Holistic Body Acne Treatment

Last Modified on Apr 19, 2014

Natural body acne treatments keep the skin clean and moisturized by treating the acne prone areas with home remedies like Tea Tree Oil and Hydrogen Peroxide. Acne is a skin condition caused by excess production of bacteria in the pores of the skin. While the condition is often thought of as merely a facial skin condition, acne can occur anywhere on the body. Acne that develops on other parts of the body is called body acne and responds well to gentler, natural treatment options.

What is Body Acne?

Body acne forms in much the same way as facial acne – through the overproduction of bacteria in the pores. However, body acne often appears thicker than facial acnes as the pores elsewhere on the body are larger. Body acne can form on the chest, shoulders, arms, legs, and buttocks and often appears as large red sores and lesions.

Natural Remedies for Acne on the Back and Body

Body acne is often considered a genetic condition, which often makes it difficult to identify a treatment option that is not too harsh for the skin. Natural treatments, however, not only treat acne but also nourish and moisturize the skin. Apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil and borax are among the most effective, least abrasive treatments for body acne.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar in an alternative treatment that can be used as both a toner applied to the skin and a supplement taken orally. The vinegar functions to balance the pH of the body and eliminate breakouts naturally. Apple cider vinegar is also a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is also lauded as a natural antiseptic agent with anti-inflammatory properties. The chemicals in tea tree oil kill bacteria in the skin, naturally reducing body acne. Tea tree oil is a natural skin moistureizer that also reduces redness and inflammation.


Borax is considered a natural cleaning agent that functions to treat acne in a variety of ways. The compound is a powerful antimicrobial agent, so it eliminates bacteria and other toxins in and on the skin. Borax is also considered a hormone normalizer as well as an anti-inflammatory agent, both properties that make it an effective cleanser for treating body acne.

Acne anywhere on the body can cause physical and emotional damage. However, natural remedies effectively treat acne and reduce the risk of this damage naturally.

Acne Inversa Remedies

01/26/2014: Jennifer from United States: "I have been suffering from self diagnosed acne inversa for 20yrs. At this point I am so desperate for it to be all over with. I just recently had a flare up under my right arm and have several holes where the infection came out of. One of them is an open area that looks like I was stabbed. It's the largest I've ever had. Under my left arm I have been "leaking" for the past four months after a flare up. Funny thing about my last flare up was that when the boil finally busted- after a bath with epsom salt- it seemed like all of my affected areas started to leak at the same time. My other arm pit began leaking more the areas on my abdomen began to weep as well. I would like to know what can I do to close the holes and help myself heal. I have been doing alot of research and have a beginning regimen prepared but feel that I have to heal from these last flare ups to begin it. Please help!!! I don't know how much more I can take."

01/27/2014: Nanowriter from Hotspot, Texas replies: "Jennifer, I don't have any direct experience with your disease, but here are my thoughts and suggestions.

I think your disease is caused by a virus, and that the weeping of fluid from your sores after the magnesium sulfate bath was a sign of the virally infected cells bursting due to the magnesium, sulfate or both. I would see that as a good thing and the reason it was global is because the minerals were absorbed into your body and thus attacking the virus everywhere.

I would begin taking vitamin C to bowel tolerance every two hours and also use a trace mineral supplement. Experiment with the antivirals like selenium, colloidal silver, baking soda, olive leaf extract, etc. Always a good idea to research them first and I always check the Amazon reviews to see what has worked for other people, etc.

You might want to experiment with the epsom salt baths to see if it improves your condition. It may take several baths and it may look worse before it starts to get better. Mineral baths are an old treatment for skin problems.

Please let us know what works and what doesn't!"

01/27/2014: Louwrence from Rustenburg, South Africa replies: "Hi Jennifer, Make magnesiumsulfate (epsom salts) paste by grinding the epsom salts untill it is very fine then add glycerine very slowly until it is a firm paste. Put it onto the holes to draw out the junk, then you may solve the problem. It may be painful in the begining, when it does not burn anymore the hole is clean & should heal. Cover with a plaster."

Aloe Vera Gel

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  12/02/2007: Jack from New York City, NY: "I had bad acne on my outer thighs and butt. Tried all different scrubs and creams but they were never fully effective. Cleaning with which hazel and then putting Aloe Vera gel on my skin has cleared it all up! It has taken a few weeks, but I can visibly see a difference and I'm not getting any new pimples. The Aloe Vera gel (100% with no coloring) has also reduced the redness on my face - it's great stuff!"

Apple Cider Vinegar

Approval Ratings
YEA (2)

[YEA]  07/13/2012: Edith from Ventura, California: "Organic ACV used as an allover toner after showering worked for my boyfriend. He is 45 and has had incurable cystic acne on his back and bottom since he was 12. The cysts were very large, purplish, and would explode and leave painful, weeping, wounds. After two weeks of ACV application, and drinking three tablespoons per day, his acne completely disappeared. I think that it was the topical application that helped him the most. Thank you to everyone who posted information about ACV--it has really helped a lot."

[YEA]  07/29/2011: Vanessa from Clovis, Ca: "Have had acne since early teens and I'm now 22 and have tried EVERYTHING! I saw all of these post about ACV and decided to try it. Iv'e been on it for about 3 weeks and have seen a really big difference in my shin. My chest is completely clear and back 90% better. Face 99% better! :)

I cant drink it with water its horrible! So Iv'e been just taking a measuring spoon 1 tablespoon of the ACV one in the morning and one at night and having a glass of water in my other hand and drink ACV first then drink glass of water right after. Ive also been using ACV on a cotton ball each night as a toner on my face chest and back and sleep on it and shower in the morning. It has worked wonders. I will use this tool for the rest of my life! :)"

07/12/2012: Freya from Kent, England replies: "Hi, I was just wondering how long did you use this apple cider method for before you started to see an improvement, please be honest?!"

