How I got rid of my arm acne, already posted on a discussion but it's old so don't think many will see .
DISCLAIMER: This worked for me but might not neccesarily work for everyone, as everyones skin is different! But you’re welcome to try, and if this helps even one other person it will put a smile on my face.
I live in the UK, so the products and prices listed are from the UK. For anyone not lucky enough to be stuck on a rainy island lol, ive tried to make the descriptions of the products clear enough so you can easily find similar ones, wherever you live . Everything is cheap and readily available at a pharmacy/drugstore, without a prescription.
Hi there, I know it's about 4 years too late but id like to share what i did here to get rid of arm acne, in case anyone else gets here from google, like I did. I'm 20 years old (female) and have PCOS, which has caused me to have skin like an oil slick. I've had acne for years in various places: face, back, chest, standard, varying from mild to bad moderate over the years.In the last few years however its vanished from my back and instead appeared on my shoulders and UPPER ARMS, sometimes all the way down to my elbow. Its still present, but manageable, on my face. Apparently there is some sort of infection called keratosis pilaris which can cause pimples on the arms but having consulted doctors and looked at pictures i can confirm mine is acne. Anyway...
Over the years ive been on 2 types of antibiotics (slow but effective) and also some sort of gel that contains steroids, in combination (sorry but i can't remember the brand name) ive also been prescribed PanOxyl (benzoyl peroxide) cream in 5% strength. All worked for a while but became less effective over time, and i quit the antibiotics for this reason and because im not massively comfortable taking them every day, destroying my friendly bacteria etc etc. anyway.
Basically ive dramatically improved my arms and shoulders by doing the following. There are barely any pimples except for tiny, almost invisibe ones which are themselves on the way out, and ive seen a big improvement in the pigmented scarring ive got since i started doing this just under four weeks ago.
You will need:
A body puff
Some non greasy/non moisturising shower gel, preferably natural ingredients, i recommend imperial leather skin kind body wash, quite cheap and they do a see through aloe vera and cucumber 'refresh' one, which is quite soothing. Choose a body wash and stick with it, changing might throw your skin out and shock it. and any excuse for a spot....
Any bar soap, such as dove.
An abrasive body scrub/exfoliator. At first I borrowed my brothers man face exfoliator as its quite gritty (no7 for men, if you care) but then moved on to superdrug's vitamin e body scrub, which is a couple of quid and much more to my liking.
PanOxyl 10% benzoyl peroxide AQUAGEL, available widely, just ask at the counter in boots or any chemist. It's about £3.80. Don't get the cream, its a bit greasier and doesnt seem to work for me
(nb, before you yell at me that 10% is too strong, its the only one that works for me, 2.5 and 5 don't seem to cut it any more. this worked for me and might not work for everyone, but I want to share it just in case it does. If you're really apprehensive about using BP, or have NEVER USED BP BEFORE, it may be best to use a 2.5% or 5% concentration, at least at first. do what works for you)
and finally.....access to a shower/sink lol. you'll need to shower at least once a day ( i go twice when i can, but understand that not everyone can/has time, so one shower in the morning and one wash in the evening or vice versa is fine) + a GOOD OIL FREE MOISTURISER of your choice
so.....in the shower, get any hair out of the way and lather up your body puff with a generous dose of body wash. wet your shoulders and arms. step out of the stream and lightly buff/wash the whole area, before washing the rest of you as usual! dont scrub too hard but be firm. rinse off thoroughly. be sure to get your upper back as well. If you have any obvious white head pimples at this point, give your hands the once over with some body wash and pop them gently, rinse the stuff away. DON'T touch anything thats red and brewing with no head...ive made this mistake MANY times. Now rub the bar soap on the whole area you want to treat, work up a quick lather with your hands, and rinse, this strips off any oil/dirt remaining, prepping your skin for the SCRUB.
Step out of the stream and turn the water off for a bit. Dry your hands a little so they are damp but not bone dry. wait for your shoulders and arms to dry off a little (dont rub with a towel, just leave) so they are damp. this will make the scrub more effective.
Squeeze out a generous dose of body scrub. Apply to your whole shoulder and arm area down to the elbows, and if required (yes in my case) the chest too. dont miss the back of your shoulders and the bit beside your neck as these can get greasy, especially if you are a boy/girl with long hair.
Give that mother a good scrub. Use small circular motions, obviously dont damage yourself but scrub firmly so you can feel your circulation zipping. find a pressure thats comfortable for you without being too rough. I tend to scrub quite hard, but DON’T GO CRAZY ESPECIALLY DIRECTLY OVER PIMPLES as this CAN CAUSE SCARRING. Cover the whole area, and carry on with a good intense scrub for 1-2 minutes. Afterwards, if you got the superdrug stuff, try scrubbing the rest of your bod (although this may be too hard for the face) in the same way, it softens your skin and wakes your circulation up so youll feel smooth and revitalised when you come out of the shower .(if you have time are are feeling indulgent) anyway....
