What Causes Shoulder Acne and How to Treat it ?

Dealing with shoulder acne? We’re here to help you address this common skin concern once and for all. Although these breakouts can be difficult to manage, you can still address them with a targeted skin care routine for acne-prone skin. Ahead, we’re sharing a simple guide on how to stop breakouts and get rid of shoulder acne.

On the list of annoying spots acne can appear (if such a list exists), we imagine shoulder acne would be right there next to butt acne. The bright side is that acne in this hard-to-reach area is not impossible to deal with. While not your run-of-the-mill facial breakout, shoulder acne can be addressed similar to how one would approach facial acne. The key? Start a targeted routine at the first sign of shoulder acne.

What Causes Shoulder Acne?

1: Not showering right after a workout.

If you’re taking too long to cleanse the dirt, sweat, and grime from your body after a killer sweat sesh, you’re taking a fast route to shoulder acne. After hitting the gym, be sure to hop in the shower and rinse off within 10 minutes. “When you have acne on your body, but not on your face, it’s often caused by waiting too long to shower after working out,”

2: Friction from sports equipment.

It’s so common for athletes to get acne from their sports equipment that there’s actually a name for it: “acne mechanica.” Anything that rubs the skin from backpacks to synthetic uniforms and traps sweat and heat on your skin can cause irritation and acne to form. To help prevent flare-ups, try placing clean padding between the equipment and your skin to help prevent rubbing. That, and stick to clothes that fit more loosely.

3: Not washing your clothes after sweating.

Sweat, dirt, and other bacteria can stick to your clothes if you don’t wash them after a sweat session. Make a habit of tossing your dirty laundry into the wash after every workout. Also, bring a change of clothes with you if you plan to sweat profusely. Sitting in your sweaty clothing for too long can cause body acne to form. “Get out of gym clothes or anything sweaty as soon as possible, The faster the sweat evaporates, the less likely you will be to develop bumps.”

4: Hormones

A review by The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology (JCAD) showed that due to an increase in sebum production from hormone fluctuations, adolescent women going through puberty are the most prone to a variety of forms of acne, which can include body acne.

How to Treat Shoulder Acne

If shoulder acne has made a home on the surface of your skin, here’s how you can help safely clear those blemishes:

1: Use anti-bacterial soaps and body washes.

As far as body wash goes, the fresh smell of lavender is a popular shower pick. But if your skin is sensitive, using products formulated with fragrances may cause irritation. To help clear shoulder acne, I always recommend using an antibacterial soap and an exfoliant such as SkinCeuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub.

2: Cleanse with benzoyl peroxide.

Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most popular acne-fighting ingredients in skin care products because it helps kill the bacteria responsible for blemishes. You can find it in face washes, creams, gels, spot treatments and more. If using a benzoyl peroxide wash, let the product sit on your blemishes for a few minutes before rinsing. The skin on the shoulders is thicker so this tactic helps for better penetration.

3: Try an acne-fighting body spray.

Shoulders aren’t the most easily accessible part of the body, which is why acne sprays come in handy for targeting blemish zones that are hard to reach. We recommend turning to AcneFree’s Body Clearing Acne Spray. It’s formulated with salicylic acid, glycolic acid, vitamin B3, and aloe to help clear body breakouts. Plus, you can count on it to dry fast without leaving behind a sticky residue. Since salicylic acid can be drying, it’s best not to use it while using other acne-fighting products. Stick to one at a time.

4: Don’t pick at your bumps.

This may sound like a given, but it’s much easier said than done. Picking at your pimples will only worsen their appearance, and can lead to infection. If you feel like you’ve exhausted all options, don’t resort to picking at your skin. Instead, see a board-certified dermatologist for help with acne that won’t resolve.

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