Back acne commonly also referred to as “bacne” can be huge problems for people suffering from it. It can cause embarrassment when their backs are on display, are intimate with their partners or even doing something as mundane as swimming!
Bacne can take the form of pimples, cysts or blackheads and can locate on your back, upper arms or even buttocks.
How does back acne form?
All acne including back acne is the result of dead skin cells, sebum and environmental toxins that clog skin pores and causes lesions on the skin. Additionally, acne can also come about through specific bacteria called P.Acnes.
When these lesions are exposed to air the form what we commonly refer to as blackheads. If these lesions become inflamed they turn to red pimples that eventually turn to whiteheads or a pustule if infected.
Back acne is very common in teenagers as teenage skin secretes lots of sebum due to the sex hormones at that time in life. However; the problem is not exclusive to teenagers, as people can develop the condition in adulthood.
So! How do you get rid of acne on your back?
Sadly, there is no simple one size fits all solution. You may need to do a bit of trial and error to solve the problem but the most efficient methods of treating back acne are listed below.
How to get rid of acne on your back?
One of the easiest lifestyle changes you can make is to wear breathable clothing made from cotton or linen. This also goes for when you are working out.
Breathable fabrics either natural or manmade help wick away sweat which if left unchecked can create a moist environment for bacteria to thrive and therefore cause acne. Avoid fabrics like spandex as it traps sweat and prevents the skin from breathing.
Additionally, it goes without saying but ensure you are wearing clean clothes daily!
2. Moisturize, but not too much!
The skin on the chest and back usually secrete more sebum than the rest of the body. You may notice that your arms and legs are usually more prone to suffering from dry skin that the chest or back.
You can also alternatively use a salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide moisturizer to help get rid of your bacne.
It’s advised that you moisturize lightly after exfoliation (tip 3 and 5) to replace and moisture lost when showering.
3. Shower Regularly and Stay Hygienic
When treating any sort of acne, showering and ensuring you are staying hygienic are of paramount importance, however, there are sources of bacteria and grime that you may pick without even knowing.
These sources can include:
- Dirty bedding. Many people who sleep with their shirts off when sleeping are exposed to previous sweat, dirt, dust and other environmental debris. As we spend a third of our day sleeping (8 hours), it’s vital that we change our bedding frequently every week or so.
- Dirty towels. For the same reasons above, towels are excellent environments for the build up of bacteria and even viruses due to their very function. Again, change towels every week or so.
4. Use Epsom Salts Or Sea Salts
Sea Salts and Epsom salts are both rich in Magnesium. Magnesium has proven anti-inflammatory effects which can reduce redness that is associated with acne. Along with this, these salts can provide some exfoliation due to the coarseness when rubbed into the skin.
To use these salts simply mix them up in a bath and soak until you see fit. Soaking in these salts has the added benefits of reducing stress which can also be a trigger for acne.
5. Exfoliate properly
Dead skin cells are continuously sloughing off our bodies naturally, however, this can be a process which can be inhibited by various factors including the clothes that we wear. Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells to unclog pores.
However mechanical and chemical exfoliation has been proven to reduce the risk of developing acne, evening out complexion and leaving skin smooth, soft and supple.
We’ve written about the importance of exfoliation in fighting acne here and here and are big proponents of it! If you’re looking to exfoliate you back we have a best back scrubber list to solve that problem easily.
6. Rinse Hair Thoroughly
You ladies with long beautiful hair know how time consuming it can be to wash and sometimes we can be in a hurry to get on with our busy lives.
However, in doing this there is a risk of not rinsing our hair thoroughly enough. This leftover product, either shampoo or conditioner dries up on our skin and proceeds to clog pores which in turn results in back acne.
It may sound simple and even obvious but make sure you thoroughly rinse off hair products or any shower products off your skin.
7. Use Essential Oils
If you’ve been to a spa you know that essential oils are excellent for calming, soothing and relaxing us through the power of scent. But they are also great for treating acne.
Some essential oil combinations can minimize inflammation, fight bacterial and fungal infections making them perfect for acne.
One of the best known essential oils for the treatment of acne is Tea Tree oil but in addition to tea tree oil, there are other oils which also help acne like a frankincense and lavender blend.
Applying oils to your back can be a huge problem due to the lack of mobility the human body has. It’s best to use a back lotion application tool or ask a friend or family member to apply the oil.
8. Laundry Detergent
Those of us with sensitive skin may know that the laundry detergents we use may cause general skin irritation. However, for some people, this skin irritation can be magnified due to the parabens and other chemical ingredients in the detergent
Early studies have shown that parabens like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) in common cosmetics, detergents and laundry products can cause acne. This is again because they can cause pores to be blocked with chemical compounds.
To avoid this altogether consider using laundry detergent for sensitive skin or for acne prone skin.
Although these tips aren’t exhaustive they are the first steps in treating back acne before more aggressive steps. For the overwhelmingly large majority of people, these 8 steps will work wonders and I have tested these out on myself!
Back acne does not have to cause you pain and anxiety when it can be treatable with some wisely chosen lifestyle choices. It also shouldn’t be accepted as a permanent and incurable condition.
Good luck and tell us how they have worked for you.