Acne is a common skin concern and almost everyone gets acne once in a while on their face. This could be a result of fluctuating hormones, poor lifestyle habits, unhealthy food or irregular skincare routine. But how to deal with acne that appears on your back? While you may have not seen it that often, back acne or ‘bacne’ is very common. Just because our backs are covered, you don’t get to know how many people are struggling with it. Wearing backless or low neck outfits becomes a challenge when you have back acne. And since it appears on the back, applying acne creams also gets pretty inconvenient.
Bacne is a result of built-up dead skin cells and excess oil. Since a lot of sweat and oil gets collected on your back, it is more susceptible to breakouts. It can also be caused by your daily habits. But with a few, simple changes in your daily routine you can get rid of back acne within no time. If you are someone who is dealing with back acne, you have two questions on your mind - why and how? Don’t worry, we will answer why you're getting acne on your back as well as ways to treat it effectively.
Causes of back acne
While back acne is a common skin concern, the reason might be different from one individual to the other. So, it is important to first find out what’s causing acne on your back. Scroll down to see some of the common reasons behind back acne.
1. Hormonal changes
Hormonal imbalance is a real struggle and can cause multiple problems in the body, on your skin it shows up in the form of acne. You may have been told that hormonal acne only appears on the lower part of your face? While that is true, hormonal fluctuation in the body causes your skin to produce excess oil. The increased oil production mixed with sweat, dead skin cells and other impurities becomes the perfect ground for bacteria to grow and leads to acne. Some may experience zits while others may get cystic acne that’s painful to the touch.
Genetics plays an important role in how our skin and hair appear. Just like some of your facial features, you may have inherited some skin problems from your parents, too, such as back acne. While it can be pretty frustrating to deal with, with the right skincare products and habits this can very well be treated. With a little extra care and maybe professional help you can get rid of back acne even if it runs in the family.
3. Inadequate cleansing
Cleansing your skin is super important to keep bacteria at bay, that’s why taking a shower every day is non-negotiable. But some people sweat a lot or have super active lifestyles that makes them sweat excessively. For such individuals, it is necessary to shower twice a day and thoroughly cleanse each part of their body including the back. Use a body scrub at least once a week to remove dead skin cells that may have accumulated on the back. If you work out daily, make sure to take a quick shower right after your session and don’t wear the same clothes again without washing them first if you want to get rid of back acne.
4. Friction from clothing or accessories
Certain types of fabric can trap the sweat in your skin instead of absorbing it, this also leads to acne on the back and shoulders. If you are noticing breakouts only on one shoulder, this could also be because of the strap of your shoulder bag. The friction causes irritation on the skin and leads to acne. It is also advised to check your laundry detergent, as some contain ingredients that may not be suitable for your skin. So, if you’ve recently changed your detergent, it could very well be the reason behind your back acne.
Some medicines and antidepressants contain androgens and lithium which cause more breakouts, these can appear on any part of the body including your back. If you are on these medications, talk to your doctor for alternatives to get rid of back acne.
How to treat back acne
Now that you know all the reasons why you may be experiencing back acne, it’s time to learn how to get rid of them and prevent them from coming back. Below are a few simple yet effective tips that will treat bacne.
1. Choose the right body wash
When picking a product for your skin, look at the ingredients instead of the fragrance or packaging, this ensures it is suitable for your skin type and concerns. If you have back acne, look for a body wash that contains ingredients like salicylic acid or glycolic acid to prevent and treat the acne. Those looking for more natural ingredients can opt for a body wash that contains tea tree oil, it has antibacterial properties and is an excellent ingredient for treating acne.
2. Exfoliate regularly
Your back is a hard-to-reach area, even while applying body wash, you may not be able to cover every area. This leads to the accumulation of dead skin cells that clog pores and lead to breakouts. To get rid of dead skin cells and clogged pores, you need to exfoliate your back regularly. You can prepare a mixture of sugar, olive oil and honey or ground coffee with coconut oil and rub gently all over your body in circular motions. Take a shower after that to reveal smooth and deeply cleansed skin.
3. Shower after a workout
During a workout, your skin releases a lot of toxins along with sweat and leaving it on your skin for a long time will allow bacteria to thrive and invite back acne. Whether you work out at the gym or at home, make sure you take a quick shower right after to wash off all the sweat. You can take a long, deep cleansing shower once you reach home. If you don’t have the option of taking a shower right after, use cleansing wipes to lift off all the sweat and dirt.
4. Eat skin-friendly foods
If your diet includes a lot of deep-fried, sugar-loaded junk food, then your dream to get clear and flawless skin will always remain distant. A well-balanced diet with skin-friendly foods will not only improve your back acne, but will also be helpful for your overall health. Avoid or reduce the intake of sugary foods and dairy, instead eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables with a good amount of proteins.
5. Visit a dermatologist
If you’ve been struggling with back acne for quite a while now and the above tips aren’t giving any results, it's time to see a dermatologist. Stubborn back acne could be a sign of an underlying problem and it is important to consult an expert to get to the root of it and get a proper treatment plan. They may suggest both oral and topical treatment that may help treat the back acne soon.
FAQs about back acne
Q. What is back acne a sign of?
A. Back acne is as common as facial acne and usually, it's not a sign of any underlying problem. Try changing your body wash, avoid wearing tight clothes, take a shower after working out or sweating excessively. This should offer relief, however, if it doesn’t then visit a dermatologist.
Q. Does back acne go away?
A. Just like acne on any other part of your body gets healed with time, back acne should also get healed on its own. However, at times you may have to use a topical cream if there’s inflammation or pain associated with it.
Written by Sanya Hamdani on Apr 09, 2021
Sanya Hamdani is a skincare enthusiast and lipstick hoarder, she truly believes no two red lipsticks look exactly alike. With a Master's degree in Communication & Journalism and 5+ years of digital writing experience up her sleeve, Sanya has some of the biggest beauty experts in the country on her speed dial. When she's not swatching products or writing about the latest trends in beauty, you will find her watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. or cooking up a storm in the kitchen.