Bacne. Chest bumps. Tumacne. All cute names for a not-so-so cute issue – breakouts on your body. Why does this happen? There are several different reasons but most of them point to the same causes – stress, poor cleansing habits, diet, pollution, and hormonal changes.
Wherever we grow hair, there’s an opportunity for that pore to be plugged which then becomes inflamed and leads to acne. The best way to keep body breakouts in check is by cleansing well and using a gentle and natural exfoliator such as Sealuxe’s Coffee and Seaweed Scrub three times a week.
Body breakouts can be caused by wearing sweaty workout clothes for too long. It’s a good practice to change out of sweaty clothes immediately following your workout – this includes your underwear and your bra and have a shower if at all possible as sweat can exacerbate body acne. Friction on the skin combined with heat and sweat can irritate and inflame follicles. To heal your skin after a body breakout, try to avoid wearing tight-clothing, purse straps, and even backpacks. Try using a gentle cleanser with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide rather than vigorous scrubbing which will only worsen the outbreak.
As society moves into a new era where working from home is the norm, it is easy to fall into the trap of wearing the same shirt a few days in a row. Again, those fibers absorb your body sweat and bacteria as you go through the day so it’s a good idea to wash your clothes every other time you wear them.
However, if you are dealing with a hormone imbalance, as we all do as we move through life, this can lead to more stubborn acne. Typically, breakouts that occur around the jawline, neck, and chin are caused by out of whack hormones. This is when you might want to contact your doctor or dermatologist.
Wearing synthetic fabrics can worsen acne because it traps heat against the body. I recently spoke to a fitness coach about fabrics and he recommended staying away from dry-fit materials and wearing cotton.
“I have seen several patients with unexplainable skin outbreaks that were resolved when they stopped wearing dry-fit clothing. Am I saying get rid of your dry-fit stuff? Not at all. I am saying if you have a sudden skin reaction, question the possibility that your new clothes, a chemical reaction from your detergent, or a combination of both is the cause. This is especially common for woman in the chest and décolleté,” wrote John Wittle in a story about Dry-Fit Clothing and Skin Conditions.
“If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: ‘The cause of the problem can’t be [fill in the blank] since I’ve been using that for years.’,” Wittle continued, “consider, however, that it has deteriorated over the years and lost its positive effect, or perhaps you have now developed sensitivity to it. Consider whether your new cool clothing technology—in addition to its great qualities—is a cause of a skin condition. Modern materials do tend to break down at higher rates especially in athletic wear although it can be superior in the beginning.”
Other natural fabrics such as bamboo and help are also ideal for workouts.
Acne can be such a frustrating problem. Be patient and consistent with good skincare practices and you will soon see improvement!