What Is Back Acne
Back acne, or bacne, is acne vulgaris on the back, usually the upper back. Acne vulgarisor acne for shortis a skin condition that affects the pores. Pores have a hair follicle and sebaceous glandor oil glandat the bottom and an opening at the top. The oilcalled sebumflows up to the skin surface to moisturize the skin. As it travels upwards, it carries dead skin cells and debris with it out of the pore. Acne occurs when the oil, dead skin, and debris are trapped in the pore, forming a plug. The clogged pore can also trap bacteria, causing inflammation.
The upper back is an area with more oil glands than most other body sites. So, its a common place for acne to develop. Other commonly affected sites include the face, neck, chest and shoulders. Like these other sites, back acne comes in two forms.
The first type of back acne is non-inflammatory acne characterized by the following types of blemishes:
- Blackheads, which are clogged pores that remain open at the skin surface. The medical name for them is open comedones.
- Whiteheads, which are clogged pores that are closed at the skin surface. They are called closed .
Back acne can also be inflammatory. This type of acne includes the following types of blemishes:
- Pimples, which are raised, tender red or pink bumps. They are called papules when they dont have and a white tip. When they are pus-filled with a white tip, they are .
- Nodules, which are large, solid, painful lumps deep under the skin
What Triggers Back Acne
As mentioned, two of the biggest players that determine how prone you are to bacne are your genetics and hormones. If a close relative, such as your parents or siblings, are prone to acne, then you might be acne-prone too, according to the American Academy of Dermatology 7. This could be because genes influence the processes that affect your skin, such as the inflammatory response and how sebaceous glands function8.
Meanwhile, fluctuating hormone levels can be a contributing factor to bacne flare-ups. The most common pattern is for a flare to happen 7 to 10 days before the onset of bleeding and subside once bleeding starts, Hadley King, M.D.9, clinical instructor of dermatology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York, tells SELF. This is because theres a mid-cycle rise in progesterone that stimulates the production of sebum. Androgens like testosterone also stimulate sebum production during this time. The potential result? Oily skin, clogged pores and a new round of bacne10.
You might notice bacne flareups during other hormonal changes too . Hormone-related conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, can also spur bacne thanks to the intense hormonal shifts it can cause.
An uptick in back acne can also be a side effect of certain medications, including drugs that contain corticosteroids, testosterone, or lithium, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Can Acne Be Prevented
Preventing acne is difficult if not impossible during normal hormonal changes. But some things can help:
- Wash your face daily with warm water and a mild facial cleanser.
- Routinely use moisturizer.
- You dont have to stop using makeup, but try to use non-comedogenic products and remove makeup at the end of each day.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
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Visiting The Doctor For Shoulder And Back Acne Treatment
If youre struggling to find a shoulder or back acne treatment that works for you, make an appointment at one of our Minnesota dermatology offices. Seeking medical attention can help to quickly treat the acne while also preventing it from recurring. Regardless of the acnes type or cause, a dermatologist can help. Shoulder and back acne may be easy to hide, but it is often uncomfortable. Schedule a consultation with us to start on a treatment plan designed for your acne and lifestyle. Contact us today.
Why Am I Getting Acne On My Back
Genetics, some medications, hormones, overall increased oil production that clogs the poresthe causes of back acne are the same as the causes of acne that you find on your face. But one additional factor that plays a huge role in the kind you find on your back, as Dr. Rabach points out, is sweat. “I also see a lot of people with sweat-induced acne from exercising and staying in sweaty clothes,” Dr. Rabach explains. If that sounds like you, try changing out of any damp clothes as soon as you finish working out, and see if that helps reduce your zit frequency. If not, keep reading!
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What Causes Back Acne
There are many reasons people get acne, so its important to know why and how pimples form.
Your body produces an oil called sebum. Its made in the glands connected to your hair follicles. Sebum moves up the hair follicles to add moisture to your skin and hair.
Pimples form when extra sebum and dead skin cells build up. This buildup blocks skin pores and bacteria. When the hair follicle wall swells out, it forms a whitehead pimple. When the clogged pore gets exposed to air, blackhead pimples form.
Some common causes of acne are:
- Genetics. Trouble with acne can run in your family.
- Medications. Acne can develop as a side effect of some medicines like certain antidepressants.
- Hormones. Hormonal changes in the teenage years are often the cause of acne. But for women past puberty, pimple outbreaks can be linked to hormonal changes that happen during menstruation and pregnancy.
- Sweat. Sweat, especially if its trapped under tight clothing, can make acne worse.
- Stress. Stress isnt a direct cause of acne, but it could be a contributing factor.
Some research shows that foods you eat could be linked to acne.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there is some evidence that certain carbohydrates known to increase your blood sugar levels can also contribute to acne. For some, dairy products might also be a trigger.
In most cases, you can get rid of acne by making some lifestyle changes and using at-home remedies. Here are some things you can do to get rid of back acne:
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.’
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How Does Bacne Form
Acne tends to develop in areas where we have a high concentration of oil glands, Joshua Zeichner, a Manhattan-based dermatologist, explains. Thats why your face, chest, and back can be prime targets for pus-filled mounds and the red bumps that mark inflamed hair follicles . High levels of oil production get trapped within the pores, promoting an overgrowth of acne-causing bacteria and inflammation, he explains. While he sees blackheads and whiteheads on patients from time to time, he notes theyre less common on your chest and back than they can be on your face.
What Are The Treatments & Medications For Bacne
According to Dr. Rana, Bacne can be really difficult to treat because its harder to see. I know that sounds silly, but not being able to clearly see your pimples can make it more difficult to assess how severe the breakout is. And, it can be hard to apply treatment products directly to the affected area. Plus, the skin on the back is very thick, so its challenging to get topical treatments to absorb deeply enough. Based on the severity of bacne and other factors, including an individuals response to specific treatments, dermatologists help patients create a plan to address bacne that works for them.
