The Best Body Acne Treatments to Fight Blemishes from Head to Toe
Breaking news: Blemishes can happen on areas besides your face. But at the end of the day, the difference between acne that crops up on your complexion and acne that shows up on your body is actually pretty minimal. In both cases, oil, bacteria, and clogged hair follicles all play a role, says Dhaval Bhanusali, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. These breakouts can also look the same no matter where they are found — yes, you can even experience whiteheads, blackheads, and swollen, red pimples on your body.
That being said, there are two big differentiating points with body acne. While, as a general rule of thumb, those who have acne on their face are more likely to have it on their body, Dr. Bhanusali notes that he sees more body acne in active patients (aka those who work out often and may not be able to shower immediately after). Annie Gonzalez, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Riverchase Dermatology in Miami agrees: "When you let sweat sit on the skin for an extended period of time, it increases the likelihood of body acne breakouts." (Blame a buildup of grime that can end up clogging pores.) It's why breakouts below the chin often pop up on areas such as the back, chin, and booty — spots where your sweaty exercise clothes are in constant contact with your skin. In short, getting out of your leggings and sports bra and into the shower ASAP post-workout can go a long way in helping you keep your skin clear.
Body acne also differs from facial blemishes because it can be trickier to treat. "It's very easy to apply treatment products on the face, but it's harder to do so when you're trying to reach the body," says Dr. Gonzalez. The good news? You don't need any type of unique acne-fighting ingredient for body breakouts. Both doctors recommend oil-dissolving salicylic acid and antibacterial benzoyl peroxide as two of the best options. And while a dedicated body product is great, you can also use many facial products on the skin below your chin — a boon if you're trying to streamline your skin-care lineup. (Related: Amazon Buyers Say This Butt Acne Cream Works So Well, They 'Can't Believe Their Eyes')
Keep scrolling for the 10 best body acne treatments to help combat breakouts, no matter where they may pop up.