9 things that cause acne on different parts of the body—and how to improve your health!



December 18, 2018 Updated: December 18, 2018

Acne. It’s the bane of existence for millions all over the world, and the number of adults suffering from acne is growing. While miracle treatments abound, the best approach is a long-term, educated understanding of the various root causes of the disease, wherever it may occur on the body.

While we mostly associate acne as occurring on the face and back, it can actually occur anywhere on the body, even on the elbows! Acne is not only uncomfortable but is a psychological burden too, as many who suffer from the disease become self-conscious and feel frustrated, unable to treat the condition successfully.

There are a lot of products aimed at acne treatment—think of all those cliche “before-and-after” photos and celebrity promotions. So-called “miracle cures” abound. Yet, the best approach may not be an instant cure, but a long-term, educated approach.

Let’s take a look at the various causes of acne, its different forms, where the condition manifests and why, and most importantly what you can do to help treat acne:

Stages of acne:

©Shutterstock | Teguh Mujiono

There are various reasons why acne occurs on different areas of our bodies, with various methods of prevention and treatment corresponding to each area.

Some cases of acne may indicate deeper, gastrointestinal issues, which makes such acne a symptom of underlying health issues. For other acne cases, the solution may be as simple as changing your clothes more often.

Here are some of the places on the body where acne can occur:

1. Acne on the legs and butt

Most people nowadays own at least one pair of tight-fitting pants. Whether they are skinny jeans or gym pants, these materials cling to our bodies like a second skin.

And therein lies the problem, as this may prevent the skin from breathing, shedding and cooling, thus causing clogged pores—and that is how you get acne.

So, if you are getting acne on the legs or butt, then consider examining your wardrobe and making sure you let your skin breath more often, so as not to clog the pores of your skin.

2. Acne over the stomach

This is probably not the six pack you were hoping for at the gym… If acne occurs on the stomach, it could actually be an indication of improper sugar levels.

An imbalance in sugar levels can indicate serious medical issues, possibly leading to more long-term problems.

It would be wise to contact your physician for an appointment to make sure your sugar levels, hormones, and other levels are in check.

3. Acne on the arms and elbows

Acne, often appearing as little red bumps on the elbow and the upper arms, is often Keratosis Polaris, a harmless condition that causes the skin to feel rough like sandpaper.

This condition is the result of an accumulation of dead cells, as well as poor circulation in the afflicted area.

To treat this, consider finding some ways to stretch the arms thoroughly, or engage in physical activity, which stimulates blood flow to the arms. Also, don’t forget to thoroughly exfoliate the area every day.

4. Acne on the chest

Acne occurring on the chest area certainly puts a dampener on wearing a dress, tank top, or swim suit, but the good news is this is actually an easier fix that you may have imagined.

When acne occurs here, it often indicates digestive issues. By addressing this, the acne should naturally decrease and even disappear.

Make sure you eat a lot of fibrous fruits and veggies to improve your digestion. After eating plenty of fiber and drinking a lot of water, this should resolve the issue.

5. Cystic acne or ‘bacne’

Often uncomfortable for anyone wearing a purse, backpack, messenger bag—you name it, bacne can be quite literally a pain in the back!

Cystic acne on the shoulder and back area is actually indicative of a digestive or nervous system problem.

In fact, this is not an issue to take lightly and you should contact your physician or dermatologist as soon as possible about the condition. With proper treatment from the source, the symptoms will naturally improve.

6. Acne on the shoulder and neck

With acne on the rise among adults, it’s no surprise that this common occurrence is stress-related.

Find ways to destress, and put aside time for yourself to relax. If you treat both your mind and body well, acne in this area should decrease.

7. Acne on the jawline

Acne on the jawline is associated with hormonal imbalances and disorders, so contact your physician to get a hormone screening to see if something may be off.

Additionally, for women who wear a lot of makeup, take a look at your beauty products and make sure good ingredients are used. Also, thoroughly wash your face, making sure to lightly exfoliate every day.

1 – 9 Acne on the body chart

Below is a complete chart outlining the cause of acne corresponding to the afflicted areas on the body.

1. Hormone levels and imbalances
2. Stress
3. Digestive system problems
4. Vitamin deficiency
5. Blood sugar levels
6. Hygiene issues or STD’s
7. Sensitive skin and allergies
8. Nervous system, or digestive system problems
9. Digestive system problems or disorders

So, while we may not have that instant miracle cure just yet, there is, in fact, a ton of knowledge out there for treating acne.

It is an increasing challenge to maintain a good diet and healthy lifestyle these days, especially with all the stresses and processed foods of modern living. So, make sure to reexamine your life habits and make adjustments accordingly. Then, not only will your skin condition improve, but so too will your health, spirits, and overall well-being.