Acne is most often associated with teenagers, but also commonly affects adults. And in addition to appearing on your face, blemishes can also pop up on your back.
Is back acne like facial acne?
The same things cause acne, whether it’s on your face or back: increased oil production, bacteria, blocked pores, and irregular cell turnover. In addition, both types of acne can be linked to hormones or have a genetic component.
But since the skin on your back is much thicker than the skin on your face, it may require stronger treatments. And because of its location, acne on your back can be triggered in different ways.
Since your face has a better blood supply and skin turnover, back blemishes are also more likely to leave scars than those on your face. This includes keloids – raised, overgrown scars.
How can you prevent back acne?
- Shower after workouts – Shower after working out instead of continuing to wear your sports bra or shirt. Get clean and change clothes right after so your back can air out.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing – Wear loose-fitting shirts when you work out, since tight-fitting clothing can trap grime and sweat so it enters your pores.
- Watch your products – Products such as conditioner, body cream, and sunscreen can clog your pores and cause back acne. Make sure to flip your hair to the front when you’re washing and conditioning then rinse the residue off your back. Apply lotions instead of creams, and when you use sunscreen, choose lighter formulas.
- Wash and exfoliate your back – Since your back is harder to reach in the tub or shower, it’s easy to give it a quick rinse and think that’s enough. But your back needs washing as much as the rest of your body, preferably with a gentle exfoliating cleanser.
- Eat a healthy diet – Foods that make your blood sugar rise quickly can cause acne – including back blemishes. Avoid white foods like breads, pasta, and rice, and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
How can you get rid of back acne?
When you’re experiencing a breakout, the following can help:
- Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide products – This combination is also used for your face, but you can use stronger formulas for your back because your skin is thicker and less sensitive. Since your back can be hard to reach, scrubs or body washes are often effective.
- Retinol – This product treats the acne you already have and helps prevent new blemishes in the future. Gels and creams are available over-the-counter or by prescription, but you may need an applicator to help you apply them.
- Prescription antibiotics – These can be prescribed in oral or topical form to help treat back acne.
For more information on how to get rid of back acne, make an appointment today with Hollywood Dermatology & Cosmetic Specialists at one of our convenient South Florida locations.