When acne occurs anywhere on a human other than the face, it is known as body acne. Causes of body acne are not fully known, though the factors that contribute to the condition can range from genetics to an imbalanced diet, to inadequate hygiene. Some forms of acne located in certain areas are informally known as specific terms, such as back acne, which is often referred to as "backne."
The back, upper arms, and buttocks are some common body areas where acne may develop. Other areas of the body, such as the chest and legs, may also break out in acne. Like facial acne, body acne occurs when the pores of the skin become inflamed. Areas of the body with more pores are therefore more susceptible to the development of acne.
Males are more commonly affected by acne of the body than females. They also experience harsher, more painful breakouts than females on an average basis. People who have acne on any area of their bodies almost always have it on their faces as well.
Also like facial acne, acne that occurs throughout the body can vary in its degree of severity. Some cases are very mild, with sparsely-distributed small bumps. These may even be painless. Other breakouts can be larger, and are often more painful. Just as with facial acne, the body can break out in anything from blackheads and small pimples, to larger cysts or pustules.
No known cure for body acne exists, though treating body acne symptoms is possible through a variety of means. A dermatologist can help patients choose which body acne remedies suit them best. Many physicians may recommend an anti-bacterial cleanser as a base treatment, followed by stronger remedies if needed on a case by case basis. Benzoyl peroxide creams, lotions, and other products may be recommended. These products are also often available without a prescription at many drugstores.
Eating a balanced diet can often help prevent or lessen occurrences of acne. Opting for fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains over sugars, carbohydrates, and fats can often help people manage their body acne. Sugar scrub or other mild exfoliants can be applied to help reduce many cases of acne.
Some people use lemon juice to treat their acne. By rubbing the juice over the body, it is purported to help eliminate some of the abrasions on the skin. Alpha hydroxy treatments are also available over-the-counter. People with severe cases of body acne may require oral antibiotics or other prescription medications.