The Regimen

Men’s Skincare: How to Get Rid of Acne on the Back and Chest

Bacne. Bumpy chest. Upper arms. Like your crazy ex, acne doesn’t understand boundaries. It’s up to you to lay down some hard and fast rules to reclaim your skin. Here’s how to get rid of body acne once and for all.

What causes back and chest acne?

Body acne happens the same way facial acne does. Pores get clogged by dead skin cells and oil. Follicles become impacted and inflamed. Sebaceous glands aren’t limited to the face and, while everyone can get acne on the back, chest, and arms, men tend to experience it more due to a higher level of sebum-producing androgen hormones.

It’s also important to note that what appears to be acne on the body may actually be pityrosporum folliculitis, a fungal infection of the hair follicle. It appears as uniform, rashy-looking patches of papules and pustules on the forehead, cheeks, arms, chest, and back. Things like sweat, oil, tight clothing, or occlusive creams can be triggers.

Friction can be another bacne aggravator. Backpacks, chairs, and gym equipment rub against the back and clog pores with sweat and debris.

Stress, which stimulates androgen hormones, can drive up oil production and compound the problem.

Best treatments for back and chest acne?

Mandelic Acid 3-In-1 Exfoliating Cleanser

Use this multi-tasking scrub in the shower to slough away dead skin cells and spur the regeneration of new healthier cells. It’s antibacterial and anti-fungal, so it kills both acne bacteria and fungal infections associated with folliculitis. It’s also a melanin inhibitor and natural brightener, so if you have any dark or reddish marks left behind from previous pimples, it will work to fade those as well.

BP 3% Acne Wash

For cystic body acne that’s painful and inflamed, try this potent but soothing antibacterial cleanser. Benzoyl peroxide works deep in the pore to kill bacteria and flush out impactions. It’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent to speed healing to the skin.

Daily Repair Pads

Use these exfoliating pads after you shower, while the skin is still moist. The mix of acids—mandelic, salicylic, (both of which are antibacterial), and lactic—plus healing ingredients niacinamide and zinc peptides will clarify pores and kill acne bacteria while promoting healing and regeneration. They’ll also enhance the absorption of corrective products to optimize results.

Clear Body Therapy

Designed for hard-to-control body breakouts, this powerful lactic acid and vitamin A lotion sloughs off dead skin cells and accelerates cellular turnover to clear impactions, reduce oil production, and dramatically retexturize skin.

Vivant BP 10% Gel Medication

Sometimes you need some extra firepower. This highly concentrated, intensive treatment for resistant acne on the face or body reaches into the pore to kill acne bacteria, peel out impactions, reduce inflammation, and reveal clearer skin.

A few more tips:

Shower immediately after activity.

Get out of your workout clothes immediately after your workout and get into the shower to get rid of oil and sweat that can clog pores and breed bacteria.

Don’t pick at blemishes.

Picking causes further irritation and potential scarring. Let your products do the work.

Ice it.

Rubbing ice over your skin before applying a corrective product increases the product’s ability to penetrate skin, which means it’s going to work at its maximum effectiveness. The cold also reduces inflammation and redness by constricting blood vessels. Massage cleansed skin with ice for two to three minutes up to three times a day.

Try a back facial.

Like a professional treatment for your face, the back facial includes a deep cleansing to unclog pores, extractions, a light peel, and likely a nice massage to boot. It’s a great way to get to those hard-to-reach spots and supercharge your clear skin mission.

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