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Effective Ways To Prevent & Get Rid of Body Acne

Article last updated: June 11, 2024

Table of Contents
Unlike its facial counterpart, body acne often feels like a stubborn guest that overstays its welcome. In this article we'll be running you through all the best ways to prevent and treat it.

Understanding Body Acne

First things first, let’s understand what we’re dealing with. Body acne, like facial acne, occurs when hair follicles get clogged with oil and dead skin cells. The result? Pimples, blackheads, and inflamed red spots that can show up on your back, chest, shoulders, and even buttocks. It’s a common issue that can affect people of all ages and skin types, but understanding it is the first step toward winning the battle.

Common Causes of Body Acne

Now that we know what body acne is, let’s dive into what causes it. The culprits are often the usual suspects:

Excessive Sweating

Post-workout sweat can mix with oils and bacteria, leading to clogged pores. This is particularly common in areas where sweat accumulates, such as the back and chest.

Tight Clothing

Those trendy tight gym clothes might look great, but they can trap sweat and bacteria close to the skin. This creates an ideal environment for acne to flourish.

Hormonal Changes

Just like with facial acne, hormones can play a significant role in body acne. Fluctuations in hormone levels can increase oil production, leading to breakouts.


Yes, stress can wreak havoc on your skin everywhere, not just your face. Stress triggers the release of cortisol, which can increase oil production and lead to acne.


Foods high in sugars and dairy can sometimes trigger acne flare-ups. While diet alone may not cause acne, certain foods can exacerbate the problem for some people.

How to Prevent Body Acne

Prevention is always better than cure, right? Here’s how you can keep body acne at bay:

Shower Right After Sweating

Don’t let sweat sit on your skin for too long. A quick shower post-workout can do wonders in preventing clogged pores and bacterial buildup.

Choose the Right Fabrics

Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton to allow your skin to breathe. Avoid tight, synthetic materials that can trap heat and moisture against your skin.

Exfoliate Regularly

Use a gentle body scrub to remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores. Exfoliating once or twice a week can help keep your skin smooth and acne-free.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water helps keep your skin healthy from the inside out. Hydrated skin is less likely to become dry and irritated, reducing the risk of acne.

Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help reduce acne. Avoid excessive consumption of sugary and dairy-rich foods.

How to Prevent & Treat Body Acne

Body acne can be a persistent problem, but with the right strategies, you can prevent and treat it effectively. Let’s dive into the steps you can take to keep your skin clear and healthy.

Prevention Strategies

  • Shower Right After Sweating: Sweat can mix with oils and bacteria, leading to clogged pores. Shower as soon as possible after sweating to wash away sweat and bacteria.
  • Choose the Right Fabrics: Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton to reduce sweat buildup. Avoid tight, synthetic materials that trap heat and moisture.
  • Exfoliate Regularly: Use a gentle body scrub once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores. Avoid over-exfoliating to prevent skin irritation.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and reduce dryness and irritation.
  • Balanced Diet: Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid excessive sugary and dairy-rich foods to reduce acne flare-ups.

Treatment Methods

  • Regular Cleansing/Body Scrubbing: Use a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and sweat. Incorporate gentle body scrubbing once or twice a week to promote cell turnover.
  • Over-the-Counter Blemish Treatments: Use products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to reduce inflammation and clear acne. Start with lower concentrations and increase gradually.
  • Topical Retinoids: Promote cell turnover and prevent new acne with topical retinoids. Start with milder forms and use every other night, followed by a moisturizer and sunscreen.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Apply diluted tea tree oil to affected areas to reduce bacteria and soothe inflammation. Use consistently for best results.

Lifestyle Changes to Consider

Last but certainly not least, let’s talk lifestyle. Sometimes, the key to clear skin lies in a few simple changes to your daily routine:

Reduce Stress

Practices like yoga, meditation, and regular exercise can help keep stress levels in check. Lower stress means lower cortisol levels, which can help reduce acne.

Sleep Well

Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to allow your skin time to repair. Good sleep can also help regulate hormones that may impact acne.

Balanced Diet

Yes, we’re mentioning it again because it’s that important! A diet rich in nutrients supports overall skin health and can help prevent acne.

Avoid Picking

It’s tempting, but picking at acne can lead to scarring and further inflammation. Resist the urge to pick or squeeze pimples to avoid making the problem worse.

Wear Sunscreen

Protect your skin from harmful UV rays, which can worsen acne. Choose a non-comedogenic sunscreen to avoid clogging pores while keeping your skin safe from the sun.

What to Try When Nothing Is Working

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, body acne can be stubborn and resistant to standard treatments. If you’ve tried all the prevention strategies and treatments without success, it might be time to explore these advanced options:

If over-the-counter treatments aren’t cutting it, seek professional help from a dermatologist. A dermatologist can prescribe stronger medications like oral antibiotics, hormonal treatments, or retinoids, and provide treatments tailored to your specific skin type and acne severity.

Dermatologists can also offer advanced treatments such as chemical peels, laser therapy, or light therapy. These procedures can target deeper layers of skin, effectively treating persistent acne and improving overall skin texture.

A dermatologist can help create a personalized skincare regimen, incorporating products and treatments that are specifically suited to your skin’s needs. This can include prescription-strength topicals and specific cleansing routines, ensuring your skin gets the precise care it requires.

Finally, if you suspect that your acne may be caused by an allergic reaction to skincare products or laundry detergents, consider patch testing to identify and eliminate any potential irritants. This targeted approach can help pinpoint and remove hidden triggers that may be exacerbating your acne!

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