Apple Cider Vinegar, Tea Tree Oil

Approval Ratings
YEA (2)

[YEA]  07/16/2011: Misty from Somewhere, Indiana, Usa: "Another "yea" for ACV/TTO. My favorite method of application is to soak some cotton in vinegar (the pasteurized cheap stuff works), then add 1-3 drops tea tree oil. I then use tape or an adhesive bandage to stick the cotton over the acne sore. I leave it there for hours. Even new pimples can disappear (or at least significantly shrink) in less than a day using this method.

Warning: I advise using this method only on non-sensitive areas. If you experience painful burning, this may not be the right method for you. The area will be a little red, especially if you use a larger piece of cotton than is your pimple."

[YEA]  05/31/2010: Lor from Greensboro, Nc: "Backne Treatment/Cure

My son is only 14 and was suffering from Backne(acne on the back) for about a year. It was getting worse from sweaty sports and it got to be that he would not remove his shirt so I could examine it. When he finally agreed I was sad b/c he was young and already suffering with body issues.

I went to work investigating and trying different products. I read about a TX of Apple Cider Vinegar and Tea Tree oil.

He started treating himself by GENTLE washing with acne face wash and DRYING of back (no scrubbing or harsh cleaners). He then uses Stridex pad to further clean. He then dabs on Tea Tree oil with a cotton square and then dabs on Apple Cider Vinegar with a clean square.

The results are amazing. He does this at least once a day and often twice during sports or when needed. He is very impressed by the results and I am thrilled by the all natural ingredients and expense $10 for a bottle of TTO and $2 for a quart of ACV. He has been doing this for 6 months now.

The one caveot is the smell of the TTO. It really stinks. You will get used to it so dont be afraid. Also it will dissapate after 20 minutes. My son usually goes with out his shirt for 20 minutes and no one has commented on any smell so he is happy.

He has classmates that are on all kinds of medicine and tx from dermatologist and still dont have the kind of results that we have had."


Approval Ratings
YEA (2)

[YEA]  09/08/2011: Maria from Syracuse, Ny: "I have tried some of the remedies on the Earth Clinic site for bacne. I have had bacne my whole adult life. After using the 20 Mule team Borax on a back brush every morning in the shower my back is clear of acne! It did take about 2 months for it to clear up. I am so glad to have found this site. I love how my back looks now."

[YEA]  12/21/2008: Rachel from Montclair, NJ: "Borax instead of soap: After reading all of the information about borax on the earthclinic website, I decided to experiment with it. I started using borax in place of the liquid bodywash that I normally used in the shower. I have always had breakouts on my chest and back and have tried everything (acne creams, soaps, kits for problem skin, alcohol, changing laundry detergent) and never had any lasting success keeping my skin clear from breakouts. Well let me tell you, since I started using the borax to wash myself with, my skin is COMPLETELY CLEAR! I've been using the borax now for about two months straight and will never go back to bodywash. I also started using it on my face and I will no longer buy facial cleansers again since the borax works so well. I still do use regular shampoo. I tried using just borax to wash my hair and the first day my hair looked great but the following two days my hair looked terrible. I now add a small handful of borax to my shampoo and use that with very good results. It is winter in NJ right now and usually I have a lot of static in my hair, but the borax seems to be counteracting that. I attribute the lack of static to the borax as that is the only different thing I am doing.

One last thing, the borax that I am using is the stuff you can get in the laundry aisle--20 Mule team borax. I love using borax and I love the Earthclinic website!"

EC: Read more about borax here: http://www.earthclinic.com/Remedies/borax.html

02/20/2009: Pam from Garner, NC replies: "I would like to know the recipe for 20 mule team borox body wash."
10/11/2012: Citygirl27 from Richardson, Tx, Usa replies: "Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup (depending on load size) of Borax to your washing machine loads. Do this for a good few loads to make sure no nasties are residing in your clothes or sheets. Also adding vinegar in the "bleach" part of your washing machine, instead of bleach, is beneficial. You can use ordinary white vinegar, no need to use your expensive ACV :) ."

Borax, Sea Salt, Tea Tree Oil

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  08/17/2012: Gizmo from Springfield, Mo: "I had tried practically EVERYTHING to try to rid myself of acne on my legs and buttocks. I had a lot of tiny pimples and large red ones. It was embarassing and made me self-conscious. I stumbled across an article about the therapeutic benefits of ocean water and clearing up complexion. I decided to experiment and purchased Sea Salt (made from evaporated sea water) and Tea Tree Oil. I mixed 1/4 cup of salt and 1/4 tsp of Tea Tree Oil in a spray bottle with hot water.

When I take a shower, I use a bit of 20 Mule Team Borax (the kind in the laundry detergent aisle) and wash my acne prone areas with this. After I dry off, I spray the sea salt/tea tree oil mixture on my buttocks/thigh area and leave it on there for the rest of the day. I work from home so I was also reapplying the mist 2-3 times a day.

Sea salt will draw out the impurities from your skin so expect your acne to get a bit worse before you see results. After 4 days, there was a remarkable difference! I'm on day 7 and my little zits are all gone and I only have a few red ones left which have greatly reduced in size and redness. It will sting a bit but it is bearable. I've read it takes longer to have clear skin in that particular area so you will need to be patient. I had tried the apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, Witch hazel, exfoliating and borax alone before trying the sea salt and although it helped, I was still not happy.

I expect after another week, I will have perfect skin again! Good luck!"

Clay Mask

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  02/01/2012: Mary from Dallas, Tx, Usa: "I have suffered from pimples on my back and buttocks for most of my adult life. What I've found to be very helpful is to use a clay mask regularly - 1 to 2 times a week on the problem areas. I've even left it on over night.

Mint julep mask is very good for this.

Another tip: ladies, change your bra daily, I noticed I was getting breakouts in the area where my bra straps were - on the shoulder blades. I believe the sweat and dirt buildup on the straps contributes to the problem.

Make sure you are not constipated either, it will exacerbate the problem."

