Pimples can be a real challenge to treat, no matter where you get them. Getting these red bumps isn’t limited to your teen years, either. Acne can happen at literally any age and for a wide variety of reasons. Pimples can appear on any part of your body, including your back. That’s life.
With a little bit of patience and the right products, you can clear that acne up in no time. Read on to learn everything you need to know about back acne and how you can give those zits the peace sign.
What Exactly is Back Acne?
So, what exactly is back acne, anyway? As the name implies, it’s acne that forms on your back. Simple enough, right?
Back acne, also known as bacne, can be a bit much. Not only can it make you reluctant to wear certain things in the summer, like your favorite itty-bitty bikini, but it can also be quite sore. Not cool.
Causes of Back Acne
The reason for acne popping up on our backs is similar to the reason why acne appears anywhere else on our body. Acne is caused by increased oil production, pore blockage, bacteria, and irregular skin cell turnover.
The sebaceous glands found in your skin produce oil, which can collect along with dead skin cells in the pores. This plugs them up, providing bacteria the ultimate breeding ground. Combined, this can lead to redness, blackheads, whiteheads, and in some cases, infection.
Your hormones can play a large role as well, which is why you might break out more around your time of the month, for instance. And if you happen to notice that your breakouts are in similar places as other members of your family, that could signal that your acne has a hereditary component (thanks, fam).
While the root cause of pimples are basically the same on both the skin and back, the skin itself is different for each one, which comes with upsides and downsides.
The skin on that sweet face of yours has more blood supply, which helps your acne to heal much faster, reducing scarring. The skin on your back, on the other hand, is much thicker than the skin on your face. So it goes.
This means that the back is more resilient and can handle stronger scrubs, exfoliants, and treatments that would be considered too intense for the skin on your face.
However,not everything that looks like bacne is actually acne. For instance, so-called fungal acne tends to make its debut on the back and chest area, forming small, red, uniformed bumps. But traditional acne treatments won’t help manage it at all, so if you’re not exactly sure what your issue really is, it may be a good idea to get it checked out by a professional.
Types of Back Acne
Did you know that there are different types of back acne? Whew, as if pimples weren’t enough!
The different types of acne lesions that can occur on your back include:
Whiteheads: Also known as closed comedones, whiteheads develop when a clogged follicle stays closed and remains underneath your skin, forming a small white bump.
Blackheads: When a clogged follicle located on the surface of your skin opens and comes in contact with air, it forms what we all know as a blackhead.
Papules: Acne that appears as small, pink bumps on your skin and that is often tender to the touch is called papules. This type of acne does not contain pus and occurs when a clogged hair follicle becomes inflamed.
Pustules: Also known as a good ol’ pimple, a pustule is a yellow or white pus-filled papule with a reddened base. These lesions also result from inflammation in a clogged hair follicle. A buildup of white blood cells is to blame for the pustule filling with pus.
Nodules: This type of painful acne forms when bacteria become trapped in a hair follicle. These lesions develop deep below the surface of your skin, where it hardens, forming a large, painful nodule. The deeper location of the lesion results in tissue damage, causing an inflammatory response.
Cysts: Cysts are larger, pus-filled acne lesions that also form when bacteria become stuck in a hair follicle. With cystic acne, the infection extends deep down into the skin, resulting in a painful lump that usually results in a permanent scar.
How to Treat Back Acne
Now that you know exactly what back acne is and what the different types of lesions are, let’s talk about treatments, okay?
In most cases, you can minimize bacne by making some lifestyle changes and using at-home remedies.
Here are a few tips and tricks you can try:
Shower after every workout.
Allowing the dirt and sweat to sit on your skin after a workout can be a huge contributor to your bacne. Exercising with no shirt against a dirty floor or a gym machine can also cause issues.
As soon as you get home from doing those butt-boosting squats, hop in the shower as. You should also wash sweaty gym clothes between sessions, okay?
Wear loose-fitting clothes.
Believe it or not, your clothing can irritate back acne. For instance, tight clothing can trap sweat and dirt and rub it deeper into your pores. Aim for loose-fitting clothing that allows your skin to breathe, helping to wick away sweat.
Choose sunscreen carefully.
Protecting your skin from the damaging sun’s UV rays is important, especially if you’re exposing your bare back. The solution? Sunscreen, of course! However, greasy sunscreen can contribute to clogged pores, resulting in acne. So, always wear sunscreen, just be sure to pick products that are oil-free and light on the skin.
Eat a balanced diet.
Your diet plays a major factor in the health of your skin. In fact, if you’re prone to acne, certain foods could be triggers to the breakouts on your back.
Research suggests that foods high on the glycemic index, meaning they cause your blood sugar to rise quickly, may intensify your acne. These foods include: white pasta, bread, rice, and potatoes. (So basically, all of the good stuff.) It's good to practice balanced eating habits, with a diet rich in fresh veggies, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains.
Wash your sheets!
Get into the habit of washing your sheets on the reg -- especially if you’re a back sleeper! This removes dead skin cells and bacteria from your bedding, which can easily clog your pores and prolong back acne. Keep those sheets clean, period.
If you’re looking to banish your bacne as soon as possible, another great solution is using a powerful topical made with ingredients and herbals designed to fight acne. There are a ton of different products on the market, but the truth is that they are all not created equal. So, what does one look for?
Look for a company like Topicals that creates blemish-fighting, science-backed, dermatologist-approved products to transform the way you feel about your skin. Topicals products are always free of synthetics, fragrances and dyes, and are vegan and cruelty-free. If you’re struggling with the battle scars left behind by bacne, Topicals can help -- even without all the harsh chemicals commonly found in most over-the-counter acne treatments today.
Give your back some extra love with Topicals, and you’ll have happier skin in no time.
Following a skincare routine that works for your skin with awesome products like the ones found at Topicals can help you kick those marks and scars to the curb.