Here’s how to clear those below-the-chin breakouts for good.
Is body acne killing your bikini buzz? We’ve got your back (and breasts and arms and butt!). Here’s how to clear those below-the-chin breakouts for good.
You have Arm-ne
Why it happens: “Tiny red or white rough bumps on your arms are likely a condition called keratosis pilaris — not true acne,” says Heidi Waldorf, MD, director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at The Mount Sinai Hospital. This genetic condition causes the buildup of keratin, a protein that plugs hair follicles.
Treat it: Apply a thin coat of moisturizer rich in alpha hydroxy acid (like AmLactin Moisturizing Lotion, $16, drugstores, below) once daily. This will gently unplug the follicles while keeping the rest of the area hydrated and smooth.
Prevent it: Since keratosis pilaris is genetic, it’s not really preventable, explains Mona Gohara, MD, a dermatologist who consults for Dove. But dry skin is more prone to it (so stock up on body cream).
You have Back-ne
Why it happens: “Breakouts here are typically caused by a hormonal surge, which increases oil production as well as bacteria,” says Dr. Gohara. A sneakier culprit: hair conditioner. If not thoroughly rinsed, it can leave behind pore-clogging residue.
Treat it: Mists made with two-percent salicylic acid make treating the hard-to-reach back a cinch (try Paula’s Choice Clear Acne Body Spray, $24, paulaschoice.com). Apply to clean, dry skin after every shower.
Prevent it: To nix a sweaty surface, use a long-handled body brush in the shower. The one below (Proactiv+ Deep Cleansing Body Brush, $45, proactiv.com) has easy-to-sanitize silicone bristles. Use it after you’ve conditioned your hair.
You have Boob-ne
Why it happens: “Sports bras, bikini tops, and push-up bras cause friction and trap sweat, oil, and dirt,” says Dr. Gohara. This combo can lead to folliculitis, which may look like traditional acne brought on by oil but is usually an issue caused by infected hair follicles.
Treat it: Wash daily with a benzoyl peroxide cleanser (try Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser, $6, drugstores — or see a derm for a stronger prescription antibiotic cleanser) to deep-clean follicles, says Dr. Gohara. And stick to fresh bras and loose-fitting tops while treating the area. Anything dirty or tight can prolong the issue.
Prevent it: Tote a pack of oil-free cleansing wipes, especially on hot or active days. Gentle enough for the thin, sensitive chest: Neutrogena Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes ($8, drugstores).
You have Butt-ne
Why it happens: Just like on your chest, breakouts here tend to be folliculitis from things like sweaty workout pants, skinny jeans, even sitting at a desk for hours.
Treat it: Apply benzoyl peroxide at night (try Clinique Acne Solutions Emergency Gel-Lotion, $17.50, sephora.com). And wear bikini-style cotton undies until skin is healed — the barrier (between skin and outer clothing) reduces friction.
Prevent it: Ditch your Sweaty Bettys post-workout. Alternate between skinny jeans and a roomier pair of boyfriend jeans — and make sure to exfoliate your butt! Sounds weird, but it’s often forgotten, says Dr. Gohara. Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash With NutriumMoisture ($7, drugstores) uses mild cleansers and beads that won’t strip skin.
The original article is at: cosmopolitan.com