Acne breakouts are not just limited to the face. Breakouts can occur nearly anywhere on the body, with the shoulders being one of the most common places for flareups to happen. Read on for all that you need to know about what causes shoulder acne and what you can do to treat these annoying breakouts:
What Causes Shoulder Acne?
There are a variety of factors that cause shoulder acne. Usually, it is not just one factor, but a combination of issues that lead to shoulder breakouts. Here are a few of the top culprits:
1. Hair Products
They may make your tresses look amazing, but hair products can often be some of the biggest offenders of shoulder acne. Especially if you have long hair, overly oily and greasy hair products can rub off onto your shoulders, leading to more acne flareups.
2. Your Own Hair
Hair naturally produces oil. This excess sebum can transfer to your shoulders and clog pores on the surface of the skin. It is these clogged pores that become irritated and cause shoulder acne to strike.
3. Shampoo and Conditioner
It is important to take the time to make sure that your hair shampoo and conditioner is thoroughly rinsed out after each use. Not doing so can mean that the excess product could rub off onto your shoulders and lead to breakouts. Conditioner is especially known for its heavy properties, making it easy to transfer oil to the skin.
This rite of passage is all about the hormones. An excess of hormones causes the skin to produce more oil. This excess oil production is why so many teenagers struggle with acne. Although puberty is inevitable, you can take steps to mitigate some of the unpleasant side effects such as acne.
5. Sweat Build-up
Excess sweat can also clog pores and lead to breakouts. Showering regularly, especially after strenuous workouts or being out in the sun, can help to negate the damage to the skin caused by sweat build-up.
As always, it is important to understand everything about the side effects of any medications that you are taking. Some medications exasperate the formation of acne. If this is a problem for you, talk to your doctor to see about getting alternative medicines that will not cause more flareups.
How to Get Rid of Shoulder Acne
1. Use a Water-Soluble Cleanser
Washing daily with a gentle and non-abrasive drugstore cleanser is the first line of defense in the battle with shoulder acne. A water-soluble cleanser will ensure that no residue is left behind after rinsing. Although it may be tempting to vigorously scrub the skin, it is more effective to gently massage the cleanser. After rinsing off the cleanser with lukewarm water, gently pat the skin dry using a clean and dry towel.
2. Exfoliate with a BHA
Using an exfoliant containing BHA should be a part of your daily skincare routine. BHA boasts the unique ability to penetrate deep into the pore clean rather than just staying on the surface of the skin. Exfoliating with a BHA-based product will help to strip away dead skin cells to reveal a fresh layer of unblemished skin. The soothing properties of BHA will reduce redness and irritation. As a bonus, BHAs will also reduce the appearance of pores and minimize wrinkles and fine lines.
3. Treatment with Benzoyl Peroxide
In addition to the proper preventative care, there are also a variety of spot treatments available designed to kill the bacteria that lead to acne. The most common ingredient in the fight against acne is benzoyl peroxide. This product is available in a myriad of strengths and is available both over the counter and through prescription. There are also a number of products that complement the effectiveness of benzoyl peroxide. A dermatologist can help you to devise the perfect combination of treatments to best treat your specific case of shoulder acne.
Many people shy away from moisturizing thinking that the ingredients will exacerbate the acne. However, moisturizers that are non-comedogenic and formulated for acne prone skin will not cause breakouts. These specially formulated moisturizers can actually prove beneficial in combating the dryness associated with cleansing, exfoliating, or using benzoyl peroxide. When used correctly, moisturizers can be a perfect partner for the products that fight acne.
Best Products for Treating Shoulder Acne
1. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
This foaming facial cleanser features ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide. These ingredients work in tandem to protect the natural barrier of the skin and lock in moisture. The gentle formula will maintain the ideal moisture balance so that the skin does not become irritated. Developed with dermatologists, the cleanser is non-comedogenic, non-irritating, and fragrance-free. All of the elements work together to remove oil, dirt, and makeup without stripping the skin of what it needs to stay healthy and bright.
2. Paula’s Choice SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
This exfoliant boasts a loyal following of users who appreciate its ability to strip away old skin cells and unclog pores. The active ingredient BHA also works to even out skin tone and deliver a fresh look. The leave-on liquid absorbs quickly and continues to work long after its application. Use up to twice daily for best results.
3. Paula’s Choice CLEAR Daily Skin Clearing Treatment
This daily spot treatment is a good alternative if the 2% BHA exfoliant is not delivering the results that you want. The strong concentration of acne-fighting ingredients should be started slowly so that the skin does not dry out unnecessarily. The unique formula works to fight existing acne while also preventing new breakouts from forming.
4. Acne.org 8-ounce Treatment
This ointment removes excess sebum and dirt to unclog pores and clear skin. Containing 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide, the treatment boasts the gold standard of acne treatment. The gel-based product goes on clear and smooth and dries quickly. Research has demonstrated that products containing 2.5 percent benzoyl perozide are just as effective as those products containing ten percent of the ingredient without the drying and irritating side effects.
When to See a Dermatologist
You should consider going to the experts when you have exhausted all of the various over the counter treatment options. If you feel as if your self-esteem is being negatively affected by acne, it is also a good idea to consult a trained dermatologist for help.
Can you get rid of shoulder acne overnight?
Like any other type of acne, there are no miracle cures to get rid of the shoulder blemishes overnight. Treating acne effectively takes time and patience.
Can you get rid of shoulder acne naturally?
There is limited evidence that shows that home remedies are effective in treating shoulder acne. It is a better idea to stick with the proven treatments that have shown positive clinical results.
How long does it take to get rid of shoulder acne?
Most acne treatments need about four to six weeks of consistent use before they deliver results. Taking pictures along the way can help you to gauge the effectiveness of the treatments as you track your progress.
How do you get rid of shoulder acne scars?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Preventing acne from forming in the first place is the best way to prevent acne scars. Once the acne is clear, you can look at getting rid of the resulting scars.
What is the best way to treat stubborn shoulder acne?
Consistency is key when treating the most stubborn cases of shoulder acne. A diligent and regular routine will deliver the best results.