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What is back acne?
Some may refer to this condition as ‘bacne’ and others will simply call it back acne. However you say it, it doesn’t sound like something that you would want to have on your body.
This type of acne takes away from showing skin in the warmer months especially when it’s time of the year to go out to festivals and parades. It may even scare the most confident of men from wearing tank tops at the gym or out in public.
Back acne is what is sounds like, acne that resides on your back. The acne spreads across the shoulder blades and can travel from your upper back down to your lower back.
What causes back acne?
There are several factors that can cause acne, but the main reason for the outbreak is when pores get clogged with dead skin cells. This creates a breeding ground for bacteria to flourish, causing inflammation. Other factors are tight clothing, excessive sweating, genetics, and hormones.
Close fitting clothes, especially those with material that doesn’t allow for your skin to have room to breathe can irritate the skin and cause those awful bumps.
Excessive sweating from being out in the heat or from exercising can also cause acne. When the sweat travels down the skin and mixes with toxins and oils at the skin’s surface, it can irritate the pores, resulting in an outbreak.
There are so many factors that you can control when looking at the cause for acne, but there are two that you can’t necessarily change. Genetics and hormones can play into acne outbreaks.
Things you can’t control
It may sound weird, but genes such as how easily your pores clog and the hereditary tendency to overproduce dead skin cells can lead for easy outbreaks. So in this case, it’s definitely not your fault!
Hormonal acne is the absolute worse. You may be reading this and thinking, “But I’m beyond my teenage years! This acne mess should be kept in the past and it shouldn’t follow me into the later years of my life!”
Unfortunately, although hormone changes are known to be popular during our high school years, we will never be able to outgrow them.
Our bodies are always growing and changing. For women, changes such as monthly periods, pregnancy, menopause, can be the culprit for acne outbreaks.
For men, hormonal changes from hormonal enhancements or steroids that are taken to cause for levels of testosterone to rise can cause for back acne.
Another change in the body that can freak out your hormones is stress. Cortisol, the culprit hormone responsible for stress can cause quite a stir in your biological system, throwing it out of whack.
How to get rid of back acne
Now that we have talked about back acne and what causes it, you are probably wondering how to fix it. Well, we have just the solution for you.
- Proper hygiene and a good diet is the best way to steer clear of back acne, or any acne in general. A good balanced diet with minimal sugars and drinking the recommended amount of water works wonders on your skin.
- Showering frequently and keeping your skin clean and properly moisturized works as well. Showering after working out is highly recommended to make sure that pores don’t get clogged from the sweat sitting on the surface of the skin.
- Washing your bed sheets at least once a week also falls into the category of good hygiene. When you constantly get in and out of your bed, the sheets that come into contact with your skin absorbs oils and dirt. With the oil and dirt left onto the sheets, bacteria can breed and the build-up can cause acne on the back.
- Using a specialised cleanser or back acne treatment product. Using products that contain good amounts of salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide (acne fighting bacteria) is essential to combating back acne.
Back acne treatment
When good hygiene and a healthy diet don’t quite fix the back acne problem, there are other treatments that can pick up the missing pieces.
Over the counter treatments that are easily found in drugstores and retail stores. Cleansers that are designed to target and clear out the pores without over drying the skin are ideal for keeping back acne at bay.
Can I use just any acne product to clear up the acne on my back?
Great question. In short no, you can’t use just any acne treatment product on your back. As we all know, the skin from your face differs from your back, neck, and shoulders.
The skin on your face is definitely a lot more delicate and thinner versus the thicker counter part of your back. With that being said, acne in areas with thicker skin results in more resistance than it would for your precious face.
So, what should I use to clear up back acne?
With so many products on the market claiming to be the best of the best, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the options. Even more so, it is upsetting to purchase a product that claims to work wonders only to fall flat and fail you.
The best acne products contain the right amount of salicylic acid, an ingredient used to open pores, and benzoyl peroxide, an ingredient that does the dirty work and fights acne causing bacteria.
Don’t worry, extensive research and many cups of coffee have been sacrificed to give you the ultimate guide when it comes to treatment for back acne.