Because of the difficulty of effectively using topical treatments for back and body acne, oral medications like antibiotics may be prescribed, especially to help patients control severe bacne breakouts. Oral antibiotics can be prescribed in the short term to reduce the amount of C. Acnes bacteria on the skin, which will often decrease the number of pimples and make it easier for the skin to heal during a breakout.
Even though topical treatments for back acne can be difficult to apply, topical antimicrobials and other acne spot treatments may be an important part of the initial treatment and ongoing maintenance care plans for back acne. These topical treatments can help clear skin and relieve symptoms like itching, swelling, and inflammation associated with breakouts.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Acne
- What type of acne do I have?
- How severe is my acne?
- Do I need to see a dermatologist?
- Do I need a referral?
- What over-the-counter medications do you recommend?
- What prescription medications do you recommend?
A note from Cleveland Clinic:
Acne is the most common of all skin conditions and can have a profound psychosocial impact.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/01/2020.
How To Get Rid Of Back Acne Once And For All
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The first thing to know about how to get rid of back acne is that it’s not like the pimples you get on your face. Yes, its similar in that the pores clog and bacteria is often to blame, and also you get incredibly confused and angry and emotional about it . But it’s different in that it comes with its own rulebook for treating and preventing it.
Luckily bacne is very treatable and very preventable. And I didnt know all the ways to keep it at bay until I sourced a bunch of board-certified dermatologists for the answers. We got the advice they often give their own patients in regards to back acne, and now theyve got your back, too: Here’s how to get rid of back acne.
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Not Showering Promptly After A Sweaty Gym Session Might Be Causing Back Pimples
It can be tempting to skip your gym’s grimy showers and head home for a soothing soak in the tub instead. However, waiting too long to rinse off after working out can actually lead to a case of back acne.
Allowing sweat and dirt to hang out on your skin after exercisingcan be a major cause of pimples on the back and shoulders, according to Stylecaster.
Don’t delay showering after any situation that gets you hot and sweaty, including a sweltering day at the beach or a jog around the neighborhood.
Use Specially Formulated Cleansers
Take advantage of cleansers made specifically to fight bacne, like the CeraVe Salicylic Acid Body Wash . As the name suggests, this cleanser deposits salicylic acid wherever you need it most, leaving you feeling ultra-clean and helping you to fight acne all over your body. Another option is to use a benzoyl peroxidelaced wash, like PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash .
If body washes are more your style, try Murads Acne Body Wash, $44. The trifecta of salicylic acid, green tea, and licorice root extract reduces redness, soothes inflammation, and unclogs pores. If you’re still not seeing results with OTC products, ask your dermatologist about prescription-strength washes, too.
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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.
Can I Blame My Bacne On Exercise
Contrary to what you may have learned in your middle-school locker room, working out has less to do with your bacne than you think.
Exercise itself is great for you and does not cause acne, Iris Rubin, dermatologist and founder of SEEN, explains. However, she notes, sweat can mix with bacteria on the skin and dead skin cells, which clogs pores. Its that recipe that causes body acne, not the sweat itself.
Every dermatologist told the Cut that its crucial to work out in clean clothes, and to at least change your clothes as quickly as possible after your workout, if a full-on shower isnt possible. . Rubin also recommends using a clean towel to wipe sweat away as you work out, and if youre working out indoors, wipe down equipment before and after using it, if you can.
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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.
How To Get Rid Of Back Acne With 12 Natural Remedies
Other than the face, acne or pimples may also occur on the midsection, neck, shoulders, upper arms, or back. The main cause of back acne is the excess sebum secretion by the oil glands connected to your hair follicles. There are some small pores on your skin that help in perspiration. Back acne usually forms when the pores are clogged with dead skin cells, dust, and extra sebum, leading to infection and swelling.
It does not matter if you clean up yourself daily. These pimples may appear because of the pollution in the environment, such as smog, dust, etc. On many occasions, you may do not realize that your hands are dirty and touch the skin, which will result in the appearance of back acne. If you have long hair, there is a high probability that acne may appear on your back.
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Why Do I Have Acne On My Shoulders
Acne is most common in teenagers because of the hormonal changes that happen with puberty, but acne can affect people at a variety of ages.
Shoulder acne can occur for a number of reasons. While the acne itself is the same as the blemishes youd get anywhere else on the body, some things can worsen shoulder acne. This includes things like tight or restrictive clothing and repeated pressure from backpack or purse straps.
Acne may also have a large .
How To Get Rid Of Shoulder Acne Once And For All
Dealing with persistent acne breakouts on the face and neck can be hard enough, but for those who also struggle with body acne, the situation is much more complicated. Fortunately, with a high-quality skincare routine and some lifestyle changes, you can reduce the appearance of acne for clear skin youre not afraid to show off.
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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.
What Causes Acne On Back And Shoulders
The following are some of the causes that contribute to the formation of acne on the back or shoulders:
- Hormonal changes taking place during puberty is considered to be the chief reason for acne. Hormones such as Estrogen or testosterone trigger sebum secretion and increase chances of hair follicle from being clogged and causing acne on the face, back and shoulders.
- In women, hormonal changes occur during menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or while taking birth control pills, which results in the acne in the face, back and shoulders. In addition, stress-related hormonal changes can also cause bacne.
- Wearing tight clothes during workouts or backpack leads to friction and sweat production. In addition, factors such as pollution, heat and humidity aggravates the problem.
- Dandruff, which means flaking of dead skin of the scalp when falls on the back, results in acne on the back and shoulders.
When these acne are rubbed, it worsens the condition and results in more breakouts.
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