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A recent Korean review found that acne on the body is very common. The most common spot is the trunk, the torso, especially in young people. 

In fact, 52 percent of teens with acne on their face also get some on their trunk. 

Truncal acne most often affects the upper back (52 percent), followed by the upper chest (30 percent), lower back (22 percent), shoulders and upper arms (16 percent), and finally the neck (8 percent).

The worse the acne on the face, the more likely you are to get body acne as well. 

Acne on your body is the same acne as the spots you get on your face.

We know acne is a typical feature of being a teenager. But it turns out that around 50 percent of adults have acne, as well. 

That number has really crept up on us slowly over the last 30 years, but it jumped by about 70 percent in the five years before the pandemic. 

Adult acne and teen acne are both fundamentally caused by the same 4 factors: 

  • High oil or sebum production
  • Excess skin cells combining with the oil and getting trapped in follicles
  • The blockage becoming a breeding ground for C Acnes bacteria
  • Inflammation

Not all acne is the same though. Acne can range from a few black heads and white heads through to a face full of smaller zits plus the larger, painful throbbing nodules and cysts.

All acne, mild or severe will benefit from vitamin A which is now considered the mainstay of treatment of acne. 

Vitamin A helps increase skin cell turnover, to prevent excessive build-up of dead skin cells. 

It is also comedolytic (pimple busting) and anti-inflammatory. Of the over the counter retinoids, retinal (AKA retinaldehyde) is the most effective and the least irritating form of Vitamin A. 

Prescription retinoids often cause irritation, redness, dryness and even peeling.

Hydroxy acids, which gently exfoliate and unclog pores, also help reduce excess skin cells and oil clogging up the pores and causing pimples.

Vitamin B3 AKA Niacinamide is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, and reduces sebum or oil production. It can also improve that all important skin barrier function by preventing water loss through the epidermis (the outer skin layer). 

Given that many people with acne have dry skin underlying their overproduction of oil, this too can be helpful for acne.

It is not recommended to use toners, alcohol based products or scrubs as they dry out the skin and cause more inflammation.


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