Back acne is a common condition affecting teenagers and adults alike. Like other forms of acne vulgaris, back acne is also formed due to overactive sebaceous glands. It is also called bacne, and some of the same treatments can be employed in treating both facial acne and back acne.
One of the most common causes of back acne is sweaty clothes. Hair follicles in the back can trap sweat and bacteria and cause breakouts.
How To Get Rid of Back Acne
Identify The Cause
You need to know why the acne is there in the first place, and arming yourself with such knowledge will put you in position to prevent its reformation. At its core, back acne forms when oil, dirt and various debris clog a pore that is on your back. Thus, the opening of the pore becomes plugged, spurring a buildup of oil and dead skin cells therein. As the cell swells to accommodate the size of the growing pus, it results in those red and inflamed acne lesions at the back.
Causes may include:
Some people back acne breakouts appear to be triggered by workouts, and If so, you might not be dealing with back acne, but with folliculitis (infected hair follicles). The hair follicles found within pores can mask as back acne and might be confused for acne type, which occurs on areas of the body where the skin is more susceptible to aggravation from heat, pressure, or friction.
Back acne can develop under students’ backpack straps, or on people with too tight clothing, especially in humid climatic regions.
Most people suffer from cystic acne, or deep, swollen, tender bumps beneath the skin’s surface, which usually goes hand in hand with hormonal flare-ups, common during puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy.
Men also experience hormone-induced back acne due to excessive testosterone levels, and when hormone levels are imbalanced in the bloodstream, they head towards the skin, which contains androgen receptors within sebaceous glands which are ready to receive the hormone and remove it through the pore’s opening.
However, when the hormone is present within the sebaceous gland, which is responsible for producing the oil intended to keep skin lubricated and protected, it kicks oil production into overdrive, resulting in excessive oil build up and unpleasant back acne.
At all points, you just need to up your skincare game.
How To Treat Back Acne
The acne bacteria strain, which is responsible for infected acne lesions, cannot live in the presence of oxygen so we need to open up those plugged pores and exfoliate in the shower while your pores are loose and pliable in order to slough off dead skin cells and remove a layer of accumulated grease.
Do More Laundry
Letting the sweat and dirt sit on your skin can be a major contributor to back acne, and you will want to make sure your towel and bedding are cleaned regularly, since drying off or lying in dirty linens can negate any cleansing accomplished in the shower.
Keep Your Hair Up
If you have long hair that can reach your back, it could be contributing to the presence of dirt and oil on your back. Try wearing your hair in a bun or pony tail, especially during sweat sessions, and also, take a moment to read the labels on your shampoo and conditioner to make sure they’re not contributing to clogged pores.
Retinoids are a strong derivative of vitamin A and are very effective at treating bad breakouts of acne. Find a medicated retinoid cream and apply it to the infected areas, and be extra mindful of your sun exposure when using this type of product, as it’s known to make your skin more sensitive to the damaging Ultra Violet rays.
Back skin is very thick, and breakouts can go deep below the surface and stay out of reach of topical creams. Your dermatologist might instead prescribe oral medications to target the infection from the inside, using antibiotics such as tetracycline or minocycline.
Home Remedies for Back Acne
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting or rough clothes as far as possible and opt for loose fitting and smoothly textured clothing instead.
- People prone to back acne must avoid using synthetic massage oils, hard massaging devices, brushes for massaging their backs.
- Mild skin cleansers are best as they help clean the skin without over-drying or clogging the skin pores.
- The skin’s pH level must ideally be at 4.7, and any pH higher or lower than this can cause dryness and breakouts. Diluted apple cider vinegar solution can be sprayed on the skin to prevent acne on the back in case of skin having higher pH values.
- Antibacterial skin cleansers used for facial acne can sometimes be used for back acne.
- An oatmeal bath is also extremely soothing for those who suffer from back acne. Simply add some powdered colloidal oatmeal to the bathwater and soak in it, since oatmeal can help relieve inflammation and redness.
- Epsom salt baths are also very effective in preventing and treating back acne. You can also spray some sea salt or soak in the sea water at the beach, to help prevent back acne and acne marks. This is a particularly useful remedy in summers.
- Excess chlorine in water can also cause back acne, so avoid swimming when you are prone to acne.
- Zinc is a mineral that is used for treating all kinds of skin problems, and you should consume plenty of zinc-rich foods like fortified cereals, oysters and sea food, nuts, red meat etc.
- It is important to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and have a balanced diet as a part of the remedies for back acne prevention and treatment.
- You should also drink lots of water. One must drink 8-10 glasses of water to keep the skin fresh and healthy.
- Acne and back acne can both result from stress, and you should practice meditation or yoga and also indulge in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise like walking, swimming etc… on a daily basis, in order to reduce stress.