Treatment Options For Body Acne
Most people associate acne with the facial area. But acne can appear almost any place on your body, including the arms, shoulders, back, chest, neck, legs and buttocks. Body acne can be light to severe, and the treatment options depend on how a dermatologist categorizes your condition. Treatment options for body acne are very similar to those for facial acne, but because the area to be treated is often much larger and the skin thicker, it may take a little longer to see positive results.
You may have tried some over-the-counter treatments for your body acne. Creams and ointments that have benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulfur or resorcinol in them may help. These are most effective when used inconjuction with daily skin care and cleaning. If your body acne doesn’t improve with store-bought treatments, it’s time to see a dermatologist.
A licensed dermatologist can evaluate your body acne and prescribe one of several topical creams that contain certain chemicals, natural extracts or antibiotics. These are usually very effective on cases of light to moderate body acne. Some of those ingredients include adapalene, azelaic acid, tretinoin, tazarotene or Retin-A. Antibiotics such as erythromycin, dapsone, clindamycin and sulfacetamide are also used.
You can also take many of those same antibiotics by mouth. Amoxicillin, erythromycin, tetracycline, trimethoprim, minocycline and doxycycline can be taken as pills. This form or prescription treatment is usually only for body acne that is severe and wide-spread.
Sotret (Accutane) is a well-known prescription acne medication and is effective in controlling outbreaks. It is known to cause severe birth defects though, so pregnant women obviously can’t take it and women who do take the drug have to have more than one types of birth control method to insure they don’t become pregnant.
Women who don’t want to take Accutane may benefit from using birth control if their body acne is triggered by hormone fluctuations. Hormone imbalances that cause body acne are also sometimes treated with Spironolactone.
Some other drugs manufactured specifically for acne include Amnesteem and Claravis, so ask your dermatologist if these might be right for you.
Chemical peels are normally done on the facial and neck areas, but in some cases can be used on other areas of the body that are affected by acne. Your dermatologist will apply a gel of alpha-hydroxy, beta-hydroxy or glycolic acid to remove dead skin cells and help to cleanse any clogged pores.
Microdermabrasion is another acne treatment method that is usually reserved for the face, but it can be performed on other body areas. Your dermatologist uses air to spray fine particles like mini-sand onto your skin to take off dead cells and remove dirt and debris from your pores.
Laser Acne Treatments
One of the newest forms of treating body and facial acne is with lasers. Laser therapy can help to lessen swelling and redness, reduce breakouts and fade scars. Your dermatologist can evaluate your level of acne and skin type, then decide what type of laser light treatment will work best for you.
Fraxel laser is one example of laser treatment. This FDA approved device heats your skin to stimulate natural exfoliation and new growth.
Laser treatments can be done in a dermatologist’s or cosmetic surgeon’s office with no anesthesia. Just a numbing cream is all that is usually needed. The treatments generally take from 30 minutes to a couple of hours, depending on how big an area is treatment. The only side effects are a slight temporary redness, tingling and itching that goes away quickly. You’ll have to avoid the sun for a few days and wear sunscreen, but can return to your normally daily routine immediately.
Don’t let body acne keep you from going to the beach, wearing that new dress or simply living your life without embarrassment. There are some effective treatment methods out there, so take the first step in controlling your acne and see a dermatologist.
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