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.
Your Genes Predispose You To Pimples
Even if your face is acne free and you haven’t fallen victim to any of the aforementioned culprits, Dr. Loretta says that sometimes bacne exists with no real cause and is just an inherited, genetic thing. No at-home kit can’t test you for an acne geneone doesn’t exist. But a predisposition to cysts, immune system disruptions, excess androgen, or androgen sensitivity are all factors that can affect acne.
Treat Acne From The Inside Out
“Back acne is a real challenge to treat,” says New York Citybased board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engelman. For one thing, “the thickness of the dermis on the back is the thickest of anywhere on the body, so the penetration of products that you apply topically can only do so much,” she says.If you have been following the above steps for treating bacne, and youre still not seeing improvement, you might want to consult a derm who can prescribe oral antibiotics and in even more severe cases, Accutane. “Some cases of back acne, particularly those with extreme cystic acne, may find that antibiotics are more powerful and may be needed to avoid long-term scarring,” adds Renée.
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Shower After Intense Workouts
Because backne can be triggered by a buildup of oil, sweat, and sweaty clothing, always shower after an intense workout. “Anyone is vulnerable to acne on the back, particularly those that play sports or do activities that cause sweating or rubbing of clothing or athletic gear,” says Umbareen Mahmood, M.D., board-certified plastic surgeon and cosmetic injector at SKINNEY Medspa. “It is extremely important to pay attention to meticulous hygiene, especially showering immediately after a workout or any activity that causes the back to sweat.” Otherwise, all that sweat and oil will just sit on the skin, potentially irritating sebaceous glands.
Are The Treatments Different
Given the nuances of body versus face acne, you may be curious to know whether the treatments are different. Well, yes and no. Obviously, if you know diet is a trigger for you, eliminating acne-causing foods will help acne all over the body the same goes for stress. And, also, the types of ingredients that help acne are relatively similar.
The difference? “Treatment for body acne is similar to treatment for facial acne, but the skin on the body tends to be tougher than the skin on the face, so it often can tolerate stronger treatments,” says King.
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Use The Right Sun Protection
Sun damage causes numerous skin health concerns, and adding a sunburn on top of acne inflammation and irritation is painful. So, its important to use sunscreen anytime your skin is exposed to sunlight. However, patients with acne shouldnt use just any sunblock. Instead, they should look for products that are marked as non-comedogenic and oil-free.
Try Topical Chemical Peels
Either as a wipe-on pad or a medicated body wash in the showerwhich is an easy way to apply to the whole backtopical chemical peels are helpful in treating back acne. Usually containing a potent ingredient, such as an alpha or beta hydroxy acid, they work by sloughing off dead surface cells, increasing cell turnover, and revealing fresh skin.”Look for ingredients like glycolic acid,” recommends Nazarian, “as it helps to remove surface skin cells and diminish acne scars with time.”
It’s important to note that peels often lead to overly sensitive skin, so those who undergo a treatment on their back should take special care to cover their skin from the sun and slather on the sunscreen.
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Sweat Does Not Cause Acne Directly
One of the reasons that back and body acne tends to get worse in the summer is due to an increase in sweating. To be clear, though, sweating doesnt cause acne directly it just makes it easier for acne to pop up. The beads of sweat on your skin provide the perfect environment for acne-causing bacteria, dirt, and oil to stick to it and ultimately lead to breakouts.
Is It Bad To Pick At Back Acne
Picking at acne anywhere on your body or face isnt advised because it can lead to an increased risk of infection by pushing bacteria deeper into the skin, cautioned Aslam. Additionally, squeezing your pimples can lead to more breakouts or acne scars.
If youre still tempted to prod at your body acne, you can take a page from our guide to teen acne and opt for an acne spot treatment such as Differin Gel or pimple patches like the popular Hero Cosmetics Invisible Mighty Patch. You can also book an appointment with your local board-certified dermatologist and ask them to evaluate your bacne and they can decide if your pimples should be popped or not.
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Acne Can Be Caused By A Lot Of Things Including : Get Rid Of Bacne
- Genetics. Acne is a problem that might run in your family.
- Medications. Some drugs, such as antidepressants, might cause acne as a side effect.
- Hormones. Acne is frequently caused by hormonal changes that occur during adolescence. Pimple eruptions in women beyond the age of adolescence, on the other hand, can be connected to hormonal changes that occur during menstruation and pregnancy.
