Here’s Why You Have Body Acne, According To Experts


Body acne is something you might experience even as an adult, whether it’s due to stress, hormones, an unbalanced diet or simply not getting out of your exercise clothes quickly. Caused by clogged pores, excess oil and irritated skin, it’s easy to treat body acne with a good body wash and hygiene habits. But if you have body acne at hard to reach areas or over a large area, it might be better to get the professionals involved with in-clinic treatments.

The Root Causes of Body Acne

“Body acne is generally caused by the same factors that cause facial acne: poor exfoliation, overactive oil glands and skin inflammation,” says Dr Melvin Tan, Medical Director of EPION Clinic. If you suffer from body acne, “stick to wearing loose, comfortable clothing and breathable fabrics. Avoid overly tight-fitting clothes which can rub against the skin or be a source of constant friction,” advises Dr Tan. He also adds that, “excessive perspiration due to a new exercise regimen can affect our hormonal balance and spark off an acne cycle”.


Diet also plays a part when it comes to the occurrence of acne. Some foods to avoid include dairy products and refined sugar as they are often correlated to acne. Whey protein in protein shakes and powders are also commonly linked to cystic acne.


Doctor’s Tip #1: Cleanse thoroughly and treat it gently

“Manage body acne with a good shower regimen by using clean towels after every wash and products that exfoliate dead skin cells and unclog pores. The Blemish & Age Cleanser Gel from SkinCeuticals ($49 for 240ml) contains salicylic acid to address breakouts and visible signs of ageing. It is paraben-, sulfate-, soap-, fragrance- dye- and alcohol-free and is suitable for oily, combination, and ageing skin types.


As a treatment step, apply SkinCeuticals’ Blemish + Age Defense Serum ($178 for 30ml), a gentle yet potent acid blend to reduce the formation of acne and clogged pores, while improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone,” says Dr Gerard Ee of The Clifford Clinic.

Doctor’s Tip #2: Moisturise

“Don’t forget to moisturise as many acne products contain ingredients that dry the skin. Look for “non-comedogenic” on the label, which means it should not cause acne. SkinCeuticals’ Hydrating B5 Gel, $156 for 30ml, uses a blend of vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid, the body’s natural hydrator, to help bind moisture to the skin,” advises Dr Ee. 


Doctor’s Tip #3: Prevention

“The principle behind any acne treatment is always prevention. For body acne, I recommend regular in-clinic chemical peels every month to ensure thorough exfoliation of the affected area. I combine this with LED Blue and Red light therapy, which is great for treating a large overall area in a single session. The blue light kills acne-causing bacteria and the red light improves skin healing and regeneration. For inflamed lesions, I’d use Forever Clear Broadband Light (Acne) and steroid injections to target specific pustules in order to reduce redness and swelling. This is an important component of the body acne treatment as pimples on the body scar for far longer than on the face, sometimes taking one to two years to fade. If scars are present already, pigment dispersing lasers and skin resurfacing lasers like our Erbium YAG lasers really help to hasten their resolution,” advises Dr Tan.

Doctor’s Tip #4: Correction

Dr Heng Wee Soon of The Ogee Clinic recommends the Acne Peel, which consists of two steps: medical extractions and back skin peel using the clinic’s specially designed chemical peel cocktail to gently exfoliate and target clogged pores and sebum plugs. You could also try the Blue Light PDT, which has been shown to improve inflammatory acne by up to 50 percent, says Dr Heng. “It is safe, convenient, and painless. The combination of Blue Light PDT and The Acne Peel are highly efficacious to reduce angry and stubborn acne,” he adds.

Get more tips on how to deal with acne here.

Plus, watch the video below for more acne tips.

Images: Shutterstock, Pexels
Text: Debbie Kwong

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