Back acne – you might not see it, but if you have it, you’ll certainly feel it. And although not everyone will get acne on their backs, this condition is common enough to have earned the nickname, ‘bacne’. Sounds funny but it isn’t really. The back area is home to thousands of sebaceous glands and each one is busy producing a lot of oil. Tight-fitting clothing and clothing made from fabrics that don’t allow the skin to breathe are two of the biggest instigators of back acne. Even wearing a backpack has been attributed to triggering bouts of back acne.
These types of clothing and accessories trap the oil that’s being constantly produced by the sebaceous glands on the back. And just like the acne that appears on other parts of the body, when the sebaceous gland gets clogged, dead skin cells become trapped inside the hair follicles and soon, bacteria is on its way, inflaming the tissues surrounding the affected areas and causing acne.
Any type of acne can appear on the back including whiteheads and blackheads, pustules (the surface type), papules (a bit deeper) or the acne can form deep in the skin and cause acne cysts. Back acne doesn’t seem to be triggered by hereditary, stress or a poor diet, but long hair has been known to aggravate the pores on the back. If you have long hair and back acne, you might want to keep your hair off your back.
Back Acne Treatments
The skin that covers the back is much thicker than the skin that covers the other parts of the body where acne is prone to appear. And because of this difference in skin thickness, the treatment regime for ‘bacne’ is going to be different.
It’s still very important to keep the back clean and the best way is to bathe or shower frequently, especially after working out. Use a cleanser that contains salicylic or glycolic acid. If you’ve never used one before, now is the time to learn how to gently use a loofah so you can begin removing those dead skin cells (also known as exfoliating).
After washing and drying the skin, apply a topical product that contains benzoyl peroxide to the areas on the back that are affected by acne and be sure to allow the product to fully absorb into the skin (it can stain clothing). Also, it’s important to only treat the areas that have acne, rather than slathering the product all over the back. You don’t want the skin on your back to become excessively dry. If you dry out the skin, you’ll have to moisturize and that could cause more acne. If you cannot reach the affected areas, have someone apply the product for you.
That’s all you really need to treat back acne. Most people don’t wash their backs as well as they should so changing this bad habit will produce almost immediate results. Of course if your back acne is severe, you should consult with a dermatologist.