- Sweat. Sweat can aggravate acne, especially if its trapped under tight clothing.
- Stress. Although stress isnt a direct cause of acne, it can play a role.
According to some research, the foods you eat may be linked to acne.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there is some evidence that some carbs that are known to raise blood sugar levels can also contribute to acne. Dairy products may also be a trigger for certain people.
Tips To Get Rid Of Body Acne
Its safe to say, no one likes acne, but its kind of a rite of passage. As we go through our teenage and young adult years , a zit is to be expected dotting their way across our faces. But for some people, they also have to deal with acne breakouts below their chinon their back and chest.
While we tend to focus on the face, acne can present challenges on your back and chest as well, said Trevor Thompson, MD, a dermatologist with Banner Health Center in Peoria, AZ. More often, we encounter truncal, or body acne, in our younger years and it is slightly more common in males than females.
While it can be extremely bothersome and embarrassing, the good news is that much like face acne, there are ways to get your body acne under control. We spoke with Dr. Thompson to better understand the causes for body acne and ways to combat it.
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Use Appropriate Hair Care
A culprit often missed is hair care, especially if you have long strands. If you have pimples populating your nape, shoulders, back, and elsewhere touched by your hair, it may be your products. Research suggests that residue from shampoo and conditioner can remain on the forehead, cheeks, scalp, and back for up to two hours. And for styling products , that residue remains for up to four.
If this is you, find hair care free of irritants , silicones, and comedogenic agents.
Don’t Let Conditioner Sit On Your Back
Sometimes how we wash our hair is to blame for bacne. When conditioner-coated hair sits directly on our backs, it seeps into the skin and that can actually be the cause of back and body acne. So the answer to how to get rid of bacne might be as simple as clipping your hair up if you’re going to let a conditioner sit in it for a bit. It’s also important to keep it off your back after the shower, too. Even though you’ve rinsed, the freshly conditioned hair can irritate sensitive, acne-prone skin.
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Swap Out Your Current Body Wash
That ultra-creamy, coconut-scented shower gel may feel seriously luxe, but if it doesn’t contain zit-zapping ingredients such as salicylic acid , glycolic acid , and lactic acid , then it might not be doing your body acne any good.
‘Acids like these prevent dead skin cells from building up and blocking your pores,’ explains London-based consultant dermatologist, Dr. Justine Kluk. ‘And remember, cleanse your skin thoroughly in the shower every day.’
What Happens If This Doesnt Help
If youve tried all of the at-home self care tips and skincare products and you are still struggling to get on top of your back breakouts, or are aware of developing cysts, nodules, post-inflammatory pigmentation or scars, a consultant dermatologist can talk you through the various prescription treatment options to bring your acne under control definitively.
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Heat Rash Symptoms Can Look Like Pimples
The two most common types of heat rash, miliaria crystallina and miliaria rubra, can look very similar to acne. In fact, experts at the University of Pittsburgh describes heat rash as looking like a cluster of red bumps that resemble pimples.
- Miliaria crystallina can appear as small white or clear, fluid-filled bumps on your skins surface.
- Miliaria rubra can appear as red bumps on your skin.
Typically, miliaria crystallina is not painful or itchy, while miliaria rubra can cause prickly or itchy sensations.
Heat rashes typically appear on the back, chest, and neck.
The treatment for mild heat rash is to remove yourself from exposure to excessive heat. Your rash will most likely clear once your skin is cool.
If the rash is severe, your doctor may recommend topical treatments, such as:
Maintain A Healthy Diet & Stay Hydrated
Eating nutritious foods and staying hydrated improves overall health, which in turn improves skin health. In addition to generally improved health and wellbeing, certain foods that contain probiotics , help keep skin healthy by encouraging faster cell turnover and boosting immune response. Other nutrient-rich foods like lean proteins, vegetables, and whole grains will help to maintain the overall health and function of the body. Conversely, eating unhealthy foods can cause a spike in blood sugar, which is linked to inflammation, oil production, and other factors that contribute to breakouts. In addition to eating the right foods, staying hydrated is essential to skin and whole-body health. Drinking enough water makes it easier for skin to stay hydrated and it flushes toxins out of the body, keeping you healthier.
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Find An Effecitve Spot Treatment For Your Skin Type
For your new and updated shower routine, try using a skin-care product that contains salicylic acid, an ingredient that kills pimple-causing bacteria, witch hazel, or tee tree oil, depending on your skin type. As the last step of your shower, Dr. Loretta advises put the treatment on your back for 3 minutes before washing off.
