If you’re breaking out like never before, you’re not alone. In a year filled with new and obscure terms, “maskne,” the word used to describe the acne that’s caused by our face coverings, was one of the primary conversation drivers in 2020.
But just as prominent seems to be a rise in body acne. Dermatologists across the country are reporting an increase in patients complaining about pandemic stress-induced breakouts not only on their face, but also on their chest, back, butt, and legs.
Why you’re getting body acne
There are a few different pandemic-related reasons for this rise. For one, your lifestyle’s probably changed a lot over the last 10 months. Many have been stuck at home for much, if not all, of the pandemic, which means you’ve also probably been sitting more than you usually would. All that sitting creates friction on your butt, which can lead to breakouts there.
Or maybe you’ve tried to maintain some sense of normalcy by working out at home. The issue there is, when you’re at home, you’re more inclined to leave those sweaty clothes on after your workout is over, which can cause clogged pores.
That also speaks to another new reality. The fact is, many of us, for various reasons, aren’t investing the same time and energy in our skincare as we were before the pandemic. With so much to be concerned about on a daily basis, many aspects of our daily routine, including skincare, can feel like the proverbial straw that’s going to break your back.
Which brings us to the emotional toll this last year has taken. Stress can promote oil production and increase inflammation in the skin, which, in turn, causes acne flareups.
The good news? Whether you’re spotting acne in new places or body acne is something you were dealing with long before the pandemic, know that there are a number of ways to eradicate it.
How to treat it
Pandemic or not, it’s always a good idea to be kind to yourself. Yoga or light stretching can be a great way to stay in shape and relieve stress. Whatever you choose to do, try to carve out time for yourself every day. If the days feel like they’re blending together, it can serve as a kind of reset button.
Where your skincare, specifically, is concerned, your routine doesn’t need to change as much as you’re thinking. That’s because body acne can be treated with the same products and ingredients that you use for your face. Differin Gel, an over-the-counter retinoid that helps increase cell turnover to clear breakouts more quickly, is a good place to start. You’ll also want to use a body wash that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, both of which will fight acne.
If none of the above improves the situation, schedule an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist. They’ll be able to provide you with more specialized recommendations and treatment.