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Body Acne Treatments

Body acne is normally found on the back, chest, shoulders, and back of the neck. About half of people who have facial acne also have some body acne. Acne is the same disease whether it shows up on the face of the body, but there are a couple of differences that make treating body acne slightly different:

1. Thicker, tougher skin: Skin on the body is thicker than it is on the face and can withstand more aggressive treatment. 

2. Skin on the body comes into contact with clothing: Because a regimen containing benzoyl peroxide + glycolic acid twice daily is the most effective way to get body acne under control, and benzoyl peroxide can bleach fabric, this makes treating body acne tricky. Wearing white undershirts until body acne is clear is sometimes necessary. Then, many people try eliminating benzoyl peroxide from their daytime regimen, and only use glycolic acid under daytime clothing that they do not want to bleach.

Severe body acne: If body acne is severe, widespread, and scarring, you and your dermatologist may consider isotretinoin (Accutane®), an oral treatment that can clear acne in about 2/3 of people. However, because it comes with many side effects, some of which can be lifelong, causes severe birth defects, and may cause premature aging and joint pain in the long-term, other options should be exhausted first.