Not Changing Out Of Sweaty Clothes
Dont be that guythe one who hangs out in his sweaty clothing for hours after his workout.
Although its true that sweat doesnt cause acne directly, it can trigger pretty nasty back breakouts.
Besides, hanging out in your sweaty clothes will make you smell.
Sure, some ladies enjoy a little manly musk, but most people are going to wrinkle their nose at your body odor.
To get rid of back acne, change out of your wet clothes ASAP and wash your stinky workout gear, pronto.
Cant get to a shower in a timely manner?
Consider keeping Salicylic Acid wipes in your gym bag and giving your backside a quick swipe.
Lululemon Men’s Mesh Workout Shirt
Compress less: I often see folliculitis in elite athletes. They will confuse the bumps on their legs, lower back, and groin with acne, when in fact they can be infected hair follicles. A recent trend that may be contributing to this phenomenon is compression. Tight yoga pants, compression shorts and sleeves can occlude and irritate hair follicles, and you can further increase the risk of hair follicle infection with reusing clothing without washing, says Dr. John Trinidad.
Whey is way bad:Stop whey protein shakes and bars! Whey protein supplements have been linked to back acne. For some patients, the acne clears up after the supplements are discontinued, says Dr. Allison Arthur. Consider switching to a non-whey protein.
Getting Back To Clear Skin
Back acne is a stubborn beast with a mind of its own.
Although its usually the result of staying in sweaty clothes for too long, some guys seem to be more prone to it than others.
A consistent skin care routine can help you get back to clear skin and keep back pimples at bay.
If that doesnt do the trick, it may be worth seeing a dermatologist.
Basler, R S. Acne mechanica in athletes. Cutis vol. 50,2 : 125-8.
Endly, Dawnielle C, and Richard A Miller. Oily Skin: A review of Treatment Options. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology vol. 10,8 : 49-55.
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Turn To Salicylic Acid
Most acne products you see out there contain salicylic acid, a beta hydroxyacid that actually gets down into pores to remove built-up grime. Its ideal for both clearing pimples and controlling oil so new ones pop up less frequently. Dr. Bhanusali recommends using a body wash that contains salicylic acid for both treatment and prevention of body acne. Just dont use it the same day as a benzoyl peroxide wash and once your back zits clear up, use it once a week or so as a preventative measure.
$37.69 Proactiv Deep Cleansing Acne Body Wash
Bust Open The Dandruff Shampoo
If traditional acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid dont seem to be making a dent in your bacne, that could be an indication its yeast folliculitis, says Dr. Bhanusali. In that case, he recommends using a dandruff shampoo like Head & Shoulders as a body wash. The zinc pyrithione in the formula, which attacks dandruff-causing yeast, can also control yeast that could be leading to pimples.
$12.98 Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
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Factors That May Worsen Bacne Or Face Acne
However, there are some factors that may worsen symptoms and cause regular breakouts on the back. These include:
- Regularly putting pressure on the skin e.g. by wearing a backpack
- Wearing tight-fitting clothes that trap sweat next to the skin
- Sweating due to heavy exercise
- Struggling to apply topical treatments
Taking better care of the skin on your back wont necessarily cure the acne there, but you might find that your symptoms improve. Learn more by reading this article: Chest and back acne.
What Causes Body Acne
Acne comes in many different forms, such as whiteheads and blackheads, but research shows it is frequently caused by clogged pores. Other causes and contributors include excess oil production, bacteria, and hormonal imbalances, as well as sweat and friction from tight-fitting clothes. Finally, theres a genetic component: Those who have a family history of acne may be more likely to experience breakouts themselves.
The most common subtypes of acne are the blackheads and whiteheads we already mentioned, as well as pimples. Blackheads typically develop when pores get clogged with oil and dead skin cells, and then that buildup is exposed to air, causing it to oxidize and turn a dark brown-to-black color. Whiteheads develop similarly but without the oxidation. Finally, pimples develop when oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria get stuck inside a pore and cause it to become inflamed or infected. These types of acne develop in the same manner, whether you have body breakouts or pimples on your face.
Thankfully, lots of acne can be managed by maintaining a dedicated skincare routine. Keep reading to learn about which products to incorporate into your routine to help keep your skin looking clear.
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Is It Acne Or Could It Be Something Else
There are various other conditions that can cause red bumps on your chest and back, but one common one that is often confused by many is a skin condition called folliculitis. Although it may look and feel the same as acne, folliculitis is not the same.
Folliculitis usually has inflammation around hair follicles, but it can have a more infectious cause with a pus-filled pimple instead of the blocked sebum of acne, Dr. Thompson said. Folliculitis can occur around any site with hair follicles, and acne is more common on the face, back and chest.
If youre unsure whether your red bumps are body acne or folliculitis, it can be helpful to see a dermatologist to make sure. They can give you tips to help clear it.
