pores, causing body acne. The substance is also basic, so it lowers the acidity of the top layer of skin.
Apply tea tree oil. Dab a small amount of tea tree oil onto a sterile cotton ball or cotton pad. Rub the oil sparingly over body acne break-outs.
- Tea tree oil is thought to work as well as benzoyl peroxide, a chemical commonly used in acne creams.
- While tea tree oil works well on body acne, you should avoid applying it near your eyes.
- Also avoid using it if you have acne rosacea.
Using apple cider vinegar and aspirin. Mix 3 oz (90 ml) of distilled mineral water with 0.5 oz (15 ml) of apple cider vinegar. Crush five aspirin tablets and stir them into the liquid until dissolved.
- Apply this natural toner to your skin up to twice daily, focusing on areas of your body covered by acne.
- Aspirin is a natural source of salicylic acid. As such, it has acne-fighting properties.
Try aloe vera gel. Rub a dot of the gel over all affected areas one or two times daily.
- Aloe vera has healing properties. Applying it can reduce redness and inflammation, causing your body acne to clear up faster.
Medical Solutions for Body Acne
Apply a medicated cream containing benzoyl peroxide. For best results, choose a cream with 5% to 10% benzoyl peroxide.
- This substance causes the skin to shed dead cells more easily. As a result, the pores clear out faster and the bacteria can be flushed out more readily.
- If you would rather not use a cream, apply a gel containing benzoyl peroxide, instead.
Use a medicated pad. Medicated pads are a good way to quickly treat clogged pores all over your body. Simply wipe the pad over any affected area a couple of times daily.
- Note that medicated pads also work well as a preventative measure. When you sweat, wipe a pad over areas of your body commonly affected by acne to stop it before it starts.
Try clarifying sprays. Clarifying sprays contain the above-mentioned ingredients and are especially useful for treating body acne in hard-to-reach places.
- Follow the directions on the label to determine proper use. Usually, a clarifying spray can be used once or twice a day.
Treat your body acne with a cleanser containing salicylic acid. This substance has anti-inflammatory properties. Many acne clearing products contain this ingredient.
- Salicylic acid causes the uppermost layer of skin to shed more easily. As a result, the pores open up more easily and do not clog quite as badly. It also fights the bacteria inside body acne that already exists.
Wash up with a medicated soap or body wash. If you are commonly afflicted with body acne, swap your normal body wash out for a medicated soap or medicated body wash during your next break-out.
- While all soaps clean your pores, medicated soaps actively fight existing acne while cleaning your skin.
Moisturize with alpha hydroxy acid. Follow your cleaning regiment with a medicated lotion that contains alpha hydroxy acid. This substance exfoliates and moisturizes simultaneously.
- Start with a concentration between 5% and 10% since these concentrations are commonly available in over-the-counter products.
- Higher concentrations may only be available via prescription.
- Consider using a serum with 15% mandelic. This alpha hydroxy ingredient has lightening properties, which can help fade red and brown spots left by body acne.
Skip sensitive formulas. You may usually use a sensitive cleanser to treat acne on your face, but for body acne, you should go at it with full strength acne treatments.
- The skin on your torso, arms, and legs is notably thicker than that of your face. As a result, acne treatments have a harder time penetrating it and clearing out any bacteria clogging your pores deep down.
- Choose products with higher concentrations of acne fighting ingredients to improve your chances of successful treatment.
Ask a dermatologist for prescription treatments. If your body acne is severe and does not respond to over-the-counter treatments, a dermatologist may analyze your situation and decide that you can benefit from a stronger treatment.
- Sometimes a dermatologist will prescribe a topical treatment containing stronger restorative chemicals, such as retinols.
- Occasionally, a dermatologist will prescribe an oral antibiotic, like minocycline or tetracycline, to fight the bacteria thriving in your clogged pores.
Long-Term Lifestyle Solutions for Body Acne
Get plenty of rest. Sleep at least seven to eight hours a night. This is especially important if you suffer from body acne.
- Your body naturally detoxifies itself at night, while you sleep. Getting enough sleep promotes this process.
Switch the hair products you use. Hair care products are designed to increase the amount of oil in your hair, but when they wash off and rest on your skin, they can clog your pores and cause major body acne.
- Avoid drying ingredients such as sodium lauryl (or laureth) sulfate and alcohol.
