Acne can appear in any area of the skin that has hair follicles, which means that acne can appear in any area of the skin that has hair follicles.
Acne is commonly associated with the face, but breakouts can occur anywhere on the body. Pimples can appear anywhere on the body, including the chest, neck, shoulders, upper arms, and even the buttocks.
Breakouts on the back are more common. The back, like the face, has numerous oil-producing pores that can easily become clogged.
Back acne is so common that it has its own moniker: “backne.” This type of acne affects more than half of all acne sufferers and can be extremely uncomfortable and painful as well as an aesthetic concern.
While back acne is easier to conceal than face acne, even a mild case can make people feel uneasy. You are fortunate not to have to live with backne! Find out what causes back acne and how to avoid or treat it.
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WHY DOES BACK ACNE OCCUR?
Acne on the back develops in the same way that acne on the face does: excess oil, dirt, other debris, and bacteria become trapped in the pores, causing lesions and blemishes. The type of acne that develops is determined by the pore’s reaction. As a result, back acne can come in a variety of forms, including:
Whiteheads, also known as closed comedones, form when clogged pores remain closed, resulting in a small white bump.
When clogged pores open to the air, blackheads or open comedones form. Inside, impurities oxidize and turn black.
Papules are small pink bumps that appear as a result of inflamed clogged pores.
Pustules, also known as pimples, are pus-filled papules with a reddish inflamed base.
When bacteria become trapped in the pore, it causes the formation of a hard, painful bump deep beneath the skin’s surface.
Cysts can also be found deep beneath the skin’s surface. This larger, pus-filled acne causes a painful lump that can scar.
Though certain lifestyle activities or poor hygiene can aggravate acne, the cause of acne is complex.
The back is prone to acne due to sweat glands and friction from athletic equipment, chairs, or tight clothing. Acne Mechanica refers to breakouts caused by sweat and physical friction.
Prescription drugs can sometimes cause back acne. Acne is commonly caused by antidepressant and antianxiety medications, as well as corticosteroids and steroids.
Back acne can also be caused by hormonal changes, and it is frequently worse during puberty, menstruation, or pregnancy.
Genetics also plays a role in the development of back acne. Those with oily skin and large pores are more prone to breakouts.
Back acne is distinct from facial acne in two ways:
Because body skin has larger pores and is thicker than facial skin, it is more prone to clogging.
Oil-producing glands on the back are more active than those on the face, resulting in larger, more inflamed acne known as cystic acne.
HOW TO AVOID BACNE
While there is no foolproof method for preventing back acne, there are some simple and effective methods for limiting breakouts. Back acne can be avoided by reducing oil production, keeping skin clean, and minimizing irritation from sweat and friction.
Reduced friction against the back can help keep skin clean and pores from becoming clogged. Think about the following:
Wear clean, oversized shirts with open collars.
Wear layers that can be removed to avoid sweating.
Avoid carrying large backpacks or purses with wide straps.
Remove wet or sweaty clothing as soon as possible after exercising.
Maintain clean and dry athletic pads or equipment, and wear clean cotton t-shirts underneath.
Back Acne Prevention Skin Care
In addition to the aforementioned, the following skincare tips will aid in the reduction of back acne:
Bathe or shower as soon as possible after sweating to remove excess oils and debris before they clog pores. If you are unable to shower immediately after a workout, keep cleansing wipes on hand to use on the areas where you frequently get acne breakouts.
Unless prescribed by your dermatologist, avoid using topical steroids excessively.
Corticosteroids have been linked to acne and other skin changes and should be avoided in excess.
Scrubbing too hard can irritate the skin and increase oil production.
Use body washes and lotions formulated for acne-prone skin instead of oil-based skincare products.
All products you use on your skin should be labeled ‘non-comedogenic,’ which means they do not clog pores or cause acne breakouts. This should be printed somewhere on your product, preferably near the ingredients list.
To cleanse your skin in the shower, use an over-the-counter Benzoyl Peroxide wash. This helps to reduce inflammation and bacterial overgrowth.
However, keep in mind that all products containing benzoyl peroxide have the potential to bleach fabrics if not thoroughly washed off.
Instead of loofahs, brushes, or exfoliators, use a soft washcloth.
Astringents, abrasive scrubs, and antibacterial soaps should be avoided.
Choose a body wash that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
Non-comedogenic cleansers, moisturizers, and lotions should be used.
Choose fragrance-free, gentle products.
Remove Acne-Producing Habits
Consider the following habit changes, in addition to keeping your back clean and dry:
Avoid or minimize the use of acne-causing medications. Discuss alternative treatments with your doctor.
Pimples should not be picked, squeezed, or popped. This can aggravate acne, harm the skin, and cause discoloration or scarring.
Avoid excessive sun exposure. UV rays can darken acne and inflame the skin. Protect yourself with cool, light clothing and a non-comedogenic sunblock.
Even if you haven’t had success with over-the-counter creams and washes, many prescription-strength topical medications are very effective in controlling back acne.
Due to the difficulty of application, skin thickness, and high oil gland activity, topical medications are typically used in conjunction with other acne treatments when treating back acne.
Oral Antibiotics: This is a great option for inflammatory acne, especially in athletes and people who are very active. Antibiotics can help reduce inflammation and the overabundance of bacteria that causes back acne.
Accutane: One of the most popular and effective acne treatments, Accutane is available only by prescription. Accutane, unlike traditional acne medications, may have long-term benefits that last after your course of treatment.
This is one of the most important medications prescribed by dermatologists to prevent acne scarring.
Light therapy with blue-U. Blu-U is a one-of-a-kind treatment that involves the application of a bright, fluorescent blue light to the face.
The fluorescent light technology kills the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, which can aggravate acne by causing additional inflammation and potentially allowing acne to progress and spread.