02/01/2012: Sophie from Dayton, Ohio, Usa replies: "I've had body acne and also folliculitus on my legs. The thing that helped me the most was taking weekly baths with ACV. I use just the regular grocery store kind, and I use about 4 cups in warm bath water. I soak until the water gets cold. Sometimes I add 2 cups of epsom salt if I have it around. In the begining I was taking the baths two to three times a week until the acne cleared up, now just once a week for maintainence. The baths also help prevent/eliminate shaving bumps."
02/02/2012: Francisca from Zug, Switzerland replies: "Hi, I advise you and everybody with skin or hair problems to read the book Skin Fitness, Safe and healthy skin care! I haven't finishing reading it yet so there are many details I haven't yet read but I already have some good tips: make sure your body don't overheat, during the day or at night (I often feel cold so I have always tended to over dress to make sure that I am hot enough, maybe because of that I have skin and hair problems! ), by trying to get used to live a bit colder you finish getting used to it (so I hope.... ). As far as washing your hair the authors advise people to use only a conditioner but I haven't yet read the details. I tried that today and I will see how it goes because when my perm is gone I don't want to go back to my overly straight hair, with no volume at all! Lately I tried a few methods of washing my hair like using baking soda but my hair got extremely dry, UT but the same thing happened. Then I tried only water but I looked like a homeless person with horrible hair. I know that usually you should try to quit using shampoo over a period of time so that the hair gets used to living without it but.... Difficult to look so bad.... Well, I will go on reading and if there are anymore useful tips I will pass them on. In the meanwhile one of the most important things seems to be: don't overheat!"

Coconut Oil

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  05/28/2013: Braveheart from Vancouver, Bc: "For Body Acne, put organic coconut oil all over your body and pick off any black specs that come out of your pores. Look closely you will see them. Some call it morgellons but I think it is a parasitic fungus everyone has but it affects others differently or not at all. Once we started getting them out of my whole family, all our acne/bumps/rashes started to go away."

Dietary Changes

Approval Ratings
YEA (2)

08/25/2010: Toriterese from Madison, Wi : "I've wondered about dietary changes for chest acne. I have done alot of changes to address my facial acne, and have noticed a direct link to dairy and facial acne. Any suggestion what chest acne would be? I've refined my diet pretty well... Can't figure this one out."

09/02/2010: Louis from Sydney, Australia replies: "Look in encyclopedia under 'Grover's Disease'"
[YEA]  09/02/2012: Dnkjn from Berks, Pa replies: "I had a food allergen with pork. Once I stopped eating pork my acne cleared up. I'm working on what other food(s) I might be allergic to as well."
10/11/2012: Citygirl27 from Richardson, Tx, Usa replies: "Wheat will often do the same. You may have a wheat sensitivity."

[YEA]  02/01/2008: V from Toronto, Canada: "Changing my diet cured my back acne after about 12 years of suffering. It was pretty bad, especially in winter, occasionally I had cysts on my back, and even two surgeries to remove them with nasty scars left, but I am a guy, and do not care much of the scars. I visited doctors, tried medications, and of course it didn't work well, because acne at an adult age is a sign of internal disorder, and it can not be cured by tablets or gels. Finally I went through a cleaning program by myself (colon and liver), stopped esting any artificial food, and also easy digested carbohydrates (bread, cookies, sugar, portatoes and so on), and my acne virtually disappered in some months. I have again it only if violate my diet."

03/19/2009: C.S.M from VERO BEACH, FL replies: "Popular Low-Glycemic Diet Shows Promise as Acne Treatment

This study was reported at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology today.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Health) Mar 09 - Most patients with acne report an improvement in their condition when they follow the low-glycemic diet originating in Florida known as the South Beach diet, researchers reported here at the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

Panta Rouhani, PhD, with the University of Miami, and colleagues analyzed 41-item questionnaires completed by 2,528 patients who said that they were on the diet at the time they completed the survey and 467 who were not following the diet.

"Today, it is generally accepted by dermatologists that diet and acne are not related; however, this notion is based on only two primary references," the authors wrote in their poster presentation.

"Diet is a well-recognized factor in acute and chronic hyperinsulinemia," they added. "Recent evidence suggests that diet-induced hyperinsulinemia triggers a hormonal cascade, eliciting an endocrine response that simultaneously triggers unregulated epithelial growth and keratinization as well as androgen-mediated sebum secretion."

The South beach diet mimics the nutritional characteristics of diets found in non-Westernized populations known to be acne-free, they said. It is free of processed foods, cereal grains, dairy products, refined sugars, and refined oils and almost entirely comprised of unprocessed fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, fish, and seafood.

Whether adherence to a low-glycemic diet can alter acne in Western populations is unknown.

In the study, patients with acne lesions (75.3%) were asked if any changes in their skin occurred and whether these changes were improvements in their acne.

Overall, 86.7% reported noted skin changes to be improvements (90.7% of those on acne treatment versus 81.7% of those untreated, p < 0.001).

Most (86.7%) noted these improvements within 3 months of starting the South Beach diet (58.0% of those on acne treatment versus 42.0% of those untreated, p = 0.34).

Of patients on conventional acne treatment, 91.0% either reduced the dose or amount of treatment they were using.

The investigators said that the improvement in acne after a low-glycemic diet suggests that lifestyle factors such as nutrition may indeed play a role in the pathogenesis of acne.

They added that future research is needed to further clarify the underlying pathophysiologic mechanism and independent roles of nutrition, weight loss, and exercise."

Epsom Salts

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  10/22/2008: Amanda Rene from Anderson, CA: "Prepare a bath as directed on the epsom salt container. Do not use ANY soap, bubble bath, etc in this bath. Soak in it for a couple minutes. Then, using a washcloth, scrub the skin for a minute or so. Soak the area in the bath for 20 minutes. Towel dry. Do this daily or every other day.

I found this out accidentally and I was pleasantly surprised to see it had an effect on my rear-end acne. I've been trying to get rid of it for 2 months! Soap and exfoliators seemed to make matters so much worse. After the first two soaks, the skin appeared softer and no longer red and inflamed. The cyst like formations were going away! I've been doing this for a week now and my skin looks and feels so much nicer now. I still have a few bumps but I bet they will be gone in another week. I hope this works as well for others as it did for me!"

