What causes body acne? Why are so many people experiencing it? We’ve been through a very tough year, but could it be possible that 2020 had anything to do with body acne?
Last year had us feeling startled, it was unprecedented, difficult and we had to adapt to many changes in no time. Long periods of stress can increase the levels of cortisol –our stress hormone—, and, not surprisingly, this hormone can cause breakouts.
Apart from “maskne,” the acne caused by covering our faces with the mask, during the pandemic there has been a rise in stress-induced acne.
What is body acne?
Facial acne and body acne have similar causes: hormones, stress and genetics that in turn cause excess oil production, clogged pores and inflammation.
It usually occurs in areas that are oily like the chest and upper back, or places where you shave, as it is an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. Acne on the chest, or folliculitis, comes from clogged pores –due to oil, dead skin or other debris–, that results in inflamed hair follicles and looks like small red bumps. Dermatitis can be caused by friction and sweat and can lead to breakouts.
Why has body acne appeared during the pandemic?
We have experienced a huge lifestyle change: we sit for long hours and this can create butt breakouts because of the friction. The fact that we are working out from home does not help either, because we spend more time in sweaty clothes –I don’t change immediately after I train anymore, do you? – this can lead to bacteria irritating the skin and cause breakouts.
Diets have also changed, and high glycemic diets and dairy can worsen acne and of course, there is the emotional factor. Stress elevates cortisol levels and promotes oil production, this leads to inflammation in the skin and acne in the end.
What can we do to reduce body acne?
There are several measures you can take and issues to tackle:
- First of all, you should find ways to de-stress: try practicing yoga, meditate, doing box breathing.
- You should also try to include your daily dose of fruits and vegetables and stay away from highly processed foods.
- To avoid friction in your skin, try wearing loose-fitting clothes.
- Use a body wash that contains acne-fighting ingredients and exfoliate at least once a week.
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