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Understanding what different body blemishes mean 

Understanding what different body blemishes mean 

Spots can seem like a real mystery. One minute your skin is clear, the next it's covered in blemishes. Or maybe you're constantly fighting with pimples in the same areas on your face or body. In a two-part series we look at what spots in certain areas mean and what you can do to fight them. This week: blemishes on the body.

The back

Back acne is often dubbed 'bacne' and can be a real pain in the, well, back.

"Back acne (bacne) tends to be more prevalent in men, but is evidenced in both sexes and is commonly caused by irritation of the skin," Dr Anita Sturnham, from the NURISS Skincare & Wellness Clinic, explained.

"Anything that repeatedly rubs against the skin, such as backpacks, rough massages, tight fitting clothing, weight lifting machines which press on the shoulder area can irritate the skin and aggravate acne in that area."

So if you're struggling with impurities in this area, consider what your back comes in contact with. Wear loose, cotton clothing and go easy on the weight machines or massages for a few weeks to see if things improve.


If you suffer from raised pimples that look like goosebumps on your arms, it's likely you have keratosis pilaris. There's no need to panic, as it's very common and completely harmless. It just means that you have too much of a protein called keratin and it's building up under your skin. Cream that contain salicylic acid, lactic acid or urea are usually the best way to go. Priori Hand & Body Revitalizing Lotion has rave reviews from keratosis pilaris sufferers, who say it really helps with smoothing the affected area. Ameliorate's Skin Smoothing Body Lotion also goes a long way for those with bumpy arms.


Spots on the chest are often associated with lung problems. If you smoke or don't spend much time outdoors in fresh air, you could notice blemishes on your torso. Kicking the cigarette habit is step one for smokers, while city dwellers should consider a trip to the countryside or seaside. Also try and keep your diet healthy and balanced.


It might not seem obvious, but spotty shoulders could point to a digestive problem. If you've noticed a change in your bowel habits, feel constantly worried and also suffer from pimples on your shoulders, try drinking a lot of green tea and upping your fibre intake. Of course you should see a doctor if these problems are extreme and/or consistent.

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