10/23/2008: Trina from Calgary, Alberta replies: "i agree that the epsom salts is a great help for this. but i was told to stop using ketchup and stop eating cold meats because of the nitrates, i decided to give it a try. now i take the epsom bath for sore muscles because i dont have the body acne any longer... hope this helps"

Multiple Remedies

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)
NAY (1)

02/04/2012: Jennifer from Sunrise, Fl, Usa: "I've suffered from acne since I was 13, with bouts of body acne that spring up every now and then. Body acne is a humiliating and self esteem-damaging problem. One of the reasons that acne is so frustrating and hard to treat because a lot of us don't get to the root of the problem. Topical treatments just act like a band-aid to temporarily treat the existing blemishes, but doesn't keep new ones from popping up. To provide a lasting treatment for acne, you have to get to the root of the problem.

Here is a small, but certainly non-inclusive, list of what may be the problem and how to treat the acne problem accordingly.

Your acne might be hormonal if:

- You are female

- You are a young male/female (13-18 years old)

- You are pregnant

- You get breakouts around your menstrual cycle/you are menopausal

- You are taking steroids/growth hormone supplements

- You have a known (or suspected) hormone imbalance, such as a thyroid problem, PCOS, or have other symptoms of a hormone imbalance such as increased bodily hair, irregular periods, hair loss, or difficulty controlling weight.

- You have acne on your face as well as your body

If you have hormonal acne, clearly the way to treat it is to balance the hormones. For me and a lot of other women who suffered from hormonal acne, my skin cleared up considerably after taking birth control pills. Some women also notice their skin clearing considerably after taking hormone-balancing herbal supplements such as maca, raspberry leaf tea, dong quai, or spearmint tea. I have also seen a lot of women claim that drinking detox tea clears their skin considerably!

For all acne sufferers, you need to be on a CLEAN DIET. I travel to France several times a year and I notice that while many American girls have acne, I have rarely seen a French girl with even a blemish. Seeing the way that French girls eat, I am not surprised - the French eat mostly natural foods free of nasty American chemicals and preservatives. If you can't pronounce it, don't eat it. Also, wash fruits and veggies THOROUGHLY before eating, because American pesticides contain estrogen compounds. Another French habit I noticed - and that I think Americans need to do more of - is drink more water and less sodas. 8 glasses of water will help clear your skin and give it a healthy glow.

Your acne might be due to retention hyperkeratosis (failure of the skin to exfoliate itself) if:

- Your acne responds well to exfoliation/chemical peels/Retin-A

- You have a lot of clogged pores and blackheads

- Your acne gets worse after periods of sweating (such as going to the gym)

For me, clogged pores are the cause of my body acne problems. My skin responded beautifully to using Aqua Glycolic body wash with a Japanese bath towel in the shower. Just put a little dab of body wash on every morning and scrub away (if your skin is blemished, do not overscrub - it will aggravate your acne). Be patient with this treatment - body acne takes longer to go away than facial acne - it took me 2 months to get perfectly clear body skin. ALWAYS take a shower after sweating or if you have some kind of product on your skin - like sunscreen - that can clog your pores. Also, if you have a tendency to have clogged pores, watch what shampoos and conditioners you use. When you rinse your hair, take care that the lather does not touch your body. If you live in a humid/hot environment, wear cottons or other breathable fabrics, and do not wear tight-fitting clothes.

Your acne might be product-related if:

- You don't take measures to prevent shampoo/conditioner residue from hitting your back/buttocks/chest or area(s) where there is body acne

- Your shampoo/conditioner contains pore-clogging ingredients or SLS

- You are using a product to control your body acne and your body acne has flared up worse after using it

- You also have acne on your scalp/suspect you may be allergic to a shampoo/conditioner you are using

If you suspect you might have product-related acne, switch your products. If the acne clears up, the product might be the problem.

Your acne might be fungus (pityrosporum folliculitis) related if:

- You are a man (although this condition occurs with women too - but is more common with men)

- You have a rashey kind of body acne, with chronic, red, itchy pustules on the back and chest, or sometimes on the neck, shoulders, upper arms and face

- Your body acne occurs mostly in the summer, after you sweat with tight-fitting clothes on, during sports activities, or are hot/sweaty

- You have come in contact with someone else with a fungal infection

This is the kind of body acne my fiance, and a lot of other guys, suffer from. This kind of acne benefits from using an anti-fungal shampoo (Nizoral or Head and Shoulders), coconut oil, or an anti-fungal cream on the affected area. Do not wear tight-fitting clothes when working out - wear something breathable instead.

Band-aids (quick fixes) to heal existing acne in the meantime:

- Tea Tree Oil/Alcohol solution - the best to kill acne bacteria/dry out existing acne

- Benzoyl Peroxide 5% - very good at killing bacteria/drying out acne - but beware, it will stain clothing.

- Apple Cider Vinegar - a lot of people rave about this cure, but it hasn't worked for me. I recommend the brand with "the mother".

Good luck everyone, hope that this helps someone with this frustrating problem!"

[NAY]  05/18/2010: Loraine from Queens, Ny: "Hello Everyone: I do hope someone can help me here. My eleven year old daughter has the worst acne on her back ever. I have tried everything - milk thistle, borax, apple cider vinegar, zinc etc and nothing is helping. She feels very frustrated and is so depressed. Any recommedations would be greatly appreciated. Also, the marks are unsightly. Please advice what can be used to fade them. Thank you EC so much."

05/19/2010: Kerry from Port Alberni, Bc, Canada replies: "Just my personal experience, I used to have pretty bad acne on my face as a teen. What I found that worked best for me was to use a washcloth that was soaked in water that was as hot as I could stand. I'd lightly wring it out and put it on my face, leaving it there to open the pores. Then I'd scrub with the washcloth, fairly firmly. Then I'd repeat the process again.

It helped with my acne and kept it down quite a bit. Other teens that I went to school with tried it as well and it worked for them as well. I hope it works for your daughter as well, it can be quite frustrating."
05/19/2010: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi Loraine,

I'm sorry your daughter is experiencing this but you must really explore her diet. The acne is not the source of the problem but rather the outcome. All the outer remedies are not going to cut it. Go to the root source which is what she ingests. If she is eating the Standard American Diet (SAD), that is the source right there. The body needs whole foods and lots of greens for it to find its balance. Begin by cutting out ALL processed foods and adding in greens. The ratio should be 80/20 greens to other whole foods. It may sound difficult but, do it in stages if you must. As you change the balance, her body will actually begin to crave greens and healthy food. Especially when one sees the direct correlation between what goes in our bodies and what the state of our health is this becomes a "no brainer"!

