Originally Posted by Aptidude
What about back/chest acne? Been to the dermo three times in past four years. They never seem to know for certain how to treat it and just try to talk me into getting the same mole biopsied (benign!). The only thing that works is the sun. Unfortunately, even tanning beds work better than the doc's medicine. Yes, I realize this is counter productive because it risks skin cancer. Anyone else have this problem?
Here's what I do, and it has helped both my face and my body acne-
1) Wash my chest and back less often. My body doesn't have to produce as much oil because I don't wash it as often. It's really unnecessary to wash it every day unless you're doing a lot of work and sweating often. I do construction work and I just wash my pits and crotch area daily, everything else goes every 2-3 days, depending on what I have been doing. I also use a bodywash without any SLS - Jason brand with Aloe is my jam. You won't smell bad, because your back and chest areas really aren't known for producing smells.
2) When I do wash my chest and back, I scrub a bit harder to remove dead skin. It's my understanding that dead skin clogs pores and causes pimples. Since I've started doing these two things, I barely get bacne. I still have scars, but what can you do? Don't try to scratch it off though, you don't want your skin to turn red, as that may also cause breakouts... you just need to find the right pressure to apply, it shouldn't be uncomfortable.
3) I use a facial scrub without any salicylic acid in it in the morning. Warm water when applying, and when washing off. Then I shave, no cream/soap, and with a razor with 2 or less blades. After this, I rinse off entirely with cold water. It'll close your pores as well as wake you up in the morning.
4) After I get out of the shower, I dry off really a clean and very soft towel, and I do it lightly. Like I said before, scrubbing too hard can cause breakouts and redness. I apply my aftershave of choice, take a vitamin E supplement. Try to go with an aftershave that doesn't have a high alcohol level - it'll dry out your skin and cause it to produce more sebum.
This obviously might not work for you, but if you tweak it appropriately it should do the trick. I only wish I had been more conscious of this when I was a teenager. I also drink more tea and water than anything else, but a lot of people have said it doesn't affect your skin... I'd still do it, though. It's better for you anyway.