ZocdocAnswersHow do people treat acne on the chest and back?

Question

How do people treat acne on the chest and back?

I'm nearly 30, and my face is completely clear, but the skin on my chest and back has serious acne. What can I do to treat this acne? Does it respond to the same medications and cleaning techniques as facial acne does?

Answer

Acne is one of the most common reasons that people seek medical advice. The doctors who will be well qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. Acne is caused when skin pores become clogged with dead skin debris. This is the case whether the acne is on the face or on the back and chest. Therefore, the same treatments can be applied to any part of the body. The most important part of acne treatment is to remove the skin debris that clogs the pores. The daily use of a good antibacterial soap and an exfoliating treatment, such as a soap with microbeads, can be helpful. If this does not work, products that contain comedonolytics (debris removing chemicals) can be helpful. One of the most common comedonolytics is called benzoyl peroxide; it can be found in many drug store acne preparations and it can also be obtained from your doctor in stronger prescription strengths. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular skin concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist is advised.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.