I wish you both the best, Lisa"

05/19/2010: Loraine from Queens, Ny replies: "Thank you Lisa, Kerry, for your info. I really do appreciate it. God Bless."
05/20/2010: Cameron from Brisbane, Qld, Australia replies: "Hi Loraine, I think it has already been said but you need to fix her diet first and foremost.

I battled with acne for a lot of my adult life and found that Vitamin C in regular doses helped enormously. Build up the dose slowly as Vitamin C can cause stomach cramps and diarrhoea, also use Aloe Vera on the acne, it may feel like its drying out her skin but do not try anything else over the top of the Aloe. Apply the Aloe Gel as often as possible, this is a wonder for skin. Address the diet though, exclude all sugar as a priority and be patient."

05/20/2010: Zay from Cape Town, South Africa replies: "Hi Lorraine, Lisa is correct in saying that your daughter needs good nutrition. I can advise if you are interested. You can contact me at azfries and it is at hotmail dot com Looking forward to hearing from you. Zay"
05/20/2010: Tony from London, Uk replies: "I have to say, having suffered for years, stopping using all non-natural toiletries has worked wonders. I use no soap and my back and face have cleared up loads."
05/22/2010: Loraine from Queens, Ny replies: "Thank you Cameron/Tony for your response. I'll try these alongwith the diet change. If it works, I'll make sure EC knows!! Thank you again."
07/06/2010: Pb from Cape Breton, Ns replies: "I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter's issues with acne. I've been doing alot of reading and personal experimentation on acne as it's an issue for me too.

This is what I've come up with so far for myself. I'm speaking as someone with skin that's extremely sensitive to breakouts!

-as far as diet goes it seem iodine in salt can be an issue for some people in terms of causing acne

-I would take her off all commercial body or face washes as I found that these can exacerbate acne in people with sensitive skin. Also any soap made from animal fat or animal products can cause breakouts and make acne worse. I use all-vegetable handmade soap (that I make myself or buy at specialty stores from private craftspeople). Remember that her shampoo/conditioner can coat the skin of her back so be careful of that too

-I would also recommend against any commercial moisturizing creams or lotions. Natural oils are very healing and you can find lots of info online. In particular jojoba oil can actually help regulate skin sebum. I found a mix of about 30 ml jojoba oil with added essential oils such as lavender and tea tree oil (maybe 6 drops of each) prevents breakouts. I apply like 2x/day like you would any face lotion, and I use a few drops on a cotton ball as a toner on my neck & back

-for new breakouts, a concentrated mix of a few drops of jojoba oil and a few drops of oil of oregano (antifungal and antibacterial; buy the kind with the highest carvacrol content) can stop the breakout. It stings a bit!

-Dead Sea salt is very healing to bathe in and can also be dissolved in a bit of water to dab on breakouts to help healing ( I put some on at night). Regular sea salt doesn't seem to help me at all.

-supplements of Vit C and Vit A can help too but make sure to research Vit A dosage carefully or check with your doctor

Good luck, let us know it goes!"

08/14/2010: Piper from Toronto, On replies: "Your daughter seems very young to be getting acne, let alone on her back. Acne seems to be a condition that you manage rather than cure. She may be prone to break out so maybe evaluate remedies on the basis of improving rather than eradicating. I have used UV light (tanning beds). UV kills bacteria. I use a led light (hand held) on face breakouts. Baths. Epsom salt or borax. Keep trying. I have had problems with acne since I was a teenager and I am now 44 years old. I don't believe it has everything to do with hormones, or what you eat. I eat well and still have problems. The more I read, the more I believe that demodex mites are part of the problem. We all have mites. I just believe that in some people, these become more of a problem. As I have gotten older, I have gotten acne in more places than just my face. I believe this is mites spreading. I have just started treating myself with borax, baths and drinking. I went to the doctor to see about getting treated for mites. He hadn't heard of demodex, but he is referring me to a dermatologist."
[YEA]  03/15/2011: Piper from Toronto, On replies: "Salt. It occurred to me that when I swam in the ocean my skin cleared up, so I started to take salt baths. I use about a 1/4 cup of rock salt. Also rub individual pimples or affected area with wet salt crystal. Dries and heals quicker."

Remedies Needed

05/23/2012: Maureenm from Vancouver, Bc, Canada: "Hi there, I have had face and body acne since age 13 and have had endometriosis for the past 5 years. I am wondering if I correct my ph balance, both problems could be helped/cured? Here is a little of my history.

I changed my diet for the past month to help my stage 4 endometriosis. I had surgery 1 1/2 years ago, to remove multiple large cysts on both ovaries, and tissue wrapped around blood vessels and such. It scared my fallopian tubes to the point I cannot conceive children naturally. It causes my severe pms where I become so low in mood resulting in severe depression. Right after my period I am a completely different person, so happy until the week before my period. The week before it starts it also causes me break outs, severe low energy and low iron. Although I have acne all the time, it becomes worse around my period. Also, my nails turn blue, sleep all the time and become very cold. I am on disability benefits its so bad. Thankfully the surgery helped my pain but I refuse to take any hormone changing meds to help everything else. Should I be taking iron supplements?

Since I changed my diet last month I don't eat meat, dairy, yeast, gluten, pretty much no carbs at all except brown rice at times. I eat fish sometimes but mostly veggies, almonds, almond milk and fruits like strawberries and green apples and avocado everyday to replace the fat. After reading Ted's posts on acne I stopped using all oils whether cooked or raw and also no sugar at all just honey in my black tea. I also had a long term chronic marijuana use to help with pain, but I stopped two months ago as I know it was making my endo worse and giving me worse acne. My endo is not painful any more but my periods come every three weeks instead of four. If this can be fixed its great because of the severe pms but my main concern is my acne. I have been told its hormonal acne, Ive had it since 13 yrs old, on my face, neck, chest, back and the last few years on my bum. It's moderate acne, not cystic acne but more blackheads and red flare up type acne sometimes resulting in painful whitheads. I dream of the day I can wear clothing that shows my back and chest and can wear my hair up as I am so incredibly embarrassed by it causing extreme self esteem issues.