Included in the below guide are the major pros and cons, instructions on how to use the product effectively, which skin type the product works best for. Lastly, prices and links to lowest prices available are listed.
7 Back Acne Treatment Products that Actually Work
This body spray works best for not only your back, but it also tackles acne on your chest and shoulders.
It is specially formulated to treat acne with aloe, witch hazel, tree oil, salicylic acid, menthol, and mint.
This product is good for all skin types and the formula is peroxide-based and can be used on sensitive skin.
- All natural ingredients
- Moisturizes the skin and leaves it healthy
- Light and airy scent, not a pungent chemical type of scent left on the skin
- Easy to use for hard to reach places, like your back.
- Pricier than most other products on the market for the amount of product you receive.
- Not all natural products may agree with certain allergies. If you are allergic to aloe or mint, it may cause an adverse reaction.
How to use:
Make sure that the area that you want to apply the product is clean and free of dirt or oil. If washing the area before applying, make sure to pat the area dry with a clean towel. Spray the affected area where blemishes are noticeable and allow it to dry. Do not rinse off the product. You can use this product as often as desired.
Our rating: 3.5/5
This product sets the bar when it comes to having an organic soap. Vi Tae formulated this product to contain 85% organic ingredients, the highest that a soap could possible contain.
With all the organic goodness, acne definitely doesn’t stand a chance against all of nature’s cleaning qualities.
The soap does not contain any harmful, toxic, or synthetic chemicals. This product works well with all skin types.
- The product contains palm oil which defends the skin against breakouts.
- Safflower oil cleanses the pores and removes dirt and toxins while palm oil defends the skin against breakouts.
- Doesn’t dry out the skin
- Extremely moisturizing and gentle on the skin
- Although this product is good for all skin types, the natural ingredients may irritate those who have eczema.
- For those who don’t like reusing bar soaps may not like the application of this product.
How to use:
Using fresh warm water, rub the bar of soap against a wash cloth until there is a rich lather. Scrub the wash cloth against the affected area in a circular motion until the skin is clean and clear. Rinse thoroughly.
Our rating: 3.5/5
Best back acne treatment for sensitive skin
This product is the holy grail for skin types that cannot handle salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
This gentle cleanser contains fresh fruit extracts such as papaya and grapefruit to help break down dead skin cells.
Oats used to help exfoliate the skin also live in this bottle of magic. This product is great for sensitive skin.
It may also help to prevent future breakouts.
- Perfect amount of exfoliation in the product so it won’t irritate the skin
- Great price for the value of the cleanser
- Also helps to diminish skin discoloration
- Helps to prevent future breakouts
- Cruelty free
- May dry out your skin if you have combination skin
- AHA may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun causing your skin to burn easily
- Not ideal fro severe breakouts. May not be as strong/potent as others in this list
How to Use:
Apply the product to a warm wet cloth and wash the affected area using circular motions. Don’t be alarmed if the product doesn’t produce a rich lather, it is not intended to create a rich lather. Avoid using this product on your face as it is formulated to be used on the body. This product can be used twice a day.
Our rating: 4/5
You may be thinking, “but I don’t even have eczema, so why would I need this?”. Well, whether you have eczema or not, this product is great for clearing up back acne.
The skin on your back is definitely a lot tougher than your face so you can use stronger products, like this one, on your back acne.
The thick and creamy texture allows for easy application and it is best for oily skin.
This product is so affordable, you don’t have to worry about using too much of its goodness because you can always run out to the store to grab some more.
Thanks to it’s thick texture though, a little bit goes a long way.
- Thick and creamy texture, easy to apply
- This is a Non-comedogenic product so it won’t clog your pores or make the acne worse
- Triclosan is a great anti-bacterial that gets rid of the stubborn acne
- Drying for dry to combination skin types
- Doesn’t use salicylic acid if that is what you are looking for
How to use it:
Wet your back with warm water before applying the product to your hands. Add warm water to the product and work into a lather. Apply the lather onto the affected area and massage gently. Rinse thoroughly with water and pat dry with a clean towel. May be used twice daily.
