An update on body acne (truncal acne)

I’ve written post on this a while ago, and not much data was available then regarding truncal acne.

So here’s an update on another common issue : Truncal acne.

Truncal acne refers to the acne involving the back and or chest. Around 50% of patients with facial acne also suffer from truncal acne while ~ 3% suffer from just truncal acne without any acne on their face.

How is it different from facial acne?

Truncal acne has been neglected in comparison to facial acne. Not much studies are available on this entity and treatment options are limited as well. Creams or gel that are available for face may not be enough or prove to be too costly for application over large surface areas such as the back or the chest.

Triggers for truncal acne

Triggers are external factors that could cause development of acne in genetically predisposed individuals.

Whey protein supplements have been reported to cause acne eruption in body builders

How is body acne treated?

In general, treatment of truncal acne follows the same principles as for facial acne.

The only difference is that one needs to be mindful for the choice of products for truncal acne. A small 15g cream or gel may prove to be too costly as it may not be enough to treat large surface areas such as the back and chest.

Lotion or foam formulation may be a better and more convenient choice for the back/chest.

Few are available as over the counter (OTC), while medications such as antibiotics, retinoids or steroids require prescription and supervision by a dermatologist

OTC products for truncal acne

Products available at my amazon page
Products available at my amazon page

Conditions that can be confused for truncal acne

When to see a dermatologist?

When OTC products fail to work

When in doubt of the diagnosis and how to use these products

If you have a personal history of developing hypertrophic or keloidal scars (thick, large scars), early treatment will help prevent such scar formation

Severe extensive involvement may require a course on antibiotics or isotretinoin

Managing post truncal acne scars either atrophic, hypertrophic or pigmented scars may require in office procedures such as chemical peels or LASERS, etc