How to Naturally Treat Body Acne
Millions of teens and adults suffer from facial acne, but acne can also spread to the neck, chest, back and arms. Aside from being embarrassing, body acne can also be painful and difficult to eliminate, and it often leaves behind scarring and pitting. Over-the-counter and prescription medications are available, but these are often expensive and cause itching, redness and irritation. End the body acne cycle without irritating your skin by employing a few safe, inexpensive and natural treatments.
There are a number of acne body washes on the market that claim to be “all-natural,” but this is hardly ever the whole truth. Instead of irritating your skin with salicylic acid or any other number of chemicals, create your own homemade acne body wash. Here’s how:
- Combine 1/2 cup castor and 1/2 cup olive oil in an old body wash bottle. Because castor oil doesn’t possess the most pleasant odor, add two to three drops of your favorite essential or fragrance oil.
- Add 3 cups water and 1/4 cup mild baby shampoo. Replace the bottle’s cap and shake vigorously before applying your concoction onto a loofah.
- Use this homemade acne wash in conjunction with your everyday body cleanser. Concentrate the homemade product on your problem areas. It might seem strange to eliminate body acne with two types of oil, but both products dissolve the dirt, sebum and bacteria clogging your pores and causing the unwanted acne.
Sweat, dirt, bacteria and excess body oils are clogging your pores and causing those acne breakouts on your face, neck, back and chest. A gentle exfoliator works by cleaning out pores, but can make the irritation and pain associated with body acne even worse. A gentle, natural exfoliator will help clear your pores without causing further redness and irritation.
- Combine 1/2 cup ground oatmeal and 1 tablespoon sea or table salt in a plastic container. Stir the ingredients together and add enough water to create a paste. If the scrub is too runny, aloe vera gel provides more consistency.
- Work the exfoliator into your acne-prone skin during the shower. If the salt is too abrasive, remove it from the equation or replace it with 1/4 cup baking soda.
- Repeat scrubbing your back, arms or chest with the homemade exfoliating scrub at least three times per week. If irritation persists, contact your dermatologist for assistance.
Tea Tree Oil
Read the labels of many expensive, over-the-counter acne medications and you might notice the words “tea tree oil” on the ingredients list. According to the Mayo Clinic, several studies have found that tea tree oil is just as effective in treating mild to moderate acne as many prescription medications. The oil is derived from the Melaleuca alternifolia, a tree native to parts of Southeast Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. To apply, simply wash the affected areas with a homemade or store-bought body wash. Soak a cotton ball with tea tree oil and work it over the clean, dry skin. The oil acts as a natural astringent that clears out your pores and leaves behind a mild, pleasant fragrance.
The Myth of Tanning Beds
Because facial and body acne is usually caused by the excess production of the skin’s natural oils, or sebum; many falsely believe that drying out the skin through excessive sun exposure or tanning will help prevent future breakouts. This myth was fueled by the temporary relief in symptoms that many acne-sufferers experienced by tanning. However, in the long run, overexposure to UV radiation dries out the skin to the point where the body actually begins producing excess oils, which makes acne even worse. In addition, overexposure to UV rays also leads to premature aging and the formation of several potentially fatal types of melanoma, a common form of skin cancer.
There are a variety of acne home remedies for the face and body. Even though the products used to create many recipes are natural, this doesn’t mean skin irritation or an allergic reaction cannot occur. Make sure to test any product on a small patch of skin before spreading over your entire back, chest or neck. If a reaction does occur, discontinue use and contact your dermatologist.