Acne on the shoulder is very annoying. It can make you feel uncomfortable when you wear sleeveless clothes during the warm months. This is a common skin condition, especially for teenagers. According to statistics, 30% of young people in the United States suffer from shoulder acne.
Shoulder acne can also appear on the back, neck, and upper arm area. In general, men tend to get acne on their backs and shoulder region, while women tend to get a pimple on their faces.
Shoulder acne may be mild, moderate, or severe. It may cause pain, redness, and skin swelling with pustules, cysts, and enlarged skin pores.
The cause of shoulder acne is the same as the acne in the other parts of your body. Excess sebum, dead skin cells, and other impurities may clog the hair follicles on your shoulders and cause acne to break out.
Common Causes of Shoulder Acne
- Dirt, dead skin cells, and excess sebum may block the pores in the skin and cause shoulder acne.
- Food allergies, drug allergies, or certain product allergies can lead to redness and acne on the skin.
- Taking steroids can cause acne on your shoulders.
- Shoulder acne can appear due to hormonal changes, such as adolescence.
- Wearing tights during exercise can prevent sweat from evaporating, leading to acne.
- Some oily cosmetics or skin care products can irritate your skin.
- Shaving, waxing, or laser treatment can also damage the skin.
- Some diseases, such as diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or undernutrition, can cause acne.
- People who are obese or have a weakened immune system are more likely to suffer from acne.
8 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Shoulder Acne in a Week
When you suffer from shoulder acne, it is very important to maintain good hygiene. In addition, some effective home remedies can help get rid of acne fast.
Method 1: Take a Shower Regularly
Bathing or showering regularly is an easy way to maintain skin hygiene and eliminate shoulder acne.
Oils and sweat can easily build up in the skin pores of your shoulders during a hot and sweaty workout. This may cause shoulder acne to occur.
If you want to get rid of this condition, take a shower immediately after you finish your workout.
Step 1. Exfoliate your shoulders while showering.
- Gently massage the shoulders with an exfoliating shower mitt.
- Do not rub hard because this will irritate the skin and cause redness.
- Exfoliate your shoulders once a week; this can help remove the dead skin cells in the pores.
Step 2. Choose your beauty products carefully
- Avoid using irritating soaps or oil-based products on your shoulders while treating shoulder acne.
- When showering, wash out the conditioner on your hair, and don’t leave any chemical residue on your shoulders.
Step 3. Remove dirt and sebum with a gentle cleanser
- Choose a gentle cleanser such as Clinique Acne Solutions and Oxy Body Wash.
- The cleansers’ alpha hydroxy or benzoyl peroxide can help remove the sebum and dirt accumulated on your shoulder skin.
- Avoid sun exposure when using these products because the benzoyl peroxide in the product can increase the risk of sunburn.
Method 2: Apply Apple Cider Vinegar(ACV)
Apple cider vinegar is one of the best ways to treat shoulder acne at home.ACV has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can help eliminate redness and irritation.
The acid in the ACV can naturally remove the excess sebum, dirt, and dead skin cells from the pores. Moreover, it can exfoliate the skin and balances the skin’s pH levels effectively.
Step 1. Dilute ACV with water
- Dilute 1 tablespoon of raw ACV with 3 tablespoons of water.
Step 2. Mix well and apply the solution to your acne
- Mix the ACV and water well.
- Soak a small cotton ball in the solution and apply it to the affected skin.
Step 3. Rinse off and apply a moisturizer
- Wait for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water.
- Gently dry the skin with a soft towel and apply a moisturizer.
Do this 2 or 3 times daily until the shoulder acne disappears.
Alternatively, you can add 1 teaspoon of raw honey with 2 teaspoons of ACV into a glass of water, then drink the solution 1-2 times daily for additional effect.
Method 3: Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another effective method to get rid of acne.
It has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties that can eliminate the bacteria causing acne on your shoulders.
Moreover, Tea tree oil can help remove the soreness and redness on the skin.
A new study from the Indian Journal of Dermatology shows that applying 5% tea tree oil to the affected area can effectively remove mild or moderate acne. (1)
Step 1. Dilute the tea tree oil
- Prepare a small bowl and add a small amount of fresh water.
- Add 1 to 2 drops of tea tree oil to the water for dilution.
Step 2. Dab the diluted oil on the acne
- Mix the solution well.
- Soak a cotton swab in the mixture and gently dab it on the skin.
- Leave it on for about 40 minutes, then rinse it with cool water.
Repeat this process twice every day for a week. You can also leave the oil on the shoulder overnight.
Alternatively, add 1-2 teaspoons of honey and 3-4 drops of tea tree oil into the water. Mix the solution thoroughly and apply it to the affected area. Wait for 20-30 minutes, then rinse off with cool water. Repeat this process 1-2 times every day.
