Skin Health
Acne: On My Chest Arms Back and Body
acne-on my chest arms back and body
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Some people get acne on the chest, arms, back, posterior and thighs. This can be due to the same reasons some people get acne on the face: clogged and irritated pores. Often, body acne can also be caused by comedogens in cosmetics, certain drugs, vitamins or nutritional supplements you may be taking, or a condition called pityrosporum folliculitis or “sweat acne.”COSMETIC COMEDOGENS:Many products, even those not normally associated with the skin, can cause acne on the body.HAIR CARE:

Some shampoos, conditioners, and other hair care products contain heavy greases and other pore-clogging ingredients that can trickle down onto skin, particularly with sweat, and clog pores. Others do not wash off completely, leaving a residue after rinsing.

Allergens in these products can cause acne, too. While they do not clog pores the way comedogens do, they can irritate pores, leading to infection and acne.

Acne caused by hair products often exhibits on the forehead (especially if you have bangs), the cheeks (near the hairline), the nape of the neck, and the upper back.


Soaps, body washes, body lotions and body scrubs may also contain comedogens and allergens. Certain massage oils and exfoliating scrubs used in some spas may also contain pore-clogging ingredients. This can be especially problematic because massage oils are rubbed into the skin well through constant friction and heat, and stay on the skin long after the massage (particularly if you dont shower right after). Exfoliating scrubs may also contain abrasive scrubbing agents. If they are too abrasive, they can irritate pores and cause infections and acne.

Lotions, creams, self-tanners, sunscreens, glittering body gels and similar products can also cause body acne if they contain comedogenic or irritating ingredients. Similar to massage oils, these products stay on the skin for a long time, allowing the ingredients ample contact time to cause problems. Unlike massage oils, these products are usually used every day, which increases your skin’s exposure to acne triggers.

Acne caused by soaps, body washes, scrubs, massage oils and lotions often exhibits where the skin has been most exposed to the product, and where the skin perspires more: the chest, back, arms, and posterior.


Deodorants or antiperspirants with aluminum zirconium can cause granulomas, or skin bumps. If you have bumps in the axillary area, we can recommend Essence Skin-Saving Antiperspirant or Illuminants+ Axillight Treatment Antiperspirant.

Shaving, plucking or waxing the area can also cause bumps and ingrown-hair.


Certain drugs, like some neurological and asthma medications, are known to cause acne. Vitamin B12 and some other nutritional supplements, too. Ask your physician about potential acne side-effects when being prescribed a new drug.


Acne on the body can be pityrosporum folliculitis (PF, or “Sweat Acne”) which is caused by a fungus called pityrosporum that feeds on sweat. Switching to non-comedogenic products for hair and body products can help. So can active therapy with VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® Id Beta-Hydroxy Acid + Monoglyceride Clarifying System, particularly Id Sweat Acne + Overall Antibacterial Monolaurin Gel.

Id Monolaurin Gel is clinically proven to be as effective as popular anti-fungal treatments for PF (in studies, it showed 100% efficacy in clearing PF. But because it is so gentle to skin, it can be used for longer periods of time for sustained therapy—this is important as PF is notorious for recurring when therapy is stopped. Furthermore, Id Monolaurin Gel keeps skin cool and matte to help prevent sweating and, consequentially, the proliferation of the pityrosporum fungus. As with all skin conditions, we recommend that you see a dermatologist for proper diagnoses and treatment options.


Some detergents do not rinse well from clothing, or contain ingredients that can irritate pores. Extended contact with clothing or bedsheets washed with such detergents can trigger lesions in those who perspire profusely or those who are highly susceptible to acne. Fawn and Launder Hypoallergenic Laundry Shampoo can help.


Often, simply switching to non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic products can already help clarify the skin.

Hair Care:

Body Cleansing:

Body Moisturizing and Therapy:

For more active anti-acne face + body therapy: Id Beta-Hydroxy Acid + Monolaurin Clarifying System

Click here for more on acne.

Click here to learn how hypoallergenicity can help you prevent acne.