How To Treat Back Acne
You dont need a medical degree to tackle bacne, because the treatment for regular acne, folliculitis, and acne mechanica are pretty much the same. The same ingredients that help acne on your face, like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, can help on body acne, too. Keeping the area clean and exfoliated is a given as well.
As with most things, prevention is far more effective than treatment, Finney says. Always make sure to shower as quickly as possible after working out and change into dry clothes to prevent sweat from sticking around on your skin . Keep using skincare products, like body washes and exfoliators, even after your bacne has cleared up to keep it from coming back. Acne-focused skincare can work wonders on mild to moderate cases of bacne, but if you have severe outbreaks or notice that its not going away despite treatment, see a dermatologist. There might be underlying issues like hormones or diet at play. But for now, start with these 17 best back acne treatments to help get rid of annoying bacne and prevent it in the future.
Dexterity issues be damned, a spray containing salicylic acid can help you treat hard-to-reach areas like your mid-back or between your shoulder blades. This version is a leave-on treatment, which means you spray it on after your shower and let it go to work without washing it off.
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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.
Use A Soluble Water Cleanser
Using a gentle and non-abrasive drugstore cleanser is also a great way to get rid of shoulder acne. A water-soluble cleanser cleans without leaving residues behind. When using a cleanser, it is important to remember to be gentle with your skin. Please do not rub it vigorously instead, gently massage the cleanser on the skin, and rinse it off with clean water.
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Best Prescription Options For Getting Rid Of Back Acne
If your back acne does not respond to OTC products, it is time to consult a doctor or dermatologist who will prescribe a stronger medication.
Some common prescription options are retinoic acid, isotretinoin and adapalene, all of which are retinoids that calm acne flare-ups and reduce inflammation. If you have severely inflamed, cystic acne you may also be prescribed antibiotics.
If your acne is caused by hormones, it can be managed with combined oral contraceptives, a certain class of birth control pills. Another treatment for hormonal acne is spironolactone, an anti-androgen that reduces sebum production.
Different Types Of Back Acne
There are different types of spots caused by acne that you may find on your back:
- Blackheads: small black spots that develop in clogged pores. The black appearance is because the inner lining of the hair follicle is oxidised, not filled with dirt
- Whiteheads: similar to blackheads, these are spots that appear as firm white bumps in your skin
- Papules: small red bumps that may feel tender or sore
- Pustules: also called pimples, these are pus-filled papules that have a white tip in the centre and reddened base
- Nodules: large hard lumps that form as a result of acne deep beneath the surface of the skin and can be painful
- Cysts: large pus-filled lumps that look similar to boils the most severe type of spot caused by acne, which carries the greatest risk of causing permanent scarring
The severity of back acne can vary. Mild acne usually consists of mostly whiteheads and blackheads, perhaps with a few pustules and papules. This is known as grade 1.
Moderate acne is characterised by multiple pustules and papules.
Moderate to severe acne consists of a high number of pustules and papules, affecting the face, back and chest, as well as the presence of inflamed nodules.
Grade 4 acne is severe, with a high number of pustules and nodules that are both large and painful.
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Light And Laser Therapy
A dermatologist may recommend and perform laser or light therapy for acne. This involves exposing the skin to a special type of light during regular sessions for a set period.
There are different types of light therapy:
- Red, blue, or infrared light therapy can treat pimples but not whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, or nodules.
- At-home light therapy devices can treat pimples, but the light is less intense than the one a dermatologist uses.
For lesions that leave noticeable scars, a dermatologist can use procedures such as laser treatments, microneedling, and chemical peels to reduce the appearance.
The acne-friendly skin care routine outlined by the AAD and summarized above can help prevent back acne, as well as treat it. A gentle cleanser, noncomedogenic moisturizer, and adequate sun protection may be all a person needs.
Other skin care strategies that can prevent or reduce acne and skin irritation include:
- regularly washing bed linens, towels, and pillowcases
- regularly washing clothes, particularly tight-fitting ones, such as bras
- avoiding things that rub against the back, such as backpacks
- exercising in loose-fitting clothes made from natural fibers, such as cotton
- showering and changing clothes immediately after exercise or using cleansing wipes
- washing workout clothes and equipment after each use
Acne affects many people. Certain factors that can contribute to or raise the risk of its development include: