9 Surprising Reasons We Have Body Acne

For most people who have acne, it appears primarily on the face. However, if this skin condition progresses and becomes more severe, it can pop up on other parts of the body. Although all individuals with facial acne will not experience this problem, nearly everyone with body acne has breakouts on the face as well.

Body acne most commonly occurs on the back, neck, chest, shoulders, and upper arms, although it also can develop on the buttocks and legs. It is generally caused by the same factors associated with facial acne: hyperactive sebaceous (oil) glands, accumulation of dead skin cells, and Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria that cause acne. These bacteria are always present on the skin, but they can become a problem when skin pores become blocked with excess oil combined with dead skin cells. Blocked pores develop into blackheads and may progress to acne pimples if bacteria infiltrate the pores.

Read about natural remedies for teen acne

Although facial and body acne share common causes, other factors may be involved when it appears on different areas of the body. Here are some clues into the causes of body acne (as well as acne-like conditions) on various parts of the body. Resolving any of these issues may result in a reduction or even elimination of the pimples in any given area.

In addition to the clues mentioned below, it’s also important to consider whether you may be allergic or hypersensitive to laundry detergent or softeners, dry cleaning chemicals, or personal care products (e.g., soaps, body lotion, body wash, shaving products), all of which may result in acne-like skin eruptions.  

Neck: Hyperactive adrenal glands may have a role, as may consuming too much sugar in your diet. Neck acne may be triggered by wearing clothing that is irritating the neck or greasy hair brushing against the neck. 

Shoulders: Acne on the shoulders may be associated with stress and feelings of vulnerability. Friction from backpacks, shoulder bags, bra straps, or athletic gear also can be a factor.

Back: The back, similar to the face, has more sebaceous glands (overactive oil glands) per square inch than other parts of the body, so it can be especially susceptible to acne, or “bacne.” 

Chest: Pimples that appear on the chest may be associated with poor digestion, fungal infections, or eating lots of spicy foods. 

Arms: The skin on the arms is coarser than on the face or back and is more susceptible to development of small spots called keratosis pilaris. This is an acne-like condition caused by an accumulation of too much keratin (a protein found in the skin) that can block hair follicles, resulting in bumps. Gentle exfoliation can help.

Read on for 4 more reasons we have body acne

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By Andrea Donsky| October 10, 2016
Categories:  Live

About the Author

Andrea Donsky

Andrea Donsky

Founder & Chief Passionista at NaturallySavvy.com. See my full bio here.

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