We associate some parts of the body with acne – namely, the face or back and shoulders. However, acne can develop anywhere on the skin that contains hair follicles including the chest, buttocks, and genitals. This means the only excluded areas are the palms and soles of the feet. But while pores and hair follicles can become clogged anywhere, some parts of the body are more exposed to dead skin cells, sweat, and other debris than others.
Whether you’re a teen or an adult, have tried topical and oral medication, acne is liable to appear anywhere. For some people, that could mean some strange, rarely discussed body parts. If you’re not expecting to see acne in a certain place, however, you may not be sure it’s a pimple. In some cases, what looks like an acne lesion could be something different, like a wart or other growth. If you want your bump professionally identified, or if you need acne treatment for a less common location, schedule a visit with Zel Skin & Laser Specialists. We can assess your lesion and provide a way forward.
Acne on the Chest
The chest is a relatively common place to develop acne. Those who are prone to acne vulgaris, or hormonal acne, may see blemishes develop on the chest. Any type of acne can develop on the chest, including blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. In most cases, this is the result of insufficient hygiene. Regularly showering, especially with acne-fighting body wash, can significantly reduce chest acne. These lesions could also be the result of tight-fitting clothing, or perhaps a bad reaction to a skin product. If you’re having trouble identifying the acne symptoms, consult your dermatologist.
Acne on the Buttocks
While it’s not common to talk about acne on the buttocks, most people will experience these pimples at some point in their lives. In most cases, these bumps are either acne vulgaris or acne mechanica. Acne vulgaris occurs when the oil glands in the skin overproduce sebum, clogging pores and creating inflammation. Acne mechanica occurs when friction is present, such as when a person wears tight-fitting clothing. Both types of acne on the buttocks will respond well to treatment.
In some cases, this “acne” is not truly acne. The blemishes on this part of the body are also likely to be the result of folliculitis, which occurs when hair follicles become inflamed. The bumps may also be keratosis pilaris, which looks like small, skin-colored or red bumps across the skin. This condition is caused by the overproduction of keratin. If you are unsure if the bumps you are experiencing are truly acne, visit the dermatologist to get them checked out. In the meantime, preventative and management tips include switching to cotton underwear, refraining from wearing tight-fitting clothing, and not scrubbing at the blemishes in the shower.
Acne on the Genitals
The skin on and around the genitals is some of the most sensitive tissue in the body. As a result, developing pimples and other forms of acne can be very easy. Genital pimples are typically formed as a result of clogged pores and ingrown hairs, but they may also be acne-like folliculitis. Additionally, what looks like acne may be contact dermatitis, which can be a reaction to skincare products, wipes, condoms, lubricants, douches, laundry detergent, and other materials. Skin can also become irritated due to perspiration or friction from tight-fitting clothing.
However, some acne on the genitals may be something more serious. Acne symptoms can often align with symptoms of genital herpes. Both will likely appear as a cluster of red bumps, will itch, and may contain pus. If you’re unsure if what your experiencing is a regular acne lesion or something different, schedule a visit with your doctor.
Acne Around the Eyes
Some people experience acne-like symptoms around their mouth, nose, and eyes. In most cases, these bumps aren’t pimples at all – they’re periorificial dermatitis. This condition is common and related to rosacea. It is characterized by itchy or tender small, red papules. Periorificial dermatitis is treated similarly to rosacea, but when it is around the eyes, excessive steroid use is discouraged. This condition can also occasionally appear near or on the genitals.
If you’re not expecting to see acne somewhere on the body, its appearance may take you by surprise. If this happens, don’t panic. Acne can occur nearly anywhere, and finding a pimple in a strange place is very common. That said, if you aren’t sure if what you’re seeing is just a pimple, visit one of our Minneapolis-area dermatology offices. We can look at the bump and diagnose it as either routine acne, an acne-like rash, or something more serious. Don’t wait to see if it goes away on its own. With our help, you can receive the advice and treatment you need. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.