When the weather starts to warm up, the last thing you want to deal with is feeling insecure about back acne while wearing your favorite top or hanging out at the pool or beach. Back acne affects your appearance and confidence, but it can also cause physical discomfort and leave unwanted acne scars.
Back acne can be frustrating to treat, especially in hard-to-reach areas. Finding the right treatment for back acne can also be frustrating if you don’t know the cause or which type of treatment would be best suited for you.
Luckily, back acne is very treatable and preventable. There’s a wide variety of products and treatments available to treat, manage and prevent back acne. This post will discuss what causes back acne and the type of treatments for back acne that may help you.
What Causes Back Acne?
Back acne may look and feel like the same acne you get on your face. However, back acne is different from facial acne. Back acne can be caused by bacteria, oils, dead skin cells, and other impurities clogging pores, causing inflammation. It can also be caused by bacteria and other impurities entering hair follicles, causing them to become infected.
Because the pores and follicles on the body are larger than those on the face, it’s much easier for impurities to get trapped inside and form acne. Back acne is also sometimes experienced more in the warmer months because oil-producing glands are more prominent on the back area. Higher temperatures and humidity cause the body to sweat and produce more oil, which creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow.
Common factors that can lead to clogged pores causing back acne include:
- Tight clothing: Tight clothing that rubs up against your skin that’s damp or warm, like sweaty workout clothes, can cause clogged pores or damaged follicles, leading to the formation of back acne.
- Medication: Certain medications such as steroids or hormonal birth control that change hormone levels can cause hormonal back acne.
- Fragrance: Synthetic fragrances from perfumes, laundry detergents, and soaps can irritate the skin and contain chemicals that clog pores and follicles.
- Cosmetics: Certain cosmetic products that are not non-comedogenic can easily clog pores and cause back acne.
- Towels and sheets: Bedsheets and bath towels collect dead skin cells and acne-causing bacteria. If sheets and towels aren’t being washed often, it can cause back acne.
- Diet: Some studies have found that cow’s milk may cause back acne in some people. However, there hasn’t been a link found to other dairy products and back acne.
- Hair products: Certain chemicals in hair products like sulfates and synthetic colors can irritate the skin, causing back acne.
- Hot tubs and swimming pools: bacteria and chemicals found in hot tubs and swimming pools, especially mixed with a warm environment, have been known to cause back acne.
Knowing what may be causing your back acne can help you take proactive measures to prevent it in the future. If you’re currently dealing with back acne and looking for a way to get rid of or manage it, there are various treatment options for you, depending on your case.
Best Treatment for Mild Back Acne
When a temporary factor causes back acne,r like a hair or bath product or wearing sweaty workout clothes, it can take just a quick fix like an over-the-counter treatment or lifestyle change to reduce breakouts. If your back acne is mild or you haven’t tried anything for it yet, try out a few of these options before trying a more serious treatment.
A simple lifestyle change can significantly reduce back acne breakouts in some cases. If you do things like drink cow’s milk regularly, use certain skin-irritating products, or wear tight, damp clothes often, try taking these things out of your routine and notice if it makes a difference in your back acne.
Over the Counter Products
You can purchase a wide variety of over-the-counter products from the drug store designed to target treating back acne. You can try out an acne-clearing body wash, scrub, or topical treatment containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Adapalene gel is also an over-the-counter treatment recommended after showering before going to bed to help treat back acne.
Best Treatment for Serious Back Acne
If your back acne is stubborn or painful and other solutions you’ve tried haven’t worked, it may be time to seek more serious treatments. A doctor can assess your condition and provide stronger treatment options for back acne.
Prescription Drug Treatments
If home remedies or over-the-counter products aren’t helping improve your back acne, you may want to try a stronger, prescription treatment. There’s a wide array of different prescription options to treat back acne. A doctor will be able to prescribe you the best choice for your case.
Some forms of prescription drug treatments for back acne include:
- Prescription-strength topical treatments. If over-the-counter topical products haven’t worked, you may see better results with a prescription-strength topical product with a higher level of retinoid or benzoyl peroxide.
- Oral antibiotics. Certain drugs can reduce the amount of acne-causing bacteria on the skin. A light dose of an antibiotic can help reduce any extra bacteria to treat back acne without disrupting healthy gut bacteria.
Clear + Brilliant
If your stubborn back acne won’t go away and previous breakouts have left you with dark spots or scarring, you may need a more serious treatment. A laser treatment like Clear + Brilliant may be the best next step. This treatment for back acne uses direct laser energy to penetrate the skin deeper and stimulate skin regeneration to repair back acne or damage from old breakout.
Clear + Brilliant can also help reduce the number of breakouts in the future. This treatment usually lasts 20-30 minutes with no downtime.
Celluma Light Therapy
Celluma light therapy is a red and blue light LED therapy that uses light to destroy acne-causing bacteria and improve existing back acne. This treatment can be targeted at specific areas to treat any current breakouts you may have and prevent future breakouts by killing any present bacteria that can lead to back acne. If your back acne is severe enough that it causes discomfort, this treatment can also help relieve any associated pain.
The eLos treatment uses a device designed to improve the look, texture, and overall skin quality, including the improvement of back acne. The eLos Plus device combines pulsed laser light and radio frequencies to provide a unique, three-layered skin treatment. Radio frequency reduces optical energy requirements to allow deeper penetration of heat—active dermal monitoring signals immediate skin impedance changes—Sapphire contact cooling improves patient comfort during treatment.
This treatment takes about 30-45 minutes and is virtually painless. You can return to work or normal activities immediately afterward. Side effects are minimal and include redness or swelling that should subside within a few hours. You may require multiple treatments depending on the severity of your back acne.
Best Treatment for Back Acne: The Bottom Line
When it comes to treating back acne, it’s important to explore your options. No matter how severe your back acne may be, there is always a solution that will work for you. If your back acne is new, start with a simple at-home or over-the-counter solution.
If your back acne persists or is more severe, BLUSH Beverly Hills has a team of experts available to help provide you with the best treatment for your back acne. Contact us to learn about our back acne treatments, and a team member will be in touch soon.