Note: Remember to dilute with water before using tea tree oil. This is because the undiluted tea tree oil is irritating and may cause redness, itching, and inflammation.
Method 4: Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a natural ingredient for treating shoulder acne, especially sensitive skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help clear dirt, excess oil, and dead skin cells.
You can add some honey and lemon juice to make an oatmeal mask. Honey can help opens your clogged pores and moisturize your skin. Lemon has antibacterial properties that can exfoliate your skin and reduce the inflammation of the skin.
Step 1. Mix the oatmeal with honey and lemon juice
- Place 2-3 tablespoon of oatmeal into a small bowl and grind it.
- Add 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the oatmeal.
- Mix all the ingredients thoroughly to make an oatmeal mask.
Step 2. Apply and massage
- Apply the mixture on your shoulders and massage using circular motions for 2-3 minutes.
Step 3. Rinse off and apply a moisturizer
- Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and rinse it with lukewarm water.
- Apply a moisturizer to moisturize your skin.
You can do this 1-2 times daily until the shoulder acne disappears.
Method 5: Aloe Vera
The gel of Aloe Vera is very effective in removing shoulder acne. It has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help prevent fungal infections and cure scars on the skin. (2)
Moreover, it has astringent properties that help soothe and soften your skin.
Step 1. Get fresh aloe vera gel
- Wash a piece of aloe leaf with water.
- Cut it open with a knife and squeeze the fresh gel into a small bowl.
Step 2. Apply and massage
- Apply the aloe vera gel on the shoulder and massage gently.
- Let it on the skin for some minutes until it dries.
Repeat this process 2 or 3 times a day until the shoulder acne disappears.
You can also add 1-2 teaspoons of honey to the aloe vera gel to get a mixture. Apply this on your shoulder for 10-15 minutes, then wash it off.
Method 6: Lemon
Lemon is a natural astringent that can help open clogged pores and dry out skin inflammation.
It contains vitamin C that has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. This can help remove dead skin cells and lighten dark skin.
Step 1. Get lemon juice
- Cut one lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a small bowl.
Step 2. Make a mixture and massage
- Add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to the juice. This can help increase the healing effect.
- Mix well and scrub your affected area with the mixture.
- Gently massage your skin for 2 or 3 minutes.
Step 3. Wash off and apply a lotion.
- Leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
- Wash it off and apply a moisturizing lotion.
- Repeat this process 1-2 times daily.
Method 7: Turmeric
For the treatment of shoulder acne, you cannot ignore Turmeric.
A study from Phytotherapy Research shows that turmeric can treat many skin issues, such as age spots, blackheads, and acne. (3)
Turmeric has an antibacterial property that can eliminate the bacteria causing acne.
In addition, turmeric is a natural antiseptic that can help prevent the inflammation and infection of the skin.
Step 1. Make a turmeric paste
- Mix 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric powder and 4-5 teaspoons of lukewarm water to make a paste.
Step 2. Apply it on the skin
- Apply the mixture to the affected area.
- Wait for 1-2 hours and wash it off with water.
Repeat this process 1-2 times daily for 1-2 weeks.
Method 8: Tomato juice
Packed with many vitamins and minerals, tomato juice is a good remedy for skin issues, including shoulder acne.
Moreover, tomato juice contains lycopene to help remove inflammation and rebuild new skin cells.
You can also add some honey and yogurt to increase the healing effect. They can help reduce inflammation and soothe your skin.
Step 1. Mash a tomato
- Mash half the tomato to make a puree in a small bowl.
Step 2. Add some honey and yogurt
- Add 1 teaspoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of yogurt to the tomato juice.
- Mix all the ingredients well to form a paste.
Step 3. Apply this mask to the skin
- Apply this mask to your affected area.
- Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes and wash it off with water.
How to Prevent Acne on Your Shoulder and Back
- Drink plenty of water to wash away the toxins in your body and regenerate skin cells.
- Avoid oily and spicy foods, which can exacerbate acne problems.
- Eat more foods rich in vitamins A, E, and zinc, such as green vegetables, fruits, and fish.
- Avoid shampoos, conditioners, and hairsprays that contain chemicals. They can easily cause acne on the shoulders or back.
- Avoid using irritating soaps and oily moisturizers, cosmetics, and sunscreen lotions.
- Avoid using detergents that contain irritating chemicals to wash your clothes. The residues left on clothes will irritate your skin.
- When going out, apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least SPF 30. Try to use natural organic sunscreen.
- Regularly clean blankets, bedspreads, and other bedding.
- Regularly exfoliate your skin to remove dead skin cells.
- Avoid carrying a backpack or wearing sports equipment for a long time; this can cause damage to your shoulder skin.
- If shoulder acne becomes worse, you’d better consult your dermatologist immediately.