Our rating: 4/5
When your skin’s pH levels are too alkaline, you may experience acne and inflammation.
Thanks to pHisoderm, your skin’s pH level will be put back in check! This product was formulated to be affective for all skin types.
There is a minimal amount of salicylic acid is in this product, but it is still effective enough to clear up those breakouts.
Overall, the mission of the cleanser is to breakdown the acne and sooth the skin, bringing it back to the skin’s natural pH. It is also very cost effective.
- Contains vitamin E and chamomile to soothe the skin
- Has been proven to restore the skin’s pH level back to where it should be
- The natural ingredients keep the skin moisturized.
- Has a very light scent
- Make sure to check to see if you are allergic to aloe and chamomile, this may negatively affect your skin
- If you want or need a product with a stronger amount of salicylic acid, you may need to find another product as this only contains 2% salicylic acid
How To Use:
Apply the product to your hands and create a lather using warm water. Wash the affected area and rinse thoroughly.
Our rating: 4.5/5
This Allure 2015 Best of Beauty Award winner has proven to be consistently in the top two for clearing up back acne.
The glycolic acid (used for exfoliation and effectively removing the outermost layer of dead cells) and salicylic acid in this product work harmoniously together to penetrate and deeply clean your pores.
The beautiful ocean blue goo contains tiny date seeds used to gently exfoliate the skin.
After working hard to clean your pores, the green tea and licorice root extract work to soothe and keep the skin from irritation.
It is gentle on skin and great for almost all skin types.
- Fresh-smelling product compared to some more chemically intensive products
- Date seeds in the formula effectively exfoliate without irritating the skin
- Effective in keeping skin feeling moisturized
- Works to decrease the red spots caused by acne and reduces the look of acne scars
- Although this is great for all skin types, if your skin is extremely sensitive, there are better options
- The price is a little steep for the actual quantity of the product
How To Use:
Using warm water, wet a wash cloth before applying the product. Using a circular motion, gently scrub the affected area to exfoliate and clean out the pores. Rinse thoroughly.
Our rating: 5/5
Best back acne treatment
Need a high dose of benzoyl peroxide but can’t or don’t want to get the prescription?
Look no further! PanOxyl contains the highest amount of benzoyl peroxide available without a prescription.
With one of the highest overall ratings on Amazon (79% five star feedback), this product sits at the top of the list for anyone looking to get rid of severe back acne.
This foaming wash works gently to remove dirt and excess oil trapped in your pores.
This product is also dermatologist recommended and is great for oily skin.
- Highest level of benzoyl peroxide
- Quickly clears up dark spots
- Works best on cystic break outs
- Can also be used on face and chest
- May dry out skin for those who are sensitive to high levels of benzoyl peroxide
- The scent may be too strong (and a lot less floral) for those looking for a more perfume smelling cleanser
How to use:
Wet a wash cloth with warm water before applying the product onto the cloth. Using a circular motion, gently scrub the affected area. Rinse thoroughly.
Our rating: 5/5
When back acne treatment doesn’t work
If you’ve tried all of the above and you still don’t see a difference (although this is very unlikely) you can still get further help. When in doubt, seek advice from your dermatologist. They will be able to recommend what is best for your skin.
When back acne gets too severe, they are able to provide treatments that are not so easy to find in the store. Two examples of what a dermatologist may prescribe are birth control pills or a cortisone shot.
For women, if it is found that breakouts are worse around the time of their period. The acne may be linked to those hormones. Birth control contains estrogen and progestin which can help keep hormones balanced and skin clear as day.
Cortisone shots are also used for emergency situations. You can book an appointment with your dermatologist to have them give you a shot of the corticosteroid and within 24-48 hours, you can kiss the acne goodbye.
The way this works is by lowering the inflammation which combats against awful flare ups. However bear in mind that this is only a temporary solution.
Overall, back acne is just an awful thing to have to experience. Luckily for you, there are many ways to identify causes of back acne and ways to treat it.
So, what kind of experiences have you had with back acne? What did you find to be the biggest trigger for back acne?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Always remember to read the label carefully and consult your doctor before trying anything new.