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11.05.2007

Treating body acne

From Yahoo Health

Our previous discussions about acne have focused on the face, but for many people body acne is equally troublesome -- and often more difficult to treat.

Remember that skin is skin, whether it's on your face or your back and chest. Any areas of skin that are prone to acne need special treatment. In fact, a new product just hit the market to target body acne: It's called ClindaReach and is available by prescription only. It combines a powerful antibiotic (1% clindamycin) with a unique applicator that lets you treat hard-to-reach places, making it particularly effective for treating acne on the back.

You can also talk to your dermatologist about prescription-strength shower gels. My colleague, Dr. Jonette Keri, MD, PhD, at the University of Miami recommends that people who experience back acne use body washes that contain benzoyl peroxide (she likes Brevoxyl creamy wash) or glycolic acid (her recommendations are Glytone or Aqua Glycolic products -- this last brand is available without a prescription behind your pharmacist's counter).

Of course, those products can't do you much good if they never reach the affected area, and tackling your back might require a little extra work -- invest in a sponge or loofah with a long handle so you won't miss an inch!

Several brands also make anti-acne spray products designed to target hard-to-reach places. Murad Clarifying Body Spray, MD Formulations Vit-A-Plus Body Clearing Complex Spray, and Nature's Cure Body Acne Treatment Spray, for example, are a few options I've come across.

Treating body acne may also require avoiding certain products. Steer clear of bath oils or other body products with coconut oil, and isopropyl myristate, both of which can quickly clog pores.

If you're prone to body acne, remember to shower as soon as possible after exercising or perspiring excessively (even if you feel like you can't move a muscle). While you're working out -- and even in your other everyday pursuits -- be sure to wear natural fabrics and breathable clothes to minimize the likelihood of irritating your skin and clogging your pores.

If you experience more than mild body acne, Dr. Keri suggests that a 6-12 week course of antibiotics may be your best approach. Once things are under control, the strategies above will have a better chance of working.

Finally, blue light treatments have proven to be a highly effective, drug-free option for treating stubborn body acne. Three 20-minute treatments a week for about 4-6 weeks can kill acne-causing bacteria and significantly improve most cases.

Wishing you great skin!

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