- Wash your body immediately after washing and conditioning your hair.
Wash thoroughly but gently. Dirt, oil, and debris sits on the surface of your skin throughout the day. If it is not removed periodically, it gets into your pores, clogging them up and creating body acne.
- Wash with warm water and a good soap or body wash once a day if you suffer from body acne often.
- Note that soap is necessary to strip away the oil on your skin. Water alone cannot do that, and as such, water alone will not be able to remove all the dirt and bacteria on your skin.
- Do not scrub your skin too hard. By scrubbing your skin, you send a signal to your oil glands telling them to produce more oil. As a result, you may end up causing your pores to clog up even more.
- Also wash immediately after sweating. Sweat contains increased amounts of oil. Any dirt on your skin will be trapped against your pores, and you are more likely to experience a break-out of body acne after sweating than you would be under normal conditions.
Wear looser, lighter clothes. When your skin gets warm, you sweat. When you sweat, you produce bacteria-trapping oil, thereby causing more body acne.
- Loose-fitting clothing is preferable to tight clothes.
- Opt for breathable fabrics, including cotton, hemp, linen, and silk. Also consider fabrics designed to wick away moisture from the surface of your skin.
Use a different laundry detergent. Some laundry detergents containing dyes and fragrances can irritate the skin and lead to increased body acne.
- If you find yourself having frequent troubles with body acne, switch to a brand free from added dyes and fragrances.
- A good sign that your laundry detergent could be part of the problem is if you experience frequent itching or irritation that does not lead to body acne in addition to increased body acne. This could be a sign that something in your detergent is acting as an irritant.
Stay away from stress. As hard as it may be to avoid, stress happens in everyone’s life. The problem with that is, stress increases hormones that cause acne and also increases the production of sweat and oils. The less stress you experience, the fewer breakouts you should expect to see. Try to avoid stress if possible, and relax when put in stressful situations.
Long-Term Dietary Changes for Body Acne
Reduce the amount of caffeine you drink. Cut coffee and soda from your diet. If you must continue drinking these products, switch to decaffeinated or caffeine-free alternatives.
- Caffeine can cause skin problems, but it also leaves your body and skin dehydrated, which can worsen the frequency and severity of break-outs.
Avoid fried foods. Greasy, fatty foods are among the worst choices for your body, especially if you frequently suffer from body acne.
- Avoid saturated fats and trans-fats. Trans-fats are one of the worst things to consume when trying to get rid of body acne.
- Saturated fat comes from animal sources of food.
- Trans-fat comes from cooking oils and are often synthetic. They are found in fried foods, commercially processed foods, snack foods, and fast food.
Cut dairy from your diet. There is some speculation that cows’ milk and goats’ milk can cause hormonal imbalances responsible for body acne problems.
- Milk naturally contains growth hormones. These hormones exist to help calves grow during the early stages of life, but they can cause hormonal imbalances in some humans upon consumption.
- Opt for plant-based milks, like almond milk, soy milk, or rice milk, if you have frequent and severe problems with body acne.
Add more vitamin C to your diet. Vitamin C assists the body in the healing process. By consuming more vitamin C naturally, you can increase your immune response and help your body fight acne-causing bacteria more readily.
- Good sources of vitamin C include most citrus fruits, chili and bell peppers, guava, dark leafy greens, kiwi fruit, and strawberries.
- Fruits and vegetables, in general, are better at supporting your body through its fight against acne than many other foods.
Drink more water. As a general rule, the more water you can drink, the better. Aim for eight 8-oz (250-ml) glasses of water daily, especially if you suffer from frequent body acne.
- Water hydrates the body and flushes out harmful toxins.
- As toxins get flushed out, your skin naturally becomes clearer.
- Additionally, water makes the skin more elastic. Dry, brittle skin can cause your oil glands to work overtime, producing too much pore-clogging oil as a result. In contrast, the oil glands tend to become less active when your skin is moist and balanced.
Put yourself through an occasional detoxification process. Drink a juice-based cleansing treatment every morning for a week. Detox drinks flush toxins from your body, thereby ridding your body of substances that may get clogged in your pores.
- Diluted lemon juice or apple cider vinegar works as a simple detoxification drink, but these may not be the most appetizing options.
- For a more appealing option, blend together two celery sticks, half a cucumber, two apples, one kale leaf, one chunk of ginger, and a handful of cilantro.