Having back acne or bacne is the last thing that you want. We all know how annoying pimples can be, especially when they come in friction with other objects. This makes laying down, putting and taking off clothes, or using a backpack painful.
If you’re struggling with bacne and can’t wait to get rid of them, then knowing the right treatments will be a great help. In this article, you’ll find all the information you need that you can do to reduce, even get rid completely of your bacne.
So keep on scrolling and set yourself free of the annoying and painful bacne!
What Is Back Acne?
Back acne is the acne that develops in the back area. It’s a common condition, affecting 90% of people worldwide at least once in their lifetime. People with recurring facial acne are also prone to have bacne problems.
This condition is characterised by whiteheads or inflammatory pimples around the shoulders, upper back, all the way to lower back. Compared to women, men have a higher likelihood of developing this issue.
Furthermore, due to the areas in which bacne develops, doing daily activities can be unsettling. One may easily have their bacne come in contact with other objects, leading to frictions that can further worsen the inflammation.
As a result, doing anything that involves the back area is no longer easy. Activities like laying down, putting on or taking off clothes, and using a backpack can be painful, due to the frictions and pressures that come in contact with the bacne.
What Causes Back Acne?
Bacne, like regular acne, is caused primarily by overactive sebaceous glands. Excessive sebum production from overactive glands clogs pores and hair follicles. This, in turn, leads to the formation of bacne.
While bacne is common and affects large numbers of people, many individuals are unaware of its causes. If you struggle with bacne, understanding its causes can help you get rid of it from its roots.
Now let’s take a look at the common causes of bacne, as listed below:
Hormones control our bodily processes, including sebum production. When there’s a sudden spike of a certain hormone, particularly androgen, one is prone to experiencing a breakout. This is particularly true for teenagers who are still undergoing hormonal fluctuation.
However, adults may also experience the breakout caused by hormonal changes. In this case, adult women are the ones who are prone to have hormone-induced bacne, as they go through menstruation, pregnancy and menopause.
Excess Dead Skin
Excess dead skin accumulates on the surface. As it accumulates more and more, it can mix up with oil and sweat, causing bacteria to thrive. This may trigger inflammation that clogs up pores and hair follicles, leading to bacne development.
Maintaining basic hygiene is key to preventing bacteria contamination, which triggers bacne to grow. This includes showering regularly, washing your clothes properly, and ensuring that your backpack, towel or linen is clean.
Failing to maintain basic hygiene, on the other hand, will cause bacteria to grow and contaminate your skin. This is especially important, with the fact that your back is a moist and warm environment that’s ideal for bacteria to thrive.
Your Skin Type
There are a variety of skin types, including dry, normal, and oily skin. People with oily skin, in this case, are prone to having bacne. Their skin naturally produces a higher amount of sebum, which leads to clogged pores and hair follicles.
On the other hand, people with dry or normal skin may also develop bacne. However, the prevalence isn’t as high as in those with oily skin.
What Are The Types Of Back Acne?
Back acne, just like regular acne, comes in a variety of types with differing characteristics. Understanding the differences will help you to find the right approaches to heal your bacne.
See if any of the following is the type of back acne you have and make your way to treating your bacne better:
Whiteheads are the type of acne that appears as small and closed comedones. They occur as a result of clogged pores from a mixture of dead skin cells, sebum, and bacteria. If whiteheads get untreated, it’s possible that they can cause further inflammation.
Blackheads are the type of acne that appears as dark, small, and open comedones. They occur as a result of the combination between oxidation and clogged pores from sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria.
Papules are the type of acne inflammation that appear as small and raised bumps. The size of papules is usually less than 1 centimetre, which varies in colour, from pink, to red, to brown.
Pustules are the type of acne that can be characterised by tender and red bumps. These pus-filled bumps are caused by pores inflammation, appearing with a yellowish or whitish centre.
Nodules are the type of acne that can be identified with a solid and raised bump extending deeper into the skin compared to other acne types. Nodules are also larger and cause more severe inflammation compared to papules or pustules.
Cysts are the type of acne that appears as a closed sac beneath the skin. Cysts are filled with fluid, pus, and other semi-solid material. They are larger compared to other acne types and can be identified by a round and raised appearance.
How To Prevent Back Acne Flare-Ups?
Certain circumstances can trigger back acne flare-ups. When this occurs, the bacne inflammation gets more severe or affects a larger part of the back area. As a result, treating the bacne will become challenging.
If this issue sounds familiar to you, understanding the measures to prevent back acne flare-ups is worth the effort. This will help you heal your bacne more effectively, with less likelihood of it becoming worse.
Let’s take a look at the following suggestions:
Wearing loose-fitting clothes
Wearing loose-fitting clothes reduces the friction that commonly happens with tight-fitting clothes. Friction can irritate the bacne, which can further worsen the inflammation that feels painful.
In addition, loose-fitting clothes also give room for your skin to breathe. With this higher air circulation, the heat or your sweat won’t get trapped. As we know, bacteria thrive in a warm and moist environment, and loose-fitting clothes will help prevent this issue.
Changing clothes after you sweat
Sweat-soaked clothes are an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. When you’re already struggling with bacne, the bacteria contamination can worsen your condition. That’s why changing clothes after you sweat is a helpful way to reduce the likelihood of bacne flare-ups.
Limiting the use of a heavy backpack
Using a heavy backpack puts pressure on your back. When you have bacne, it can increase the painful sensation. Aside from giving pressure, a heavy backpack can also cause friction, which can increase inflammation.
Trying other alternatives like a handbag or tote bag can be a helpful choice. However, if it’s impossible for you, then you may want to combine using a backpack and a tote bag. This way, the weight is no longer focused on your back, which can interfere with your bacne issue.