When youre done, rinse off thoroughly under the shower, making sure there are no exfoliating beads left behind. Do whatever else you do in the shower but DON'T TOUCH THIS AREA with any other product. apart from water .
When you're done, try to avoid wrapping the area in a towel. To dry, either pat the area gently (no rubbing) with a CLEAN towel (dirty ones will counteract all your good work, its impractical to have a fresh one every day i know, but change it as often as possible) alternatively, if you're drying your damp/wet hair with the hairdryer, you may want to give the arms/shoulders a quick blast. sounds mad, but i do. whatever you do, your skin needs to be totally dry for the next stage, so wait a few moments until it is.
With TOTALLY clean hands, squeeze out a generous blob of 10% (or 2.5%, or 5%) BP, and smooth it onto the WHOLE AFFECTED AREA (get more if you need) until the whole lot is covered by a thin layer, rub in until invisible. if it won't rub in you've used too much. Leave until TOTALLY DRY before dressing.
Wear a clean shirt every day, and as often as possible one thats loose fitting around the area. this will allow your skin to breathe. BP CAN BLEACH, ive not found it to be too bad personally on anything except towels, but YOU NEVER KNOW, so try not to wear anything you're too attached too. LADIES- wash your bras often, dirty bra straps can undo your good work!!! If you're swanning about at home and can get away with not wearing one, let it all hang out under your tee lol. ANYONE a good tip is to keep the shoulders and arms uncovered by clothing at night (if possible) to let the skin breathe. If you've got pretty bedsheets give that tip a miss....
Do this twice a day, and if you're not in the shower, just bring your kit to the sink and splash up your arms to rinse. a little inconvinient, but can be done. if you feel your skin getting too dry or irritated, skip the scrub stage for a day. every few days, give yourself a day/night off the BP and moisturise the area instead with your oil free moisturiser. Some people say you should moisturise every time you use BP, but i dont like layering products and find it makes my skin greasy and gives me more pimples even if oil free. play it by ear and find what works for you, if you don't feel dry, don't moisturise.
A couple of weeks in you might find your skin gets really flaky. if so, keep exfoliating and doing all the other steps, but skip the BP for a couple of full days/nights, moisturise your skin when its clean and wear loose clothing. When its feeling more comfortable, you can start to reintroduce BP, but maybe only at night for a couple of days. Your skin will get used to the BP in a while. HOWEVER if you experience any SEVERE SYMTOMS such as CRACKING, SWELLING or BURNING of the skin, stop using BP straight away as you may have an allergy, and see your doctor.
WHY SCRUB? Exfoliation will clear off all the dead skin cells, oil and dirt that clog your pores and cause spots. It also helps with the flakiness BP can cause, and gives your circulation a boost. Scrubbing also refines the surface of the skin and will make any scars you have (i have lots) appear less obvious. The scrub ive recommended says its for dry skin, so it wont be harsh on your skin, which is good considering the other stages, which can be drying.
BE CAREFUL in the sun...keep your shoulders covered and your arms covered as much as possible when wearing BP, it causes photosensitivity and can give you sunburn more easily, especially the strong 10%. this happened to my pharmacists daughter. If you're on holiday or sunbathing in a strappy top (girls) give the BP a miss and have a dip in the sea or pool (if you're near them) instead, the salt/chlorine will clean the skin and help banish pimples.
IF YOU DO SPORT like me, you'll sweat more in this area, so switch your evening shower routine to as soon as you get home from the gym, or wherever, this will help prevent build-up of clogging dirt and oil.
AVOID touching or rubbing the area during treatment (apart from when required for the routine) as this can introduce bacteria and irritate the skin, worsening acne and scarring. DON’T squeeze pimples or blackheads except when I’ve said, in the shower, this can make them worse and cause more spots or irritation/scarring, and introduce bacteria. Trust me I’ve been there lol.
AND FINALLY....be happy and have a positive attitude, acne won't be forever and stress makes it worse! Don’t worry because no one notices it as much as you do, try not to let arm pimples get you down, let the other great qualities about you dominate and shine through. Watch your diet and make sure you're drinking loads of water and eating fruit and veg+ always what you fancy. Try and get plenty of sleep and exercise regularly (but shower after!!!). I'm really sorry if this method doesn’t work for you, but if it helps one other person that would put a smile on my face . If not, it’s something else you can rule out on your path to finding what works for you!
Peace and Love and Good Luck,
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