Facial acne is one of the most discussed skincare issues. However, acne can also affect other areas such as your buttocks and back. Back acne, known as bacne, can be especially frustrating to women.
It can prevent you from wearing your favourite backless sundress or bikini.
Similar to facial acne, bacne forms when excess sebum, bacteria and dead skin cells build up in the pores.
In some cases, it may also be triggered by hormonal changes – which is why bacne is especially common in teenagers and pregnant women.
You are also likely to see spots on your back around your period. Daily hygiene habits and your diet may also contribute to the formation of acne on your back.
While back acne can be stubborn, it is not impossible to treat.
With the right skincare, you can prevent and even treat bacne.
Here are our top tips to help you banish bacne:
Upgrade your body wash
Your usual body wash may not be up to the task of helping you get rid of back acne. You need a body wash with serious zit-zapping ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acids. These skincare acids will help remove dead skin cells and unblock your pores.
Try a gentle Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash. You may also want to use exfoliating gloves in the shower, especially when cleaning your back. However, take care not to excessively scrub your skin – which might lead to irritation and more acne.
Shower after working out
Sweaty skin forms a fertile ground for bacteria that causes acne to thrive. After working out, it is important to remove your sweaty clothes and wash your skin as soon as possible.
If you suffer from acne, consider having a shower in the gym and changing your clothes before heading home. Do not give the pesky bacteria a chance to multiply and cause havoc on your delicate skin.
Check your clothing
Certain fabrics are known to trigger acne breakouts. If you are prone to back acne, go for breathable fabrics such as cotton or sweat-wicking fabrics. In addition, avoid tight clothing that can trap moisture on your skin and cause friction that will irritate your skin.
For example, instead of tight-fitting leggings, go for loose cotton trousers. Make sure to clean your clothes after each wear. If your bacne is severe, it is advisable to always have a spare change of clothes in warm weather – which you can change into if you feel sweaty.
While at it, make a habit of frequently changing your bedsheets. Ideally, you should change your sheets at least once or twice a week.
Change your diet
What kind of foods do you eat regularly? Your diet might be the culprit when it comes to back acne. Take a look at what you eat frequently and eliminate sugary, overly-processed, or oily foods. Dairy and refined carbohydrates are also suspect.
Instead, load your diet with skin-friendly fruits and vegetables, which are packed with an array of vitamins and minerals. You do not have to go on restrictive diets – they might be harmful to your general health. And do not forget to drink plenty of water - staying hydrated helps keep your skin healthy and acne-free.
Invest in a good moisturiser
Just like with your facial skin, it is important to keep your back well-moisturised and hydrated. Dryness leads to irritability and increases the probability of acne breakouts. It is time to invest in a good moisturiser for your body. Make sure that the product you go for is labelled “non-comedogenic” – which means it won’t clog your pores.
Avoid thick creams and oil-based products that may block your pores and lead to even more breakouts. Just like with your body wash, go for moisturising products that contain acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, and benzoyl peroxide.
Try topical treatments
Instead of picking at your back pimples, go for topical treatments. Picking at your pimples can cause them to become infected and might also lead to scarring. One of the best topical treatments for back acne is benzoyl peroxide creams.
You can buy benzoyl-peroxide creams over-the-counter at your local pharmacy or beauty store. While benzoyl peroxide is quite effective, it can have a drying effect. If that is a concern for you, go for salicylic acid gels, which will zap your zits without leaving your skin dry.
Consult a dermatologist
If you have tried the tips above and nothing seems to work satisfactorily, it is time to consult a dermatologist.
The dermatologist will examine your skin and take your medical history to determine the best course of treatment. They might prescribe a mixture of oral and stronger topical medication to help banish your bacne.