4 Ways to Beat Body Acne

Patient Expert
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Body acne is not uncommon, especially in the summer. Between jumping into chlorinated pools, lying on salty, sandy beaches, and sweating on the sidewalk, it's surprising that we make it to September without more skin problems. Read on for ways to keep your skin clear from head to toe.

Choose your clothing carefully

Make sure that you wear loose cotton clothing as much as possible. Cotton wicks away moisture and keeping the fabric loose will reduce the amount of friction on your skin. Even if you are not normally prone to acne, your body may be exhibiting "acne mechanica," a term used to describe blemishes that result from pressure, friction, and heat.

Shower immediately after exercising

Avoid using soap to clean your skin. Soaps can over-dry your skin, causing more irritation and aggravating any existing acne. Use a mild cleanser like Cetaphil's non-soap Gentle Cleansing Bar. It contains no detergents and won't be overly harsh on your skin. Avoid using body washes that contain salicylic acid or other anti-acne ingredients as well. These ingredients perform best when they are applied to skin, not washed off in the shower.

Apply a salicylic acid

Apply a salicylic acid formula to affected areas. For ease of application, opt for a spray formula that contains a 5% concentration of both lactic acid and salicylic acid. If you choose a gel formula use it with a strip of vinyl that helps you reach the tough, easy-to-miss spots in the middle of your upper back.

Limit sun exposure

Remember to stay out of the sun or use a gentle sunscreen. Tanning may seem to reduce the appearance of acne, but sun damage usually makes it worse in the long run by causing irritation and dryness. If chemical sunscreens tend to make your acne worse, opt for a physical sunblock that contains titanium dioxide like Burt's Bees Chemical-Free Sunscreen SPF 30.