Breaking out after your workout sesh? Find out the causes of unsightly body acne and best treatments to banish them for good, according to the experts.
Body acne is something that you might experience even as an adult, whether it’s due to stress, hormones, unbalanced diet or staying in your sweaty exercise clothes for too long. 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
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 sugar as they are often correlated with acne. Whey protein in protein shakes and powders are also commonly linked to cystic acne.
Doctor’s Tip #1: Cleanse thoroughly & treat it gently
“Manage body acne by having a good shower regime by using clean towels for every wash and use products that exfoliate dead skin cell and unclog pores. The Blemish & Age Cleanser Gel from SkinCeuticals ($49 for 240ml) contains a blend of salicylic acids to address breakouts and visible signs of aging. It is paraben-, sulfate-, soap-, synthetic-fragrance-, dye- and alcohol-free and is suitable for oily, combination, and aging skin types.
As a treatment step, apply SkinCeuticals’ Blemish + Age Defense Serum, 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 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 about 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 1-2 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
According to Dr Heng Wee Soon of The Ogee Clinic, he recommends The Acne Peel, which consists of 2 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. Try the Blue Light PDT, which has been shown to improve inflammatory acne by up to 50 per cent, 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.