Acne Mechanica

Saturday, June 17, 2017 - 7:39am

Have you ever noticed getting acne wherever your skin is constantly rubbed on, like wearing a hat or helmet, or playing the violin?  You are victim of acne mechanica.

Acne mechanica is acne that is caused by skin friction, heat, pressure on the skin, or when skin isn’t exposed to the air. Sweaty, constantly rubbed skin can quickly break out in a bothersome rash that’s really acne. The most common causes of acne mechanica include wearing:

  • A helmet with a chin strap
  • A tightly fitting hat for a long time
  • Any equipment or gear that requires using straps, such as a backpack
  • A musical instrument pushed against the skin for long periods (like a violin)
  • Shoulder pads
  • Tight, synthetic headbands
  • Tightly fitting clothing or bras


Who gets Acne Mechanica?

Certain factors increase the risk of developing acne mechanica, making some people more likely to get it. Acne mechanica is most likely to affect:

  • Teenagers and adults in their twenties, who already have a problem with acne.
  • Soldiers, especially young ones, who are stationed in hot, humid, tropical areas: They get acne mechanica because of the heavy equipment and weapons that they carry.  Humidity itself can cause the pores to swell and contribute to acne.


Treatment and Prevention for Acne Mechanica

You want to treat acne mechanica the same as any other acne – using the right products for the type of acne that you get – and, most importantly, using those products in the right way.  Preventing this acne from forming in the first place with the right products can keep it at bay.  Because this type of acne has clear causes, you can try to prevent acne mechanica by:

  • Taking a shower promptly after exercising or sweating — making sure that your skin is thoroughly cleansed.
  • Not wearing a hat, helmet, or headband for long periods of time.
  • If you do have to wear a helmet, try putting some petrolatum jelly on the areas that rub
  • Putting on a T-shirt — make sure it’s made of absorbent cotton and is clean — beneath a uniform to help soak up sweat and minimize skin friction.
  • Not wearing clothes that are too tight.


Let Medical Esthetics by Katie, an Acne Specialist get you on a treatment program that will thwart acne mechanica!


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