Showering regularly helps you to cleanse your skin, including the back area, effectively. When you shower regularly, you can remove excess sebum, sweat, bacteria, and dead skin cells that can clog your pores and cause bacne formation.
We suggest you choose a gentle cleanser formulated for acne-prone skin. Not only does a gentle cleanser feel more comfortable for your skin, but it also helps you to better manage the bacne inflammation.
Maintaining healthy diet
Highly processed food that contains a lot of preservatives can spike blood sugar levels. The sudden increase of blood sugar triggers insulin production that stimulates certain hormones causing bacne flare-ups.
For this reason, you need to maintain a healthy diet. Foods like whole grains, fruits, veggies, and lean protein are your go-to meal choices to balance your hormones and reduce the likelihood of worsening bacne problems.
First-line Back Acne Treatment Choices
Despite how problematic back acne can be, there are feasible ways that help you get rid of it. Start by trying out these first-line back acne treatment choices, as listed below:
Retinoid is a derivative of Vitamin A commonly found in a variety of skincare products. This ingredient works in treating bacne by normalising the skin cell turnover rate, reducing inflammation, and preventing the formation of clogged pores.
Roaccutane or isotretinoin is an oral medication used to treat severe and persistent breakouts. Your doctor may prescribe you Roaccutane if other treatments are ineffective to calm down your back acne.
Roaccutane works by controlling sebum production, preventing the accumulation of dead skin cells, and providing anti-inflammatory effects. This, in turn, will help in healing bacne breakouts and preventing their future formation.
Salicylic acid or beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) is a skincare ingredient commonly used to treat breakouts. Derived from willow bark, it has exfoliating and inflammatory properties. These properties help in reducing dead skin cells and inflammation which are prevalent in bacne.
Benzoyl peroxide has an oxidising agent that provides antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it ideal to cleanse bacteria off of the back acne. Hence using body care products with benzoyl peroxide is the right choice to effectively control your bacne.
Centella Asiatica (Cica)
Centella Asiatica or cica is made of an herbal plant that has long been used for traditional benefits. It has a variety of health benefits, including providing gentle therapeutic properties to breakouts both forming on the face and the back area.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is derived from the tea tree leaves. It provides therapeutic properties that help in treating skin breakouts gently. For now, there are a variety of products made of tea tree oil, which you can choose to effectively get rid of your bacne.
Clinical Back Acne Treatment: Get Rid Of Bacne More Effectively
In some cases, back acne may still be present even after getting the first-line treatments mentioned before. Thankfully, there are a variety of clinical treatments that help in fighting bacne more effectively.
Have a look at the available clinical back acne treatments below:
Sciton Broadband Light (BBL)
Sciton Broadband Light (BBL) is a non-invasive skin rejuvenation that can treat your back acne. This treatment works by generating pulsed light at adjustable wavelengths, targeting the skin surface.
The energy produced from the pulsed light will fight against the bacteria that cause bacne. It will also control sebum production and strengthen the skin, preventing bacne to reoccur and allowing you to have a smoother back for a longer time.
Revlite laser is another non-invasive back acne treatment that you can choose. It works by radiating monochromatic light at a varied band of wavelengths. Once delivered to the skin surface, the energy targets the bacteria that contribute to bacne.
Additionally, the laser energy will also target the excessive blood vessels and calm down the inflammation. Inflammation commonly happens in several types of bacne, including papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts.
Agnes Radio Frequency
Agnes Radio Frequency is a non-invasive clinical back acne treatment. It works by delivering a tiny burst of RF energy into the skin surface, which goes into the deeper skin layers.
The RF energy will gradually shrink the oil glands, which are responsible for producing excess sebum. Once you have your oil glands reduced from this treatment, chances are you’ll have less frequent bacne due to clogged pores in the long run.
Skin Peels (Enerpeel)
Skin peels treatment entails using a chemical exfoliant to remove dead skin cells that cause bacne formation. This treatment is suitable to perform on a variety of bacne types. It helps in gradually reducing them as new skin cells are formed.
When it comes to skin peels, Enerpeel becomes an ideal choice. It exfoliates your skin and helps to unclog your pores more gently compared to conventional chemical peels. This gives you smoother skin while reducing post-treatment inflammation or irritation.
When it comes to treating back acne, your medical aesthetic doctor may prescribe you oral or topical antibiotics. Antibiotics help in clearing up bacteria that contribute to your bacne.
In addition, when you combine your back acne treatment with antibiotics, the result will be more prominent. This is because antibiotics directly target the bacteria, keeping the breakout and inflammation under control.
However, you need to use your antibiotics. Pay attention to what your medical aesthetic doctor said and take the antibiotics as prescribed to have the bacne bacteria fully cleared up.
In final words, back acne is uncomfortable and painful. Having it makes it annoying for you to do daily activities like laying down, putting on or taking off clothes, and using a backpack.
Thankfully, there are several back acne treatments that you can try to resolve this issue. These treatments work differently but have the same goal to clear up your back from pimples.
Now if you’re looking to clear up your bacne, you’ve come to the right place. We are an aesthetic clinic with years of experience in treating acne, including those that form in the back area.
Even if you have no idea of which treatment to choose, Dr Dylan Chau will gladly help you out in getting the right approach that works for your skin condition and concerns.
Contact us today and make your way towards a smooth and blemish-free back!
What hormone causes back acne?
Androgen or testosterone hormone imbalance is the primary cause of bacne formation. Teenagers and adult women are the most susceptible to developing bacne due to hormonal imbalance.
Are pimples on the back normal?
Yes, pimples on the back or known as bacne are a normal condition. It affects roughly 90% of people at least once in their lifetime.