We can get caught up in the exciting world of ingredients, devices, and trends to make our skin (primarily, our faces) look amazing. But it’s easy to overlook the body, which sometimes struggles with the same skin care woes as the face.
We’re talking about body acne, and as estheticians, we are primed to help our clients with this stressful skin condition. Acne affects nearly 80 percent of people at some point in their lives, and it’s estimated that 50 percent of people with acne on their face also have acne on their back and chest.
Body acne is exactly what it sounds like and is accompanied by blackheads, pustules, or inflamed lesions. It usually shows up in areas that have a higher concentration of oil glands and can impact areas including the back, chest, and shoulders.
There are six different types of acne lesions:
Papules—Inflamed lesion, no pus
Pustules—Inflamed lesion, with pus
Nodules—Large papule, remains under the skin
Cysts—Soft boils that fill with pus
The cause of acne on the body is the same as acne on the face—oil, dead cells, and ingrown hair clog the pores creating a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria. Genetics, stress, and hormones are also contributing factors.
In addition to these internal causes, there are a few external causes that can contribute to or worsen body acne. Residue from hair products like shampoo and conditioner could clog pores, sweat, and tight-fitting clothing that causes friction on the body can trap bacteria and lead to acne breakouts, and shower accessories are breeding grounds for bacteria, which can further contribute to inflammation.
The same treatments performed on the face can also be performed on the back, chest, or anywhere acne is cropping up. Back facials provide targeted treatment to this hard-to-reach area and include professional strength exfoliation and extractions. Chemical peels and microdermabrasion are popular treatments that can also be performed on the body and are a great way to increase cell turnover and keep pores clear.