I have been told I was born with hormonal imbalances, I havent taken birth control in years due to weight gain and swollen ancles and feet but I have been tested a few yrs ago and my estrogen was way too high, not sure about now though. I was born with underdeveloped bladder which lead to multiple bladder infections and I had to take antibiotics for 3 years straight as a child because I almost died from the infections. I couldn't feel when I needed to urinate and the urine backed up to my kidneys, I had many surgeries as well. I suffered from chronic interstitial cystious until my early 20's, am now 29 and finally is under control and has seemed to go away almost completely. I do not take any medications what so ever for anything as I wish to cure my body naturally.

For the past 2 months I now exercise at least 5 times a week for an hour, and just recently started taking Ted's alkalizing formula of baking soda, lemon and water 5 days ago. I was having trouble loosing the last bit of weight but since I cut out the sugar and started this drink 5 days ago I have lost at least 5 pounds. I can see my skin clearing a little but I still however have large red acne flare up bumps appearing mostly on my chest, neck, back and bum. I just finished a period too which usually clears up my acne a little until the week before my period where I completely break out. Its also harder to exercise around this time as I am low in energy.

My main questions are how can I clear up my acne and endo for good. I think my depression will ease when these two issues are gone. I do feel better these past two days but again just to be safe it could be because I just finished a period. I have been reading on earthclinic how ACV can clear up acne if you drink it, so I bought some.

What I really would love to know is, is it safe to take Ted's formula of 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1 lemon and 1/2 glass of water every day in the morning and before bed on empty stomach and ALSO ingest the ACV baking soda formula as well at some other time during the day? Considering these are two separate drinks can I take both the baking soda lemon formula as well as the ACV baking soda formula in the same day, and if so what times of day, for how many days a week and on an empty stomach and how long apart from each other? OR would it be better to just drink the ACV alone without the baking soda since I am already adding the baking soda to the lemon formla? I also started taking zinc the past two days as I have read Ted stating a zinc deficiency could cause acne as well. I really love the effects of the baking soda and lemon formula so far and dont want to stop but since my acne is still coming I really wanted to add the ACV formula at some point during the day but dont want to take them too close together fearing they may cause unbalanced ph or some other problem? Or if there is anything else I should be doing, or taking, I would yearn to know. Thanks for any help in advance."

05/27/2012: Andoy from Boise, Idaho replies: "Looks like you have an acidic body. Suggests you go to www.sicknesshope.com and search your cure."
07/05/2012: Aprilbree from Kansas City replies: "Hi there! I recommend you read the book by Dr. John Lee... I think it's called "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause". Even if you don't have menopause, read it. I work for a company that sells progesterone cream (non-synthetic, toxin-free) that is transdermal (not in pill form so it bypasses the liver). We have had many many women have cysts disappear after using our cream (as well as reversing other major hormonal imbalance issues--cramping, mood swings, inability to conceive, headaches, depression, etc). We are an estrogen dominant society, thanks to birth control pills, hormone injected meats, etc. Many people do not know about the role progesterone cream has in the body, but it's absolutely necessary. It also helps with fibromyalgia and adrenal function. if you decide to go the progesterone route, PLEASE do not get a synthetic progesterone. Get one that is all natural and toxin free! I would love to tell you who I work for, but I think that may be against Earth Clinic's rules? just google search "bio-identical progesterone cream" and that should take you to some options of companies that sell it. All the best to you!!!!!!!!"
10/17/2012: Lb1200 from San Diego, Ca replies: "The gluten free diet cured my severe body acne that began when i was thirteen. i also had cyclic (with my cycle) flare ups. the gf diet really saved my life :)"
11/14/2012: So Much Healthier Now from West Coast, Ca replies: "I am so sorry for your many medical concerns--very wearying. Many years I suffered job-stress-induced kidney infections that dr's always wanted to do medical procedures on. After avoiding dr's many years, a friend suggested cranberry juice as it is the only juice that naturally kills the kidney infection. I would just take a jug to work with me, and drink it instead of coffee in my mug thru the day. In 1 day, drink the whole gallon, not hard to do, and result was cure in 1 day every time. My swollen legs reduced totally to healthy size with squeezing 1 lemon in a glass, add some water, and drink it (no sweetening). For kidney stones, I add a teaspoon olive oil to the lemon juice. Again, in 1 day, kidneys were pain free, infection was gone, achy pains gone. Ureters worked perfect like new, and cured fem yeast infection too. The leg swelling was less, but really healed when I corrected diet, adding fresh spinach (fastest way to oxygenate my lungs and brain - works in a few seconds after swallowing). Banana and cantaloupe with breakfast gave me energy to walk about (just start with housework chores), and that movement was enough, with lemon juices and fresh veggies, to reduce swollen legs edema alot and get a very visible result to correcting internal issues."

Scalp Acne Remedies

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  01/29/2014: Cajuncole from Cali, Colombia: "The first time I had this condition was 2.5 years and it lasted a painful 3 months. I just had an out break in November and it lasted till now. I strongly believe it was caused by a shampoo conditioner. My cure after trying many was using a skin cream ointment with Clotrimazol 1%, Neomycin 0.5%, Dexametaona 0.04% and I mixed it with full strength Iodine-iodine is a strong fungicide. It makes a good dark red paste. I popped the pimples and rubbed in the mixture. When I started my lymph gland in the back of my head was swollen and hurt horribly and after five days it is now normal size. No more pimples and it works. DO NOT PUT STRAIGHT IODINE ON THE PIMPLES AS IT WILL BURN HORRIBLY-TRUST ME. The mixture will sting a little but not unbearable. It worked for me. Try it on a small area and see. I saw relief within a few hours."

