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Body acne 101: Everything you need to know about prevention and treatment

  • Lamelle Research Laboratories
  • Category Advice Column, beauty, Lamelle Research Laboratories, Lifestyle, Recently

We know that acne is becoming more and more prevalent among men and women of all ages, and that adult acne is on the rise, but unfortunately it is not just our faces that are affected by breakouts.

‘Bacne’, the term often used to describe acne on the body (and specifically the back), may be less common than facial acne, but it affects thousands of teenagers, men and women, regardless of their age. Body acne typically appears on the upper back, chest or buttocks, and like facial acne, it may be caused by a variety of different factors.

In some instances, the same factors that trigger facial acne may lead to body, but this isn’t always the case.

The most common causes of body acne are:


Body acne is common among people who regularly exercise, particularly those who sweat a lot during workouts. Sweat may aggravate breakouts and if the skin is not cleansed shortly after exercise, more breakouts may develop.


Sources of friction may lead to a type of body acne known as ‘acne mechanica’. When you rub something against the skin, or put pressure on the skin, and this friction is combined with heat or sweat, the follicles may become irritated and inflamed, leading to breakouts. You can develop acne mechanica from tight clothing, sports equipment or even something as simple as carrying a backpack while hiking.

Hair care products

Did you know that most shampoos and conditioners contain oils and silicones that may clog pores and cause irritation? When you rinse the shampoo and conditioner from your hair, these products run onto your back in the shower, and may lead to clogged pores and breakouts. This is known as ‘acne cosmetica’.


Hormonal irregularities and fluctuations is linked to the overproduction of sebum, which may clog pores on the face and body, leading to acne. This is particularly common during puberty and women may also experience this during menopause, as well as during certain times of their monthly menstrual cycle.

How to prevent and treat body acne

Shower after exercise

Take a shower as soon as you can after exercise to avoid sweat sitting on the skin for a prolonged length of time. Wash skin gently (don’t rub vigorously or tug at the skin), and if you are prone to getting body acne, use a cleanser containing salicylic acid on the affected areasLamelle Clarity Active Cleanse (R290.00) utilises salicylic acid and tea tree oil to gently cleanse and exfoliate skin while soothing and calming redness.

Wash your hair before washing your body

When showering, always wash and condition your hair first, before you wash your body. This will allow you to wash off any haircare product that may be sitting on your back or chest, and prevent the formation of acne cosmetic.

Wash clothing regularly

Sweat, bacteria and dead skin cells may remain on clothing and other fabrics (such as bedding) if they are not washed thoroughly and regularly. Be sure to wash your workout clothing after each session, change bedding regularly and don’t wear a shirt more than once before washing.

Add a supplement to your daily regime

Certain minerals and nutrients are known to help fight acne, and taking a quality supplement designed for clearer skin is a must if you struggle with body acne. Lamelle Acnevelle Plus (R345.00) contains zinc, copper glycinate and nicotinamide, a combination that has been shown to improve inflammatory acne and reduce redness and sensitivity. When used in combination with Lamelle’s Clarity skincare range, Acnevelle Plus has been shown to achieve an improvement in 88% of patients with mild to moderate inflammatory problematic skin within eight weeks of use.

Treat existing spots with the right products

Body acne can have a major impact on one’s confidence, so it’s important to treat it using high quality products that deliver on their promises. An ideal product for the treatment of non-facial acne is Lamelle’s Clarity Body Spray (R495.00) which contains a host of spot-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, niacinamide and beta hydroxy acid to help unclog congested pores, exfoliate the skin and soothe inflammation. The convenient spray format allows you to easily spray it onto the back and chest. Allow the product to dry before getting dressed.

Treating an existing spot with a topical product will help it to heal faster and minimise the risks of further infection and scarring. Try Lamelle Clarity Active Control (R155.00), a spot gel that assists in speeding up the healing and recovery process of inflammatory lesions. Like the Clarity Body Spray, it also contains salicylic acid, niacinamide and beta hydroxy acid, along with potassium azeloyl diglycinate, an ingredient derived from acne-busting azelaic acid. Apply directly to spots twice a day.

With a few small lifestyle changes and the right products, body acne can be managed and minimised. Visit Lamelle’s website to learn more about their acne skincare options:

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One Comment

  • Bandezi June 19, 2024 at 8:58 am

    This was very helpful,thank you for this Article


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