Cystic Acne Treatment: Antibiotics
If you see a dermatologist for cystic acneand experts agree that over-the-counter remedies are not sufficient for cystic pimplestheir first option will likely be an oral antibiotic, says Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. Antibiotics attack the underlining bacteria that may be causing and perpetuating the acne.
The relief can be immediate. It works as an anti-inflammatory, says Mudgil. Tetracycline-type antibioticslike minocycline or doxycyclineare the most common choices. Some dermatologists also use topical antibiotics.
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Benzoyl Peroxide Is Your Friend
Like many acne-fighting ingredients, benzoyl peroxide helps to clear away oil and dead skin cells that are caught inside your pores, but its also antibacterial, so it helps kill the bacteria thats caught in there too. Using a body wash or soap that contains benzoyl peroxide is a tried and true solution, says Dr. Bhanusali, but warns to be careful with your towels. Its been known to sometimes have a bleaching effect.
$9.48 PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash
Acne Treatment For Men
If youre a man struggling with acne, and youve found that pharmacy treatments arent working for you, its a good idea to speak to your GP. There are a variety of prescription treatments available to treat acne in men, including the following:
- Topical retinoids
- Azelaic acid
If you have severe acne, isotretinoin might be an option for you. This is a tablet taken daily that helps to reduce the amount of sebum your skin produces. It inhibits bacteria on the skin and reduces redness and swelling.
Also Check: How To Minimize Acne Scars
Eliminate Pressure On Your Back
Anything that results in increased sweating and friction on your back, such as backpacks, sports gear, and back braces, can cause back acne, which is often referred to as acne mechanica, says Dr. Shah.
Shah recommends choosing a backpack thats lightweight and fits properly to minimize friction and irritation.
If you wear sports equipment that puts pressure on your back, dont wear the item for longer than you need to, or wear a clean cotton T-shirt underneath to reduce prolonged pressure and friction.
Wear Clean Cotton Shirts
Dirty shirts may contain bacteria that can plug pores so wash your clothes for crying out loud. If you exercise, ditch synthetic materials like Lycra and polyester, which trap perspiration and can exacerbate acne. Instead, switch to relatively loose-fitting cotton shirts that allow your skin to breathe. You can pick up Fruit of the Loom shirts from Amazon.com for as little as $3 and as expensive as $40.
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How Do You Get Rid Of Back Acne
When looking at how to get rid of back acne, even small changes can make a difference.
If youre the type of man that likes to work out, try wearing looser clothing and make sure you shower after a workout. Letting sweat and dirt sit on your skin will make back acne worse.
There are other changes you can make, too. may not generally be caused by diet and lifestyle alone but these factors can have a dramatic impact, added Dr Quinn. Eating a healthy balanced diet and drinking lots of water can have a significant impact, as can cutting out alcohol, caffeine, and sugar.
Changing your shower gel may also help, as will choosing a skincare range that is oil-free. Its all about controlling the oil production and removing the dead skin.
Missing Your Back In The Shower
Weve all been guilty of this on occasion. The back is a spot that is easy to forget about in the shower.
After you exercise, be sure to show your backside some love by washing the area with a Salicylic Acid-based cleanser or a gentle bar soap.
Exfoliating your backside once or twice a week can also do wonders for your back acne.
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Visit A Dermatologist Of Your Own
Our failsafe technique on how to get rid of back acne? Talk to a pro. If your back acne is progressing despite these measures, seek a board certified dermatologist. Your dermatologist can offer more aggressive treatment including prescription creams, short term antibiotics, hormonal therapy, extractions, peels, laser treatments, and even isotretinoin for the most severe cases of nodule-cystic acne to halt acne before it scars. A board-certified dermatologist can also recognize acne-imposters such as steroid folliculitis, fungal folliculitis, and hidradenitis suppurativa, says Dr. Laura Haygood.
Replenix Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Body Wash With Aloe Vera
As an alternative, use zinc-packed dandruff shampoos:
I find that often back acne is actually pityrosporum folliculitis, an overgrowth of a yeast normally found on our skin. Using antifungal shampoos and body washes, daily for 10 days, then weekly for maintenance, is helpful, says Dr. Debbie Elder.
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How To Reduce Mens Back Acne
If you are prone to getting mens back acne, consider these tips:
1. Once a day , shower with lukewarm water. This will eliminate residues that can encourage mens back acne bacteria growth.
3. Avoid breaking the skin off back acne pimples by using a soft towel to dry your back.
4. Apply a back acne treatment like Advanced Acne Pads with salicylic acid to the back and shoulders area. You may start with one daily application and increase to two or three times per day as needed to control back acne.
5. If your back acne is more severe, consider applying a thin layer of Acne Therapy Lotion to your back and shoulders. Allow to absorb completely, as the acne treatment medicine in it may discolor clothing.
