You may have read about ways to banish hormonal acne, or how to clear up your pesky acne scars according to experts and redditors, but what about treating spots on specific parts of your body from your forehead all the way down to your *ahem* derriere?
We've called on Dr Yannis Alexandrides, founder and head of surgical practice at 111 Harley Street, to break down clever ways to treat acne all over your body.
As he explains: "A huge proportion of the UK’s population has admitted to suffering from acne (around 60%) and what we have noticed clinically is that people don’t know how to handle their specific type of acne.
"This is often due to being unaware of the type of acne that they are suffering from. It’s important to state that not all types of acne are equal; the type that you might suffer from can depend on variable factors, including genetics and hormones, as well as lifestyle habits."
Here's how to tackle acne all over your body...
The forehead and nose are usually where blackheads are found. These are blocked pores that simply appear as small bumps on the skin and have a dark surface; they tend to be the first stage of acne. They are formed when open hair follicles become clogged and although most people have them, those with oilier skin are more prone to them.
"Chemical skin peels are a great option for dealing with deep-seated blackheads," says Dr Yannis. "Using chemical compounds, these can work deep down into the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin production and promote the growth of new cells. This, in turn, will help to reduce the enlarged pored that cause blackheads."
For more topical treatments, he recommends using a benzoyl peroxide (anti-bacterial), azelaic acid (anti-inflammatory), salicylic acid (oil-soluble exfoliation) and retinol (regenerative). "Although these four ingredients are the holy grail of mild to moderate acne, found in almost every over-the-counter product on the market, they can also compromise the skin in other ways, causing dry and thin skin, as well as rosacea," he warns.
Phone addicts, listen up! Acne on the cheeks is often caused by overuse of mobile phones (guilty).
"We tend to not wash our hands before we touch our screens and we don’t tend to wash our screens before we put them to our face," says Dr Yannis. "An easy way to avoid this is to keep a microfiber cloth with you and clean your screen at least once a day."
Everything you need to know about treating those tiny white bumps on your skin
Make sure to wash your face with a gentle cleanser and remove your makeup before bed. The skin on our face is sensitive and so it’s important to use gentle products that will not overly irritate or cause inflammation.
Adjusting your diet can make a huge difference, too. Dr Yannis advises cutting down on sugar and incorporating the below things into your daily meal plans...
- Omega 3’s: Foods with omega 3’s such as fatty fish, avocados, and walnuts have been shown to help control the production of excess sebum and inflammatory acne.
- Red grapes: Due to their antioxidant properties, this fruit has the ability to treat inflammatory skin conditions including acne.
- Brown rice: It is really rich in vitamin B and full of antioxidants. The Vitamin B works against stress, and can help to regulate the production of cortisol, reducing the risks of breakouts.
- Garlic: Garlic has the ability to prevent inflammation and to help kill off bacteria, which may be clogging your pores.
What is the Gut Health diet?
"Comedonal acne is extremely common and affects most people," explains Dr Yannis. "It can be identified through one or two small crops of blackheads or whiteheads that are most often found on regions of the face such as the chin, forehead and nose.
"Women tend to get zits around the time of their period due to fluctuations in hormones. You will notice this type of acne often appears on the chin and neck."
In order to treat this type of acne, Dr Yannis suggests using salicylic acid and glycolic acid, which he maintains will help keep the area free of bacteria and help to prevent further outbreaks in future. In addition, you may benefit from a chemical skin peel to keep oil production under control.
I've been trying to cure my hormonal acne for ten years, here's how I finally did it...
Back, bottom and chest
The most common type of acne you'll spot on these parts of your body is cystic, which is often recurrent, very red and inflamed. It’s important to get on top of severe acne because if it’s left untreated, you could be left with long-lasting scarring or disfigurement.
"This type of acne may respond well to strong prescription strength medicines like retinoids or Roaccutane," suggests Dr Yannis. "If your skin is not responding to topical or oral treatments, Isolaz can help to reduce 75% of lesions in two months. Isolaz removes impurities and bacteria through a blue light and vacuum system."
Now you can achieve flawless skin head-to-toe.
Make sure you check out our favourite acne treatment products below...
These are the ultimate spot cures and acne treatments available RN