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What Causes Acne all Over Your Body?

Acne or pimples is a common problem especially among the teenagers. Acne are known to occur on your face but do not be surprised if you see them all over the body. The blackheads can affect any and every part of the body. Apart from the face, pimples or acne can occur on your back, under arms, shoulders, neck, stomach, chest etc. Acne on the back is more common than other parts of the body. Body acne is not an unusual form of acne and thus the causes of body acne are not different from the facial acne.

What Causes Acne all Over Your Body?

What Causes Acne all Over Your Body?

It is normal to have acne all over the body not only in teenagers but people in any age group. Comparatively, it is more common in males as compared to females.

Common Causes of Acne All Over Your Body Include Bacteria, Excess Oil and Dead Skin Cells

Body acne is not a severe medical condition. There can be numerous reasons for acne but some are more common than others. The most common causes of body acne include production of excess oil, dead human skin cells & bacterial infection on skin.

The basic factor that triggers the acne on any part of the body is the clogging of pores on the skin. Skin pores are known as follicles. The main reason for the clogging of pores is the deposition of dead cells that covers these pores, trapping the dirt and moisture inside. Body acne can also occur due to the production of excess oil or sweat on the skin. The block pores are the ideal sites for the acne causing bacteria to grow and reproduce leading to inflammation. The simple blackheads can become severe when the immune system sends out white blood cells to the site of inflammation leading to pus formation. It makes the acne severe and painful.

Body acne is just another form of acne that does not restrict them to face. Body acne is usually noticed on the upper half of your body but it may also occur on your thighs or legs. The parts of your body that have high density of sebaceous glands under the skin are more prone to acne. Sebaceous glands are responsible for producing oil on the skin, also known as sebaceous. When there are more glands per unit square of area, more oil is released in such areas. As we have already seen above that excessive oil on the skin leads to clogging of pores, increasing the risk of body acne.

Body Acne Can Also Be Caused Due To Sweat, Friction or Heat in Specific Areas of Your Body

Apart from the high density of sebaceous glands, there are some other factors such as sweat, friction and heat that can lead to body acne. The choice of clothes becomes important if you are prone to acne. When the weather is warm or you work out at the gym, a lot of sweat is produced. If you are not wearing the right clothes that absorb the sweat and allow for aeration; the sweat can continue to accumulate leading to breakouts. The friction between the clothes and the body can also produce excess heat and sweat, causing irritation and inflammation in the follicles. This is another cause of body acne.

It is strongly recommended that you wear loose and comfortable clothes to allow the body acne to heal. Identify the common source of friction such as backpacks, athletic pads or gear, purse straps, tight fitting clothes etc. that might be causing body acne.

Body acne can be avoided if you avoid causes of friction when you are working on treating body acne. The causes of friction involve too snug collars, tight fitting cloths, purse straps, backpacks & gear or athletic pads. Do not allow the sweat to accumulate by taking shower after exercising whenever possible. Prevent rubbing your skin or using harsh cleansing chemicals on skin.


  1. American Academy of Dermatology Association. (2021). Acne. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Acne. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acne/
  3. WebMD. (2021). Understanding Acne — the Basics. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/understanding-acne-basics
  4. Verywell Health. (2021). How to Prevent and Treat Body Acne. https://www.verywellhealth.com/prevent-and-treat-body-acne-4154037

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 16, 2023

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