6. If you have scattered mens back acne pimples, opt for Acne Spot Repair instead of Acne Therapy Lotion. Apply directly to back acne pimples and wait for it to absorb completely, as the acne treatment medicine in it may discolor clothing.
7. Another comprehensive option for treating back acne is using the Acne Treatment System, which includes three steps to prevent and treat facial, body and back acne.
Otc Treatment For Back Acne That Works
OTC stands for over-the-counter. Its medical jargon that means any treatment that you can buy without a prescription.
Studies show that the following OTC acne products can help clear mild back acne when used along with acne-friendly skin care:
Benzoyl peroxide : This helps to kill the bacteria that cause acne. Used daily, it can help control back acne and reduce flares.
Benzoyl peroxide needs time to work
Studies show that benzoyl peroxide works best if left on the back for two to five minutes.
Letting the benzoyl peroxide sit on your skin for a few minutes has two advantages.
This approach helps the medicine penetrate your skin. Skin is thicker on the back than on the face.
Rinsing it off prevents bleached clothes, sheets, and towels. Benzoyl peroxide is known to bleach fabrics.
Youll find OTC benzoyl peroxide foaming washes in different strengths. Using a product that contains 5.3% benzoyl peroxide is less likely to cause irritated skin, dryness, or peeling.
If you feel that you need stronger medicine, you can start with a foaming wash that contains 10% benzoyl peroxide. Thats the strongest concentration of benzoyl peroxide that you can buy without a prescription.
Retinoid : Using this along with benzoyl peroxide can improve your results. This OTC retinoid can help unclog pores, which will help the benzoyl peroxide work better.
Dermatologists recommend applying adapalene after you shower or before going to bed. Again, you want to apply it daily.
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Keep Skin Clean With A Gentle Body Wash
Whether you have chest acne or forehead pimples, clearer skin often starts with keeping your pores clean of trapped oil and skin cells, as studies indicate these are the main causes of breakouts. The first step in your daily body care routine should be to wash thoroughly with a gentle cleanser specifically formulated for the skin on your body, like Bath and Shower Liquid Body Cleanser, which is suitable for all skin types. The foaming wash gently yet effectively cleans the skin and helps to maintain moisture, leaving skin feeling clean and comfortable.
When you hop in the shower, after washing and conditioning your hair, apply a generous amount of the body wash to your skin with clean hands or a loofah. Cleanse your entire body, making sure to focus on breakout-prone areas like the back and chest, and rinse thoroughly.
Choose The Right Body Moisturiser
You don’t have to give up the moisturiser to keep breakouts at arms length – just make sure you choose the right one – that means ditching the thick creams.
‘Applying a moisturiser will soothe and repair your skin barrier, but make sure that any products you leave on your skin are labelled ‘non-comedogenic,’ advises Dr. Kluk. ‘This means that they wonât clog your pores.’
It’s also important to be aware of oils. ‘Some oil based products can cause acne, switching to âlighterâ creams is beneficial. Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid containing products are recommended treatments,’ explains Dr Danso.
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Why Does Acne Occur On The Back
Like the chest and face, the back has a high density of sebaceous glands. These produce sebum, a waxy substance that keeps the skin healthy.
Sebaceous glands are attached to hair follicles, or pores. If sebum or dead skin cells clog a pore, it can cause a blockage. This blockage may lead to inflammation or trap bacteria in the pore. This is how acne lesions develop.
A type of yeast, Malassezia, can also cause lesions that look similar to acne. The yeast tends to overgrow in humid, sweaty environments. Because the back is often covered by clothing, backpacks, slings, and other thing, it can be an ideal environment for this microbe. If the yeast gets into the hair follicles, it can cause a condition known as pityrosporum folliculitis. And if antibacterial treatments have not worked for back acne, the person may have pityrosporum folliculitis instead.
There are several ways to approach back acne, including:
Cystic Acne Treatment: Surgery
After you have already treated your cystic acne, you may be left with scarring, if the swelling or lesions were severe enough. Few acne scars are severe enough to warrant surgery, says Larry Linkov of City Facial Plastics in Manhattan. Its not terribly common, he says. Only one time, Ive been asked to do acne.
There are a variety of minimally invasive surgeries, says Linkov. He has used microneedling, a dermaroller procedure that uses small needles to prick the skin, which has smooth out small scars and abrasions. Its like sandpapering the area, Linkov says. Occasionally, cosmetic surgeons use dermal fillers in this progress.
Facial chemical peels and laser resurfacing are also effective in eliminating the blemishes left by cystic acne. Usually a localized scar that doesnt go very deep, he says. Were not having to make any massive incisions.
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No Two Backs Are The Same
A good back facial starts with an assessment of your skin. After all, you might be suffering from dry skin without a pimple in sight. Or your back might be an acne minefield.
That said, professionals acknowledge that the extraction part of the treatment is most often what gets guys in the door. After all, this is one place you can’t “extract” by yourself.