What is bacne (or backacne)? If you’ve had it, then you know it’s acne (whiteheads, blackheads and cysts) on your back. It can occur in both men and women, though it’s more common in men.
What causes bacne? The same things that cause acne on your face: hormonal changes, excess oil production and bacteria, and excess dead skin cells that clog pores. Excessive sweating and tight clothing can also cause bacne.
How can you get rid of bacne?
1. Topical antibiotics: Wash your back daily with a salicylic-based body wash or gel which helps exfoliate dead skin and isn’t too drying. (Salicylic acid is called a chemical exfoliator.) Or try a body wash or gel that contains benzoyl peroxide, which kills acne-causing bacteria.
2. When exercising, avoid tight clothing like spandex which can irritate skin and lead to breakouts. Wear loose, breathable fabrics that are designed to whisk sweat away from your skin.
3. Shower immediately after exercising. If you’re unable to, then try using portable salicylic or glycolic acid pads.
4. 1 to 2 times a week, use a physical exfoliator or scrub that contains little exfoliating beads. If your skin isn’t sensitive, then you can increase it to 3 times a week.
If this steady regimen does not produce results, then talk with your dermatologist who can prescribe prescription strength oral or topical antibiotics.
And don’t forget sunscreen!
Acne-fighting soaps and lotions can leave your skin more vulnerable to sunburn. Choose an oil-free sunscreen that is “broad spectrum” with an SPF of 30.
TIP: Many facial sunscreens are designed for acne-prone skin and can be used on your back!