Pimples on arms and stubborn shoulder acne can make it impossible for one to wear off-the-shoulder tops or sleeveless blouses. Acne on shoulders and upper back occurs when the hair follicles on the skin get clogged with sweat, oil or sebum. These lesions tend to heal slowly and often leave scars and blemishes that take years to fade. Needless to say that such acne can be persistent and troublesome. People prone to acne on their face are often susceptible to acne on upper back and shoulders. The condition is also commonly seen in people who work out as the sweat clogs the pores. It does not help if one tends to stay in wet gym clothes for long periods of time. If the acne is very deep, it can also lead to painful cysts and nodules. Let us study shoulder and arm acne causes as well as some easy ways to get rid of arm acne fast.
Shoulder and Arm Acne Causes
Following are common causes of acne on the back and shoulders:
- Stress and anxiety-This leads to hormonal imbalance which aggravates androgens that can increase sebum production.
- Nutritional deficiency-not getting vitamins and minerals
- Environmental pollutants
- Improper diet-junk or fast food
- Over exfoliating skin
- Excess use of pore clogging cosmetics, oils and makeup products
- Pressure or abrasion from tight clothes, especially sweaty, gym clothes.
- Picking of the pimples-spreads bacteria to healthy areas and causes breakouts.
Acne on arms- Home remedies that work!
Take a multivitamin
Taking a supplement containing a comprehensive array of minerals and vitamins can help eliminate and prevent stubborn shoulder acne. These vitamins and minerals provide nourishment to the skin and help it repair. They also help maintain youthful and clear complexion. You especially need chromium as it heals repairs and protects the skin.
Just like you follow a CTM (cleansing-toning-moisturizing) routine for the face, you must also follow a cleansing routine for the shoulders and back. People who sweat a lot must take baths frequently, especially during hot, humid months to reduce bacteria on the skin. Cool baths are great as they stimulate blood circulation and will not strip your skin’s natural oils like hot water does.
Use a loofah or brush to gently scrub the skin on the arms and shoulders. Gentle exfoliation will remove hardened sebum and remove the clog from hair follicles. You can also use an exfoliating body wash from time to time. Alternatively, make a homemade scrub with olive oil and ground oatmeal and use it on the back and shoulders. Wash off with warm water. Oatmeal acts as an astringent and clears the pores.
Use antibacterial body wash
If you work out regularly, you must use an antibacterial body wash or a non-drying, antibacterial soap. Look for a product containing tea tree essential oil as it is antimicrobial and gets rid of bacteria as well as fungi. Apply the soap to wet shoulders and back and scrub with a loofah or brush. Leave the lather on the skin for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water.
Wear loose fitting clothes
Loose fitting clothes prevent friction and abrasion which can cause acne on shoulders and back. Also wash your gym clothes every day using antibacterial soap or bleach. Avoid tight collars, heavy backpacks and purses on the shoulders and back.
Make your body alkaline
An acidic environment in the body caused by consumption of acidic foods leads to acne eruptions. Try and make your system more alkaline by eating alkaline foods like turmeric, ginger, majority of vegetables and fruits etc. Eliminate refined flour, sugar and dairy from your diet. Also limit your intake of red meat.
Drink plenty of water
Water helps eliminate bacteria and toxins from the body and gives you a clear skin. You can also go in for alkaline water or Kangen water. A minimum of 8-10 glasses are necessary for clear, acne free skin.
Eat more carrots
Carrots contain vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. This gives you a blemish-free, healthy complexion by strengthening the protective tissue of the skin and preventing new breakouts.
Avoid picking the acne
Try not to touch the pimples on shoulders and back. Touching or picking at the scabs can spread germs around and infect healthy skin.
Try prescription meds
In case of severe nodular or cystic acne on the shoulders and back, you might need prescription medicines like Accutane. However, these meds have some serious side effects and therefore, you and your dermatologist must evaluate it completely before taking. Treatment of accutane will be started only if you agree to these side effects which can also include birth defects or miscarriage in women of child-bearing age.
Stress is a leading cause of acne. Eliminate stress by indulging in daily exercise and also go in for practices like meditation, yoga etc. Deep breathing exercises are beneficial for people suffering from anxiety. Positive visualization can also help.
Wash your bed clothes
Your bed clothes absorb oil from your hair and face and transfer it to your back, shoulders and other parts of the skin. Washing eliminates the sweat and bacteria from the pillow covers, sheets and bed linen. So try to launder the linen every few days.
Apply lemon juice
Apply pure lemon juice to the acne on arms-the acidic compounds in the juice kill bacteria and acts as an antiseptic to clear pores. Do not use on active, open acne as it can cause stinging and burning.
Honey is antibacterial and antiseptic. Apply a bit of honey to the acne to reduce inflammation and dry up blemishes.
Understand environmental impact
Sun exposure can aggravate acne and so can humidity and heat. Avoid these factors as far as possible.
Be wary of cosmetics
Applying oily lotions or moisturizers is one of the arm acne causes. Avoid these as far as possible. Don’t let oily hair touch the shoulders and back as it can transmit bacteria and cause back acne.
Many environmental and underlying health conditions can impact shoulder and back acne as well as the treatments used to manage it. Skin care therapist and clients should be aware of these factors as well as the main ones that affect the individual. The above acne on arms home remedies can help control stubborn shoulder acne and prevent future breakouts.