Well there’s no rocket science there, acne occurring on other body areas, except for face, is called body acne. “Back acne is the most common form of body acne followed by chest, shoulders and buttocks,” says Dr Priyanka Reddy, founder and chief dermatologist at DNA Skin Clinic and Wellness Center, Bengaluru.
There are several factors that cause or trigger acne eruption on the body, however the basic explanation remains the same – it’s the overproduction of oil (or sebum) that clogs pores and causes body acne as well. “Genetic factors are the most common cause of body acne. Followed by hormonal changes, use of certain medications like corticosteroids, certain triggers like waxing, diet, friction and more,” explains Dr Reddy. However, she further explains that acne is formed due to overactive oil glands (triggered by hormones), accumulation of dead skin cells that form a follicular plug and proliferation of acne bacteria leading to inflammation. Body acne doesn’t impact a particular age-group and can erupt at any time like the zits on face but Dr Reddy says that If it’s genetically driven, it can be at its peak between 20 and 30 years of age.
Can Retinol Be An Effective Solution?
The answer is yes, just like acne on face can be dealt with using retinoid creams, body acne can also be handled with this ingredient. “Retinoids are indeed an effective solution but not the only solution. They are an essential part of acne treatment. They work in collaboration with other ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin,” explains Dr Reddy. So, the answer is that using retinol-based products made for topical application can help clear up body acne as well.
How does it work?
The same way as it works on facial skin, by exfoliating the dead skin cells and controlling excess oil production. “Retinol exfoliates the dead skin cells that are getting accumulated thereby unclogging the follicular plug. This not only helps in clearing the opening but also in better penetration of the other products applied topically,” says Dr Reddy. She further explains that retinol can also help in preventing pigmentation and scarring which is one of the worst effects of acne. “However, it’s important for you to consult a dermatologist before you put yourself on actives like retinoids as they are very powerful ingredients, if not used the right way they can have adverse reactions,” she concludes.