12/30/2013: Brandon from Jacksonville, Florida: "I'am 22, and have had this issue since I was 16. I do have fairly thick hair that I never let grow out past my ears, and I'll admit my skin is more oily than others. But I've had what seems to be excessive acne only on my scalp, in my hair. They swell, leak, and become scabby. If I use products to dry out my hair they become incredibly itchy, and seem to be regularly itchy no matter what. Ive been given different antibiotics from different DRS, Acetominphen seems to have the best result they go completely away until I run out of the antibiotic and then they return, (with what feels like vengeance). my last dr tested the puss from one of the pimples and deduced it was "natural", and continued to give the antibiotic. please any input would be greatly appreciated."

12/31/2013: Dave from Fountain Inn, Sc replies: "Hi Brandon,

About the scalp issue: Two suggestions.

First the condition could be the result of acidic reaction to too much acidic foods; ketchup...chili, tomatoes; Food reaction is what I'm thinking and I've had such a reaction (not so severe) as you are discussing. When I get away from acidic foods the reaction is much less. If I apply isopropyl alcohol to the outbreaks it will sting but immediate relief. An even more effective over the counter is "Scalpicin"...

Second: This condition might be an infection, fungal... like ringworm, microsporum canis; or scabies...microbiotic mites. For the former I use an over the counter cream, like Tenactin, or Lamisil, which has Terbinifine as the active ingredient. Tenactin has a different active ingredient that also kills ringworm fungus.

If you've been around cats and dogs as indoor pets growing up, you just might have the later problem...rather than the food reaction."

12/31/2013: Brandon from Jacksonvlle, Florida replies: "Would your opinion change if I meant amoxicillian instead of acetaminophen?"
12/31/2013: Dave from Fountain Inn, Sc replies: "To Brandon,

Would my opinion change? No. My observation was not based on the antibiotics issue. Except obviously some Doctor (MD) thought this was an infection or else the prescription of an antibiotic would not have been given and that would bolster my hunch that the problem you are encountering is an INFECTION.

(I apologize if you were speaking to someone else, but you didn't mention anyone's name in your question...and when I looked at the "thread history" I was the first and only to respond. Best to you.)"

12/31/2013: Mama To Many from Tennessee, Usa replies: "Dear Brandon,

You try washing your hair with baking soda and rinsing with vinegar. There is a lot of discussion about doing this here:


At first, it may make your hair seem more oily, but should tame it down a lot. I would give it a week or two. It is hard to find a shampoo that does not have SLS in it, which is bad for your hair and scalp and may make it harder for you to heal the acne. This should be compatible with what Dave suggested.

Have you tried any of the other things people have suggested on the acne pages? It seems like there is a lot of trial and error since the cause can be different for different people.

I agree with Dave that food could be aggravating your condition. You could also look into the PH balancing pages and try that.

Let us know how it goes! I hope you have a solution soon.

~Mama to Many~"

12/31/2013: Mama To Many from Tennessee, Usa replies: "Sorry--I meant to type "You could try..." I didn't intend to sound so bossy! :)

~Mama to Many~"

12/15/2013: Anon from Anon: "I've had nice hair all my life. Lately the hairline is receding and there is acne like bumps in the hair at the hairline, especially near my ears. I read someone said their pet got acne from a type of plastic, so I quit using a plastic water bottle I'd been using for several months. I also scrubbed the acne real good with shampoo because I'd been using sunscreen on my face often and probably not washing it out of my hairline well. It's mostly gone, but not all. My hair is still receding. But I started drinking milk again as I found I tolerate it as long as it's got ginger and turmeric in it, I used to drink a lot of milk but quit years ago because it gave me painful stomach."

10/07/2013: Rishabh from Ludhiana, Punjab: "Dear Earthclinic,

I am suffering from problem of acne on my hair scalp for the last 5 years and despite adequate care and antibiotic medicines the problem still persists. I don't know the reason for the same and the problem grow especially during the change of season. I would request yo to kindly help me with the same on prority basis."

10/07/2013: Dave from Fountain Inn, Sc replies: "Hello Rishabh from Punjab:

I like that: Rishabh from Punjab.

You report acne on scalp. And you've tried antibiotic cream to no avail. Condition for five years.

You don't give us much to go on so I'll throw out some suggestions and if you can tell us more basics that would help... Basics such as; does condition worsen from time to time when you eat different foods, or is the condition basically the same all the time? And, are you on any medications which might tell us something. Allergies?

So now with little to go on, consider these ideas;

Let's first start with the theory that you have an infection; likely fungal but possibly viral. To kill a fungal infection on the skin I like the herb echenacia in liquid form.

Next, if the condition is not viral/fungal think of the possibility that your system may be acidic and you need to bring it back to alkeline. Use baking soda, one half teaspoon in glass of water and drink. Save a bit of the baking soda liquid and place fingers in liquid and rub on scalp.

Next consider your system has gotten a poison or chemical that is causing erruptions. Use charcoal tablets. For years I used charcoal as a catcher of toxins. I've also used "clay" as in bentonite clay. A half teaspoon well mixed in warm water. Drink. Also apply some of the clay to make a paste and apply to scalp.

Next consider the topical application of Apple Cider Vinegar. The acne cites might sting. That may be good; you know the cider is getting into the eruptions.

I've also just been reading the amazing healing power of cabbage leaves. Google: Jakobe Jakestein Cabbage pdf. You'll find a great book by this lady who used cabbage as a topical application to help with many skin conditions.

All right Rishab from the Punjab, that's my first set of suggestions. I'm sure you'll get a lot of ideas from others who wish you the best. (Are you from the Punjab of India or Pakistan? Isn't there a Punjab in Pakistan?)


10/08/2013: Mr. Ree from Usa replies: "Put your own urine on your scalp for a couple of hours... Then wash... It will usually be gone after one treatment... Repeat if necessary... It will also kill athletes foot in one day..."
10/09/2013: Debbie from Australia replies: "Acne on the scalp as on the rest of the body means that your body is toxic and probably in an acidic state. Antiobiotics would only exacerbate the problem. You need to look at what you are eating and start to detox your body.

