Almost as complexing as facial acne, body acne can affect men and women, from adolescence to adulthood. What are the causes of its appearance and how to get rid of acne on the shoulders, décolleté or buttocks?
Body acne: when does it appear?
Present on the face of 80% of adolescents, acne also affects that of many adult women, but can also affect areas of the body rich in sebaceous glands: décolleté, back, shoulders, buttocks…”
It is found that people with severe facial acne are often prone to body acne.” says Michèle Sayag, director of medical strategy at Bioderma. Moreover, adds Dr. Caroline Pouget, doctor of aesthetic medicine, “this completes a hormonal acne on the lower face.
Involved in acne, a bacterium called Cutibacterium acnes unbalances the microbiota and creates hyperseborrhoea such that the pores become clogged. An imperfection forms: a blackhead then a white-headed comedone or an inflammatory and painful pustule.
Body acne: what are the causes?
“The main cause is linked to hormonal changes. Excessive sweating, wearing too tight or synthetic clothes can also be the cause of imperfections, as can stress, the use of irritating treatments or the consumption of medication. or tobacco”,says Michele Sayag.
Finally, an unbalanced diet could play a role. “We suspect carbohydrates and fast sugars, which promote the hyperproduction of sebum. It would also seem that dairy products – very inflammatory – should be avoided. They increase the synthesis of the growth hormone IGF1 which, in excess, would produce too much sebum” adds the Bioderma expert.
Body acne: how to treat it?
It is believed to be thick and resistant to the first cleanser that comes along, while acne-prone skin is very fragile. On a daily basis, wash the acne areas with a soap-free antibacterial cleansing gel or a superfatted bread.
The frequency of exfoliations should remain moderate, especially if you also use care products with keratolytic action so that the pores do not clog. This scrub, combined with the use of antiseborrhoeic ingredients (zinc gluconate, zinc, copper, etc.) will regulate hyperseborrhoea and prevent bacterial superinfection. You can occasionally complete with “dermatological skin cleansing with a vaccinostyle (removal of comedones)”,adds Dr. Pouget.
Body acne: how to relieve inflammation?
The most important step is to smooth comedones and calm redness and irritation using anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Some actives – like benzoyl peroxide or retinoid – are going to be unstoppable. Low-dose azelaic acid is also a good acne anti-inflammatory, as is niacinamide.
“In the case of body acne, the use of a oral antibiotic treatment (isotretinoin) is faster” concede our two experts. “As the action of antibiotics is fast, it motivates people to continue treatment” says Dr. Pouget, who adds that “oral contraception can help regulate acne in women”.
Contrary to what one might think, acne-prone skin is skin that needs hydration. Indeed, treatments, especially those taken orally, alter the skin barrier. Thus, the more severe the acne, the greater the transepidermal water loss.
>> Bet on a light non-comedogenic body milk, but full of emollient ingredients to quench your thirst and soften it daily.
Body acne: how to reduce scars?
When acne is poorly treated (epidermis too exfoliated or triturated, unsuitable care, etc.), scars may appear on the affected areas. To optimize skin resurfacing, cell renewal must be activated using keratolytic active ingredients such as acids (azelaic, mandelic and salicylic, AHA, etc.).
They are found in treatments to be used daily at home, but also in aesthetic practices in the form of more concentrated peels. Count between 1 and 3 sessions depending on the needs and concentration, at a rate of approximately €220 per session.
Body acne and sun: what precautions?
UV rays having an anti-inflammatory effect, they calm irritations, and the tan camouflages imperfections. But beware, the sun is a false friend. Because to protect itself from the rays, the skin thickens, which limits the secretion of sebum.
Result: after the holidays in the sun, it’s the guaranteed acne rebound! Good reflexes? “Protect the skin with suitable SPF 50+ sunscreens and favor skincare without glycolic acid or retinoid, except in rinse-off cleansers”,recommends Dr. Pouget.
- Michèle Sayag, director of medical strategy at Bioderma
- Caroline Pouget, doctor of aesthetic medicine and co-founder of the Renécia clinic (Paris)