About half of people with facial acne also have body acne. It normally affects the upper torso, particularly the back, back of the neck, shoulders, and chest, but can occur anywhere on the body aside from the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
Body acne develops and is treated in a similar way to facial acne, with one exception—because the skin on the body is thicker and tougher, it can usually withstand more aggressive treatment.
For widespread body acne that comes with large, painful, cystic lesions, a sufferer and his or her dermatologist sometimes consider the cost/benefit of isotretinoin, an oral medication that, while effective in clearing cystic acne, also comes with a plethora of side effects. Isotretinoin, often referred to by its brand name, Accutane, permanently alters the skin and the entire body from the inside out. It is also the #1 birth defect-causing medication on the market. For these reasons, it must be entered into cautiously, even in cases of severe body acne.
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