Arm acne is quite common in teenagers and young adult males. In fact, at least 30-50 percent of acne sufferers have combined lesions on the face and upper arms.
Just like the face, the skin on the upper arms has hair follicles which are connected to glands which secrete oil. These glands often get plugged up with oil and dead skin and lead to acne.
Individuals who wear tight shirts and who sweat profusely are more prone to developing acne of the upper arms. The acne may also be more prevalent on the back also.
Tight clothing of any fabric can cause friction of the skin and lead to skin irritation and thus acne of the arms is more common in some individuals.
The treatment of arm acne is the same as for facial acne but it is imperative to wear loose clothes, change clothes more often, showers after exercise and keep the arms clean and dry.
One should wear not long hair which can often irritate the upper arm. The hair should be kept clean and dry regularly.
For the arm acne, one may initially try and apply benzyl peroxide/salicylic acid on the skin. This can help cleanse the oils and keep the skin dry. The skin on the upper arms should be regularly washed with a bland soap. It is important not to scrub the skin which can irritate the skin.
When the conservative measures fail, one may go and see a dermatologist for further medical help. There are numerous medications to treat acne. Both antibiotics and retinoids are effective for the treatment of acne. Both oral and topical formulations of the drugs are available.