Causes of Back Acne and How to Prevent It?

When it comes to pesky skin issues, acne often takes the top spot. And if acne on your face isn’t challenging enough, it can also appear on your back, shoulders, and chest. Back acne and body pimples are uncomfortable, hard to manage, and can even impact your clothing choices. Dealing with them can be a literal pain. However, back acne is a common skin problem, and many teenagers and adults go through it.

If you’re familiar with dealing with facial acne, the good news is that you can apply similar techniques to address back and body acne. Let’s delve into more information about back acne, including its causes and the best types of skincare products for managing and preventing acne.

What Is Back Acne?

Back acne, also known as “bacne,” refers to any type of acne that appears on the back. Body acne is quite common, with more than half of the people who have facial acne also experiencing some form of body acne. It most commonly affects the back, shoulders, chest, neck, upper arms, and sometimes even the buttocks. Like facial acne, body acne can manifest as blackheads, whiteheads, cystic acne, or inflamed bumps.

Causes of Back Acne

The primary causes of back acne include genetics, hormones, stress, and diet. High glycemic index foods and dairy can increase the risk of body acne. Topical products that clog pores and tight-fitting clothing, especially when sweating or having oily skin, can also contribute to body acne. For example, wearing a tight sports bra after a sweaty workout may increase the likelihood of back acne.

If you have acne on your body but not your face, it’s often due to delayed post-exercise showers.

Types of Back Acne

  • Blackheads: These are open comedones filled with dirt, dead skin cells, and sebum on the skin’s surface. They are not limited to your facial skin. Like facial acne, back and chest acne is the result of increased bacterial activity and sebum secretion on the skin.
  • Cysts: Cystic acne, also known as pesky hormonal chin acne, forms deep under the skin’s surface. It’s a more severe type of acne, as cysts can be painful and more likely to cause scarring. If you’re dealing with this type of body acne, it’s advisable to consult a dermatologist for treatment.
  • Papules: Papules are a form of acne that appears as tiny inflamed bumps under the skin, without a noticeable head. They create a sandpaper-like texture on the skin.
  • Whiteheads: Whiteheads are closed comedones that appear white or yellow. They often occur when there’s excessive sebum production or bacterial growth. If you have whiteheads, it may be helpful to have them extracted by a dermatologist.

Treating Back Acne

Treating back acne requires three key ingredients: salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and a form of vitamin A. These components help exfoliate the skin, kill acne-causing bacteria, and target and prevent acne.

It’s recommended to shower right after exercising and choose moisture-wicking workout attire. You can use cleansers containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, apply them to the affected areas for three to five minutes during your shower, and then rinse them off to allow the active ingredients to work.

After your shower, use non-comedogenic skincare products and refrain from picking or squeezing pimples. Topical prescription retinoids (such as tretinoin) or over-the-counter options (like adapalene) are excellent choices. If you opt for one of these, skip the salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide body wash, as the combination of these ingredients can be overly irritating and drying for the skin.

Preventing Back Acne

Enzymes in sweat can linger on the skin and potentially lead to breakouts. It’s important to wash your skin within at least ten minutes after sweating, especially after exercising. Using acne body wash immediately post-workout can help remove impurities and reduce the chances of future chest and back acne. If you don’t have time to shower, you can also use post-workout body wipes like Megababe Cucumber Mint Body Wipes, which are great for cleansing sweat and bacteria from the skin while on the go.

The methods for treating and preventing back acne go hand in hand. Topical treatments containing vitamin A, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide not only help treat acne but can also prevent future breakouts by killing acne-causing bacteria.

Please remember to consult your dermatologist before introducing new products or ingredients into your daily routine. If you struggle with back acne regularly, they can help tailor a skincare regimen and may prescribe helpful treatments such as topical retinoids or medicated body washes.

Best Skin Care Products for Back Acne

CeraVe Acne Foaming Cleanser BPO 10%
This foaming cleanser contains benzoyl peroxide and can be used on the face or body to eliminate acne. Use a similar cleanser on your body 3 times a week. Apply it to the skin and leave it on for three to five minutes to give the actives a chance to work and rinse off. With any acne treatment, you should give it about six weeks to see if your regimen is working.

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