Managing facial acne can be extremely frustrating, but what can you do when your back and shoulders break out in bumps as well? If you have acne on your back — or “bacne” as some people call it – you don’t have to wait for it to clear on its own. Medical treatments, and the right skin care can help you see clearer skin more quickly.
What is back acne?
Acne develops when sebum, which is an oily substance that lubricates your hair and skin, and dead skin cells block hair follicles. Bacteria can trigger inflammation and infection resulting in more severe acne.
- Excess oil (sebum) production
- Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
Acne occurs predominantly in areas rich in sebaceous glands such as the scalp, face, chest and back.
What makes it worse is that when you work out, tight-fitting exercise clothing often traps sweat and dirt, which clogs up pores further. Constant movements and friction during exercise can worsen skin irritation and lead to more inflammation and severe bacne.
How to identify back acne
Back acne can be unsightly – it can appear in several forms:
and can leave behind acne scarring, mainly in the form of post- inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which can take months to years to fade. Also, it is important to note that bacne can sometimes be confused with Pityrosporum folliculitis, a type of yeast infection of hair follicles – in which case an anti-fungal treatment is needed.
How to treat back acne?
Wear loose- fitting workout clothes when working out or getting sweaty.
If you cannot shower immediately, change out of sweaty clothes and use an oil-free cleansing wipe to gently wipe off your sweaty skin.
Change your sheets and pillowcases weekly.
Clean sheets and pillowcases are important for clearing back acne. Do change pillowcases twice a week. Be sure to use fragrance-free detergent when washing sheets and pillowcases.
Cleanse your skin gently.
Scrubbing skin with acne actually worsens the condition. Treatment of bacne is similar to skincare for facial acne. Use oil-free and non- comedogenic skin care products and cosmetics that will not clog your pores. Good skincare products to consider would be Radium’s Liberty Deep Pore cleanser which is fortified with pineapple and papaya enzymes to deeply cleanse the pores over your back, and Liberty Skin Clarifying Gel, which contains powerful acids such as Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid and Salicylic Acid, to further eradicate bumps on the back.
Consider in-clinic treatments
For stubborn bacne, you may want to turn to doctor-led treatments such as chemical peels and lasers to speed up the lightening of the acne marks. An effective alternative would also be AGNES acne treatment, a Korean designed treatment that delivers radiofrequency energy into the oil glands to destroy them. This helps to minimise the recurrence of bacne.
If you have been trying to deal with back acne for some time, do consider seeing a doctor. For all you know, sporting a spotless back when you wear topless outfits or swimwear may only be a treatment away!