Q: I have a bad case of “body type” acne on my inner thighs, and no medications seem to help. It is so bad that I have developed scarring from it, too.
A: Check with your dermatologist because this may not be a case of acne. It sounds like it may be a condition known as folliculitis, a general term that encompasses a group of skin conditions characterized by inflamed hair follicles. This inflammation may be caused by any number of things, including bacteria, infection, yeasts or fungi, and certain inflammatory skin diseases. Your dermatologist can determine the cause, and the best course of treatment. Over-the-counter treatments that might be helpful include topical alpha hydroxy acids containing glycolic acid. The scarring may actually be post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation. Applying a body toning lotion containing high levels of DMAE over the alpha hydroxy treatment may help the scarring / hyperpigmentation to fade.
You can help control the inflammation by on a cellular level by taking antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. For example, alpha lipoic acid (ALA) has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which make it extremely valuable in the treatment of acne, and helps control both blood sugar and insulin. A rapid rise in blood sugar may produce a burst of inflammation that elevates insulin levels, which then affect many other hormones in the endocrine system, resulting in the formation of new acne lesions, not to mention the exacerbation of existing acne. When blood sugar is stabilized, insulin levels are more easily controlled. Alpha lipoic acid can control blood sugar by both sensitizing the cell to the effects of insulin and allowing the cell to better utilize blood sugar.