Acne is something most people are aware of and tries to prevent. Back acne, however, often goes overlooked. This is because we don’t always see our backs and so we take it lightly.

However, back acne happens to a lot of people and its something that can be easily avoided by taking extra care on the matter. Just like our face, when the skin is clogged up by sebum, dirt or germs, pimples will begin to develop.

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Apart from our faces, the most likely part of our bodies to suffer from acne is either our chest or back. And just like sticking to facial routines, we cannot neglect hygiene rules and lifestyle improvements to prevent the development of back acne.

Causes of Back Acne

back acne

Many different reasons can cause back acne. People who suffer from back acne may get it from one or more of the below causes:

1. Hygiene

Acne is created by bacteria, pores, dead and fatty tissue cells clogging up pores. People develop back acne because they rest their backs on dirty surfaces, causing pores to clog up with bacteria. Having dirty bed sheets, laying on dirty surfaces may cause pores in your back to clog up.

2. Puberty

Hormonal changes in teenagers may cause acne to develop on their backs or other parts of their body. Sudden imbalances in hormones can result in sudden breakouts. Menstruating women may also notice back acne as a symptom. Stress is also known to aggregate the development of acne in some people. 

3. Genetic

If you have a family history where body acne may be persistent, your back acne may very well have been passed down in your genes. Though this is out of your control, with proper treatment, back acne caused by family genetics can be stopped.

4. Sweat

If you go to the gym, have a physically strenuous job or a fitness enthusiast, chances are you may have encountered back acne before. This is because the more you sweat, the more likely pores become clogged up and develop into acne. If you don’t wear loose-fitting clothes or shower and cleanse quick enough, excessive sweat may be the reason for your back acne.

5. Medication

Certain types of medications may cause acne on your back and other parts of your body. This can either be a common side effect of the medication or your tolerance towards a specific medication.

If you have a concern regarding your medication being a factor to the development of acne, make sure you read the labels of medication packaging or getting advice from your doctor.

How to Get Rid of Back Acne

back acne

1. Shower in the morning and after workouts

Showering after a long day, getting out of bed or after exercise is one of the best ways to prevent back acne. This will help you wash away sweat, dirt, and grime that have accumulated during the day.

You should aim to shower once a day, twice at best. Anything more is unnecessary. The time of day you shower completely depends on your lifestyle and what works best for you.

2. Exfoliate you back

Just like you would in your facial routine, exfoliating a couple of times a week can help to counter and clear up acne on your back. Use a product with salicylic acid that will help to break down and remove dirt and oil from your skin.

This will not only clear up your skin but help to buff away dead skin cells. If reaching your back with your hands is causing a strain on your arms, use a shower cleansing brush to assist you. 

3. Wear looser fitting clothes

Loose-fitting clothes help the skin on your back to the breath, ventilate, as well as allowing the dirt and grime to wick away in sweat as opposed to compressing into your pores.

Clothes, however, are still important as it is the only layer protecting your skin against dirty surfaces. Don’t think that laying on flat surfaces or not wearing a shirt during workouts is a good idea. 

4. Keep hair off your back

For women with long hair, try to tie your hair up, or avoid direct contact with your back. Especially in the UAE where the weather can cause you to sweat, the bacteria, oil, and dirt in your hair can transfer onto your skin, causing acne to break out. Be sure always to wash and shampoo your hair regularly.

5. Watch your diet

Watch out for particular foods that you know will cause a reaction in your body that will result in acne. For some people, nuts, eggs, dairy or meat products can trigger sudden and random breakouts.

Identify what foods you should be avoided, and once you do that, you’ll notice your acne development won’t be so rapid anymore.

When to See a Doctor?

back acne

If you notice that your back acne continues to grow while self-treating with the above steps, you may need to speak with your doctor. If your back acne becomes painful, larger in size, or begins to become discoloured, seek medical attention at first notice. Your doctor will then be able to provide you with medical treatment.

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.