So you think you’ve got over all the spots pubity can throw at you, but then you start working out and blam, you develope body acne.
Acne most commonly occurs across your upper chest, shoulders, back and arms can be one of the biggest drawbacks to leading an active lifestyle. Besides the face, these areas have the most sebaceous glands (glands within a follicle that produce the body’s natural oil) so are more prone to breakouts.
The cause of acne is the same for these areas as it is on the face – over-active sebaceous glands, excess dead skin cells and an increase of acne-causing bacteria. The excess oil and dead skin cells become trapped within the follicle, or pore, and creating a blockage. This blockage forms a blackhead, which forms a pimple (white-head) if bacteria also becomes entrapped.
When you sweat, this provides the perfect conditions for bacteria and increases their rate of growth. Put simply, more sweat = more bacteria, so more potential for outbreaks.
So what can you do to prevent breakouts?
- If you have never had a problem with body acne and experience a sudden outbreak, consider any changes you have made to your diet, supplements, shower gel or washing powder – changing any of these can result in a sudden outbreak if the product does not agree with your body
- Avoid tight fitting or heavy cotton shirts – the fabric (especially if it is laden with sweat) rubbing against your skin will irritate it, exaggerating existing causes of acne
- Wear an LDNM vest or wicking/breathable style t-shirt when training
- Always wash your vest/t-shirt after training in it, it is a haven for bacteria when full of sweat
- Always shower after training! This will help remove a large amount of the acne causing bacteria
- Avoid very hot showers as this will aggravate your skin
- Wash your hair before washing your body, and avoid using excess amounts of conditioner
- Wash with a non-scented body wash for sensitive skin, or acne specific body wash
- Buy a Kessa glove. Exfoliate with it in the shower every few days – after havingvwashed! This will help remove dead skin cells and eliminate a build-up of any excess oil. Be sure to keep your Kessa glove clean
- Change your bed sheets weekly
- Add a good multi-vitamin/high dose vitamin D supplement to your diet, as vitamin (especially vitamin D) deficiencies are often major causes of acne
- Expose the affected skin to direct sunlight without sunscreen for 10-20 minutes a day – the UV light is what causes your body to naturally produce vitamin D, sunscreen blocks this from the body. If the sun is very intense or you are very fair skinned, limit your exposure to 5-10 minutes a day. This exposure to the sun will also help to dry out the skin of excess oil
- If none of the above help to reduce your acne, visit a doctor who can prescribe you a treatment for more aggressive cases of acne