Acne is a common skin condition. Most of us likely dealt with it as teenagers; and some are unfortunate enough to continue dealing with it long into adulthood.
Having acne on your arms can be difficult to manage. Do you use the same products you use on your face? Can you just hide it and pretend it doesn’t exist? But like all acne, there are answers to your questions.
The first step in determining how to get rid of your arm acne is in identifying that the breakouts are indeed what you think they are.
Acne can occur anywhere on your body, but if it occurs on your arms, it’s likely also on your face, the most common place for female acne. It’s typically caused by a combination of four different factors: oil production, bacteria (specifically Propionibacterium acnes), inflammation, and dead skin cells. Things like hormonal fluctuations, stress, diet, cosmetics, and genetics may play a role in whether you develop acne.
There are several types of acne, including:
One particular form of acne worth noting is acne mechanica. Acne mechanica occurs when friction occurs between the skin and heavy clothing or equipment. It’s common under athletic equipment. Intense heat and friction irritate the skin and create the perfect environment for papules and pustules.
The good news about having acne on your arms, if there is any, is that it’s typically easy to treat. The treatment of acne involves stopping your current breakout and preventing new ones. Consulting with a dermatologist or healthcare provider can ensure you spend less time testing out anti-acne treatments in search of something that will actually work, though not all acne treatments require a prescription.
The following are some acne solutions that have considerable scientific support for their use:
Acne is just one possible culprit for the lesions and pimple-like breakouts on your arms. However, there are others. And treating your arms for acne when they’re suffering with a different condition could worsen your breakouts. If you’re at all unsure of the cause of your “pimples,” talk with a healthcare provider.
Folliculitis is an infection in the hair follicles that resembles an acne breakout. The lesions may have red rings around them, itch or hurt.
This condition occurs when the hair follicles are damaged, making them vulnerable to bacterial invasion. This damage can occur from tight clothing, rubbing your skin, having skin rub against skin, or from shaving.
A healthcare provider may prescribe an antibiotic to speed recovery from folliculitis.
Keratosis pilaris results from dead skin cells, and is actually most common on your upper arms and thighs.
This condition may resemble red goosebumps or the “skin of a plucked chicken,” according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The condition is harmless, but may be treated by keeping skin moisturized.
Hey ladies — acne still sucks. But when it shows up on your arms, it can be a whole new level of annoying.
Luckily, treating acne on your arms isn’t so different from treating acne on your face. Your healthcare provider or a certified dermatology practitioner will be able to guide you toward an effective treatment regimen, which may include things like topical or oral retinoids, antibiotics or even hormonal birth control.
Learning how to identify what type of acne is affecting your arms can also help you pinpoint over-the-counter remedies that might help the healing process. Our guide to getting rid of acne fast has all the information you need to help fight acne on your arms fast.
Of course, a solid skincare regimen is never a bad idea, either.