If you are only treating it on the scalp you are not healing your body internally."

Selsun Blue

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  10/13/2005: Elisa from Warner Robins, GA: "To prevent acne marks on back and chest, wash with Selsun Blue. It worked for my ex-boyfriend. He has perfect skin! If you exfoliate every day, dead cells won't clog pores!"

EC: Selsun Blue is a shampoo used to treat dandruff.

Sesame Oil

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  03/03/2008: Feidon from Tel-Aviv, Israel: "Regarding Butt and thighs acne:

I had the worst case of red painful pimples on my butt. It was ugly and depressing. My dear friends, rub the infected area with pure refined sesame oil after each shower or bath. Rub it well after drying yourselves. Then let your skin absorb it for a minute and go on and put your underwear. It has no smell it feels great and in one or two days you will start to notice that no new pimples will develop. In a week time the scars of the old ones will vanish!

I was regulating body cleansing diet for two months and it did it as well, but when I stopped it, it came back. Sesame oil will cure it and still enable you to eat junk and enjoy a very smooth butt cheeks.""

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  10/21/2010: Meghan from Belle Vernon, Pa, Usa replies: "I also have the red sore butt pimples... I tried the sesame seed oil last night... When I looked in the mirror this morning they were already lighter and not sore. Thanks goodness for this website and finding great, inexpensive, natural remedies!!!"
01/11/2012: Rehanna from St. Augustine, Trinidad And Tobago replies: "Sesame oil is a very intersesting option that I am most willing to try among all. Thank you very much."
06/01/2012: Undecided from Chicago, Illinois replies: "I will have to disagree with the sesame seed oil NOT having any smell. I bought it today and used it, and I had to spray myself and my clothes with tons of perfume to go out in public. As I sit here writing this comment, the scent is still very strong, and I applied the oil 5 hours ago. I can't comment if it works for the body acne just yet. That is still yet to be seen."
07/14/2012: Scott from Canton, Ohio replies: "Undecided from Chicago-I can't say about the benefits of seseme oil, but I do know there are two types; Dark seseme oil for seasoning(one of my favorite oriental seasonings), and light sesame oil for making salad dressing. The dark is very aromatic, viscous, and deep amber. The light is almost odorless, and looks like soybean oil. Use the oil you have, to season stir fry meat. Rub the meat with a little oil and soy sauce, then lightly salt and pepper. Heat your skillet till hot, throw in meat, cook to medium done. Remove meat, add 1 tsp. Crushed garlic per dish to sauce thet is left in skillet, and oriental vegtables that you like. After the skillet is hot, stir fry veggies till medium done. Then throw in meat. Stir togather for a minute. Done. This is likely the world's most healthy cooked food. Use organic veggies or buy from local farmers-much better quality. For vegitarian dishs fry the minced garlic in dark seseme and vegtable oil= parts for 15 seconds then add veggies, stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Done."


Approval Ratings
YEA (1)


Tea Tree Oil

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  06/11/2013: Ayman from Liverpool: "Treatment for back acne that is moderate to severe includes deep pore exfoliators, which free the pores from dirt and pus, and antibacterial soaps and cleansers, which prevent the bacteria from spreading and causing a more severe skin infection. An example of deep pore cleanser is salicylic acid. Antibacterial products are cleansers that may contain tea tree oil. It is better if these two are combined."

Tea Tree, Witch Hazel, Aloe

Approval Ratings
NAY (1)

[NAY]  10/24/2011: Laura from Franklin, Tn: "I've tried tea tree oil/witch hazel lotion and aloe vera but it doesn't work :[ I have the red sore pimples all over my butt and down my thighs and it's making me extremely self conscious, do you know of any other remedies?"

Witch Hazel

Approval Ratings
YEA (3)

07/28/2012: Scarletbee from Colorado Springs, Colorado: "For Body Acne, try using straight witch hazel, when it's added to things it loses its astrigent qualities. You can find it in the first aid isle of most stores right next to the rubbing alcohol. Also consider buying an Aloe Vera plant and cut open the leaves, rub the open leaves on the affected areas so you know there's no extra addatives. May want to try switching to a free and clear detergent for clothing also. And I would use both the witch hazel and aloe twice a day."

[YEA]  02/02/2009: Missy from Wheeling, WV: "WITCH HAZEL FOR ACNE AND THEN SOME... I am 36 years old. I had very mild acne in my teen years, but these past 6 months have been horrible for me. I have very painful, large boils on my back, smaller ones on my shoulders, neck, and face. Unfortunately, nothing seemed to be working and I ended up being put on tetracycline. I found this site and began using witch hazel as a toner. Combined with the antibiotic therapy, the witch hazel has proven to be a miracle. Even on the medicine, I will still have a boil or two appear, mainly on my upper back. A cotton swab with witch hazel and guaranteed within a couple of days, they will be gone! It can be drying, so please moisturize. I've spent hundreds on products and for 97 cents, you can't beat this miracle product! Plus, ladies, wetting toilet paper and cleaning with it after a bowel mvmt. really helps with hemmoroids! Honest!"

[YEA]  06/07/2011: Andrea from Vacaville, Ca. replies: "YES!!!!!!!!!!!! I too have tried EVERYTHING! I never had acne until my late 30's.... WITCH HAZEL was a miracle worker! I applied several times a day over affected area(s). I also used TEA TREE oil & Aloe Vera to lighten. Also, baking soda is a great wash/exfoliant/bath soak! .... DON"T BUY anything approved by the FDA..... It's all a scam! "

[YEA]  05/02/2006: Anonymous from Lindenwold NJ: "I have had moderate acne on my face and back since I was in the sixth grade. I have been using Witch Hazel after washings (i use neutrogena body clear body wash scrub on my face and back) 2x daily, morning and night on my face and back. I am just starting my third week on this regiment and have seen a lot of improvement. It dries out the pimple extremely fast and you are left with very little marks that fade over time. I still have some pimples and red spots especially on my back but i am confident that by the end of the week I should be clear. I would use a good moisturizer because it does dry out the skin a bit."



DISCLAIMER: Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.


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