Treating pimples can be challenging, no matter where you get them. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition, with 40-50 million Americans developing them at the same time. Although the face is a common site for acne, it can also affect your back and can be particularly troublesome.
What is back acne?
Sometimes, large tender acne lesions develop on your back, also referred to as “bacne”, they can cause blackheads, whiteheads, pustules, papules, and even cysts. Cysts are larger pus-filled acne that develops when bacteria get trapped in your hair follicle resulting in a painful lump which ends up as a permanent scar in your back.
Mostly, they either burst or heal up on its own without rupturing. Grade 1 mild back acne consists of a few blemishes, including whiteheads or blackheads while Grade 4 acne is severe and can cause many spots or cysts.
Back acne is incredibly annoying as they would pop up just before a vacation and most enraging of all, you don’t always know you have it! Fortunately, if you have back acne, you don’t have to wait for it to clear on its own. Appropriate skin care and treatment can help you get rid of it quickly.
What causes back acne?
Back Acne is triggered due to an inflammatory response caused by the combination of dead skin cells within the skin pores and overgrowth of a common skin bacteria called “Cutibacterium acnes.” There could be several reasons why people get back acne – Genetics, hormones, medications, stress, sweat, and more. It is usually associated with excessive sweating during your workout or increased friction from your athletic gear and clothing.
How can I clear up my back acne?
There are several ways to get rid of the acne on their back. All these things together would curb its growth and allow it to heal up quickly.
1) Shower after a workout
Letting the dirt and sweat sit on your skin after the workout can be the biggest contributor to back acne. As soon as you complete your daily workout or sports activities, remember to take a shower. You should also wash those sweaty clothes after a workout session.
2) Use a gentle Exfoliating scrub
Exfoliating scrub with salicylic acid can gently remove dirt and sweat from your skin pores. It also helps reduce the dead skin cells that could clog pores.
3) Don’t Scrub
Scrubbing the skin with acne may seem useful, but it would actually make it worse. Avoid loofahs, buff puffs, back brushes and for the best results, just gently exfoliate.
4) Wear Loose-fitting clothing
While working out, tight clothing can trap dirt or sweat and rub it against your back into your pores. Working out on a dirty floor or without a shirt can also cause problems. Always wear loose-fitting breathable workout clothes made of cotton or sweat-wicking fabric.
5) Keep hair off your back
The long hair may be adding oil and dirt to the back of your skin, worsening the acne outbreak. If you have long hair, put it in a bun or ponytail during a sweat session. Wash your hair regularly and while doing so, don’t allow the conditioner or shampoo to run down your back.
6) Use oil-free skincare products
Be careful while choosing your sunscreen and other skincare products. Using Greasy sunscreen can only contribute to the clogging of pores. Make sure that you use skincare products and cosmetics that are oil-free and light on your skin.
7) Use the best home remedies for back acne
In most cases, you can get rid of the back acne by adopting some lifestyle changes and in-home remedies. here are some of the most effective home remedies for back acne treatment
Tea Tree Oil
Made from a tree leaf found in Australia, it’s been used for many years to treat a variety of skin disorders. Most of the lotions, body washes, creams, cleansers found in the market to treat acne use this ingredient. Studies suggest that Tea Tree oil can kill skin-dwelling bacteria and alleviate acne-related problems.
How to apply it?
· Mix 1 part of tea tree oil in 9 parts water
- Use a cotton swab to apply it to the affected area.
- Use moisturizer if required.
- Repeat this process 1-2 times a day
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar also has the ability to kill many types of viruses and bacteria. Made by fermenting apple cider, they contain various organic acids that fight back acne and suppress inflammation. They also prevent permanent scarring and dries up the excess oil present in the acne in the first place.
How to apply it?
- Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts water (4 parts if you have sensitive skin)
- After cleansing the back, apply the mixture to the affected area using a cotton ball.
- Let it sit for 20 seconds and rinse it with water.
- Repeat this process 1-2 times a day
Zinc Rich foods
Research indicates that Zinc can curb acne-related inflammation by reducing the skin’s oil production cells. Zinc is an essential mineral for the body’s immune system and is responsible for breaking up your carbohydrates. Foods such as Oysters, wheat germ, spinach, pumpkin seeds, meats, nuts, and shellfish are rich in Zinc.
8) Don’t Scratch it
Finally, resist the temptation to pop acne on your back as it will only worsen the problem.
What is the best back acne treatment?
If you can’t get rid of the back acne using home remedies and lifestyle changes or if the back acne pops up now and then, you can use these effective back acne treatment options.
1) Topical Creams
If you have mild to moderate acne, topical creams are the first choice of dermatologists. The treatment involves applying the cream directly to the affected area. People with few blemishes can easily clean up their back in 4-8 weeks by using this back acne treatment.
The American Academy of Dermatology prescribes various topical cream products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. People should apply the cream to the whole affected area and not just the spots, usually twice a day.
Along with topical medication, oral medications are essential for severe back acne lesions such as Cysts or Nodules. Treatment may include:
- Antibiotics to kill the bacteria and reduce inflammation: A person may need to take them for up to 6 months to prevent its future outbreak.
- Birth control pills that impact hormones and reduce the amount of oil the skin produces. A person needs to take them for 3-4 months. It may interrupt ovulation so ask your dermatologist before proceeding with these pills.
- Isotretinoin is a powerful medication that will provide you with benefits even after two years of treatment. However, it comes with some side effects, which include infertility and depression.