Preventing Back Acne Breakouts

November 14, 2017

Back acne can be a troublesome issue for teenagers and adults alike, but with the right products and a few simple lifestyle changes, you can prevent back acne breakouts.

Back acne is a common condition caused when dead skin cells, dirt and oil get trapped in pores, resulting in blackheads, whiteheads, and even cystic acne. Back acne is just like the acne you get on your face, but the pores on your back are larger, and the oil glands there tend to be more active than those on your face. These factors, combined with the fact that your back can be harder to reach and wash, can lead to back acne, or “bacne,” as some call it. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to prevent back acne breakouts.

Shower After Exercise

One of the best ways to prevent back acne is to shower as soon as possible after exercising. After a workout, your sweat-soaked clothing can be a breeding ground for bacteria. It retains your skin’s oils and adheres to your skin. Leaving the skin on your back — which often sweats a lot — exposed to oils, dirt, and sweat for prolonged periods of time can cause or worsen breakouts. If you can’t immediately shower after exercising, bring a change of clothes with you to lessen your exposure, and use a towel to wipe off excess moisture before changing. 

Wear Well-fitting Clothing

Clothing that is ill-fitting or too tight can cause back acne. Materials such as spandex can rub your skin and cause it to sweat more, leaving you more prone to back acne breakouts. Even a too-tight sports bra can cause irritation and acne. If possible, wear loose-fitting clothing and well-fitting undergarments, and opt for breathable fabrics.

Cleanse Well

When you shower, be sure you’re cleaning your back well. Get a loofah or similar scrubbing product to effectively wash away dead skin and oils. If you have trouble reaching every part of your back, purchase a back scrubber with bristles or handle for your loofah to make it easier. 

Choose the right cleansing products as well. If you’re prone to back acne breakouts, consider an antibacterial soap for your back. Using an exfoliating scrub or sugar scrub on your back once a week will help remove dead skin cells that might otherwise get trapped in pores, causing breakouts. Using exfoliators too often might actually irritate your skin and trigger it to produce excess oil, so don’t go overboard.

Eliminate Clogging Products

Moisturizers and sunscreens used on your back can irritate your skin and clog pores. Your dermatologist can recommend non-oily products for you. When showering, make sure that you fully rinse shampoo and especially conditioner off of your back, so they don’t clog pores. If your hair is longer, let it hang to the side or front as you rinse to make this easier.  Wash your back at the end of your shower to eliminate any remaining products. Also, watch out for hair styling products. Many contain oils that can end up on your back and shoulders when you apply them.

Treat Breakouts

To prevent future breakouts and treat existing ones, you can use the same kinds of acne wash and toners that you typically apply to your face. Use cleansers and toners that contain acne-fighting salicylic acid a few times per week. Benzoyl peroxide is another acne-fighting ingredient, but it can be too harsh for your back. Whatever product you use, inspect the skin on your back to make sure you aren’t drying it out too much with cleansing products.

Back acne is a common issue, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with it. By making lifestyle changes and sticking to a proper cleansing routine, you can minimize back acne breakouts and keep your skin healthy.

Looking to Visit a Dermatologist for Acne Treatments?

If breakouts persist, a dermatologist can recommend products and treatments, such as lasers, that can help get your skin back on track.  We have multiple locations throughout the country, so fill out our simple online form to get in touch with us. One of our local team members will reach out to you shortly to answer your questions or schedule an appointment for you to visit us soon. 

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