This can be a difficult area to treat. Not only because it’s hard to “reach” and see, but because the pores are larger on your back the breakouts can be more severe.
They are also more easily “blocked”, which often has to do with certain lifestyle things like clothing, sweat, hair products, etc.
We will look at all those and what to do about them – as well as the specific steps, products and treatments you do to help clear up back acne in this article.
First: Why do you get pimples on your back? And How To Prevent Back Acne
In some cases all it takes is a simple change to make a large difference in the clarity of your skin.
Understanding the causes of bacne goes a long way to treating it successfully because you know what to target.
1. Clogged Pores and Bacteria
Dead skin cells and other gunk can block pores, bacteria then proliferates and causes pimples and cysts.
Larger pores and oily skin can also cause blackheads, that are notoriously difficult to get rid of.
The following are factors which can contribute to the above happening the first place:
2. Certain Products
Hair care products are an overlooked back acne cause!
This can be shampoo or conditioner that isn’t rinsed off correctly. It can also be a reaction to a particular brand of shampoo or conditioner – so even if it is rinsed off the damage is done.
Other gels and hair spray can also migrate to the area via sweat or clothing. Perfume that you spritz may be causing breakouts on the upper back or shoulders. Oil from a regular massage may be blocking pores…
(Recommended products you can use for your back are below)
3. Allergies or reactions (materials, detergents, etc)
Some people can be sensitive to certain laundry detergents. Because you lie in bed all night on your sheets this really can cause body acne!
You could try switching to a gentler detergent and see if that helps.
Also, materials that don’t “breathe” when you wear them like satin or some synthetics, can trap sweat and cause an environment that fairly friendly to acne!
4. Common “Lifestyle” Causes of Back Acne
- Exercise – yes exercise is important, however it is extra important to wear clean workout clothes and shower straight away afterwards if you have a problem with acne on your back
- Dairy or other food allergies. While this is more likely to contribute to facial acne, it may be that your particular body manifests the condition on your back instead (or both of course). See this article for more information on dairy and acne.
How To Get Rid Of Back Acne
Follow these tips and product recommendations to clear up the skin on your back – the right way:
FIRST – The Best Products to Treat Acne on Your Back:
- Use a body wash with salicylic acid daily. This is an acne fighting powerhouse ingredient and is almost vital for back acne treatment. It will help keep pores unclogged, balance out oil, and control bacteria
- Avoid benzoyl peroxide as it is very drying. If it dries out the skin on your back it will be extra uncomfortable and likely contribute to more blocked pores. Stick to salicylic acid, as this actually helps your skin
- Use a body lotion with salicylic acid at night. It is important to keep skin hydrated, and the acids will help dissolve oil and dead skin cells to prevent breakouts.
- This is particularly good for shoulders and other places you can actually reach – enlist the help of a significant other if needed!
- Another very good body and back acne product is a spray – these are easy, refreshing, and can be used several times during the day if needed. This one has salicylic acid, tea tree oil, aloe vera and more to help clear breakouts, soothe inflammation, and make your skin more comfortable. Check it out here.
- Another option is to pour some witch hazel into a spray container and simply use that! A drop or two of tea tree oil added also works wonders as an acne fighter.
SECOND – Back Acne Treatments That Actually Help:
Take a bacne treatment bath:
- Add 1 cup of Epsom salts to a hot bath. And here is the secret – also add 1 – 2 tsps of hydrogen peroxide. This helps dry and disinfect skin and pores. Soak for 20mins and do this three times a week.
- Sitting in a sauna (after a shower) a few times a week is a great way to help cleanse your skin. You will sweat which will open and detox pores. The dry heat is also extremely beneficial in helping to lessen bacteria (be sure it’s a sauna, not a steam room).
- Some people may benefit from short sessions in a sun bed. This is controversial due to the skin damage, however it can help to dry up an acne or overly oily condition. Be sure to disinfect the beds before laying on it, and don’t over do it.
- If your back acne is a serious problem – with cysts, painful pimples, inflammation, lots of blackheads etc, please see a dermatologist. It may be appropriate (and worth it) to be prescribed a medication or strong cream.
THIRD – Extra Tips To Clear Body and Back Acne:
- Replace any clothing you think may be contributing to the condition. These may be tops that are sweaty, scratchy, uncomfortable or just too hot to wear!
- Ladies – be aware of how often you wash your bras. While it’s definitely okay (and way easier) to wear one for more than one day in a row, if back acne is a problem it is worth washing more frequently and wearing a clean one daily
- Shower immediately after working out, even if it was just a simple walk around the block. Always wear clean workout clothes so that bacteria doesn’t get into pores when you start sweating.
- That being said – also shower when you get home at the end of the day. These steps can be annoying but really worth when trying to clear up your body skin.
- Wash your sheets as often as possible – with back acne this should be a minimum of two times a week. You can also wear a clean cotton t shirt to bed every night