Even if your skin is mostly clear, you may still experience breakouts on your chest and back. Chest and back acne can take longer to get under control than acne on the face. The reason being, according to Dallas dermatologist Mary Hurley, MD, is because the treatment area is larger and the skin doesn’t respond as quickly.
Just like the skin on the face, the skin on the chest and back is prone to breakouts that can range from small whiteheads to full blown cysts. “When it comes to bacne and chest breakouts hormonal causes plus sweating, heat and folliculitis (an inflammatory process involving the hair follicles and sebaceous glands) are usually the culprit,” says Las Vegas dermatologist Alison Tam, MD. But stress can be part of the problem, too. “The skin needs to be exfoliated regularly, oil production kept to a minimum and bacteria killed.” Wearing tops that are too tight during your workouts can lead to clogged pores that become trapped with dirt, oil, sweat and bacteria.
Acne body washes and skin-clearing pads will help keep your pores clear of dirt, oil and bacteria, which cause breakouts. Taking an oral antibiotic such as doxycycline or minocycline coupled with a topical antibacterial solution or gel such as clindamycin, benzoyl peroxide or a retinoid, like Retin-A, can make the skin more resistant to breakouts as well. “The combination helps to reduce inflammation and bacteria in the skin,” says Dr. Hurley. This one-two punch for clearer skin also keeps the skin shedding cycle at a norm. Blue and red light treatments and a series of light chemical peels can also be used to clear up blemished areas. For more extreme breakouts that are resistant to other therapies, isotretinoin (vitamin A in oral form commonly known as Accutane) can be an option, but it should be your last resort unless your dermatologist feels otherwise.
Find a Doctor
Find a NewBeauty "Top Beauty Doctor" Near you