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Most people have had to deal with an occasional blemish on the face, but having to deal with breakouts on your legs and butt can be humiliating. Not only can it prevent you from wearing a bathing suit, but it can discourage you from engaging in intimate situations. But you don't have to let body acne control your life. You can treat this condition and promote healthier skin just by making a few lifestyle changes.
Acne on your body is similar to that which appears on your face. No matter where the outbreak occurs, most cases of acne are the result of the accumulation of dead skin cells and oil in a pore. This can partially clog the pore or fully clog it, resulting in whiteheads or blackheads. Body acne can be painful as well if affected areas are prone to chafing.
Acne on the legs and butt is caused by several different factors. For instance, it might be caused by an accumulation of too much oil on the skin's surface. Or, it might be due to an inability to slough off skin cells quickly enough. Sometimes, wearing oily kinds of makeup can clog your pores, or you might suffer from too much bacteria on the skin's surface. For women, hormones are often to blame.
Any kind of acne that can appear on your face can also appear on your legs and butt. In mild cases, you might notice small whiteheads, which are blemishes filled with pus or blackheads, which are open clogged pores. More severe forms of acne include pustules, nodules and cysts, all of which carry inflammation and can leave behind scarring if not treated. Nodules are hard and underneath the skin. Cysts are larger blemishes filled with fluid, pus and blood.
Treating acne on the legs and butt is similar to treating acne on your face, though your body can usually withstand stronger treatments 2. The skin in these areas isn't as sensitive as that on your face. Over-the-counter medications that contain benzoyl peroxide are sometimes effective. These dry out blemishes and kill bacteria. For some people, however, this isn't enough. For large nodules or cysts, you might need a dermatologist to remove the material inside the blemish surgically, drain it or inject a corticosteroid in it to help heal it. Prescription medications are necessary sometimes as well, such asd antibiotics or isotretinoin to kill bacteria or prevent excess oil production.
Depending on your lifestyle, some things you interact with on a daily basis could be contributing to your acne, making your breakouts somewhat preventable. Some lotions, body washes and laundry detergents could cause breakouts due to their strong fragrances or dyes. Playing sports and wearing certain gear that rub on your legs or buttocks could also lead to blemishes. To prevent a build up of bacteria, you should also take a shower soon after working out and breaking a sweat.
- the leg image by Rich Johnson from Fotolia.com