Acne is one of the most annoying skincare woes and the worst part is that they can occur anywhere- on the face, neck, shoulder and even on the back.
Every pore in our skin is connected to a sebaceous gland which produces sebum. Extra sebum production and accumulated dead skin cells clog up the skin's pores and this causes acne.
Back Acne is also known as 'Bacne' in short. The skin on our back is generally thicker and hence the chances of nasty breakouts due to blocked pores is quite high.
The types of acne that can occur on the back include-
Causes Of Back Acne
1. Genes & Hormones
Back acne can be due to hereditary or genetic causes. Shifts in hormones during puberty, pregnancy, periods or menopause can also cause back acne.
2. Clogged Pores
Clogged pores are, of course, the primary reason for acne whether on the face, back or anywhere else.
Pores get clogged due to accumulated oil, dead skin cells, dirt, grime, sweat etc and result in acne.
3. Friction Or Heat
Continuous rubbing or friction irritates the skin and causes acne. Wearing tight-fitting synthetic clothes can cause friction and make the skin raw and acne-prone.
4. Heavy Load
Carrying heavy bags and bag-packs can cause increased pressure, friction and sweating. Wearing sports equipment like shoulder pads can also create pressure on the back.
Sweating is good for skin but letting the sweat stay on the skin isn't. Sweat contributes to acne breakouts by clogging up the skin's pores.
Sweaty skin should be immediately washed or wiped to protect it from acne-causing bacteria.
Dandruff can cause acne on the forehead and on the back too. Dandruff plus grease does not make a pretty sight. A good anti-dandruff shampoo should be used to keep dandruff at bay.
Hair removal methods like shaving or waxing can aggravate sensitive skin and cause acne. Shaving creams or gels should be used before shaving. The razor should be sharp and flexible.
8. Wrong Products
Using skin-care products that have the wrong chemical composition or do not suit your skin type can cause back acne. Harsh soaps can also irritate the skin further.
Consuming foods high on the glycemic index (GI) trigger acne breakouts. Avoid consuming excess oils, sugar, dairy products and processed food.
Eat a balanced diet to keep your skin healthy and beautiful.
Stress does not cause skin problems but it contributes by making everything worse. Breakouts cause stress and stressing about breakouts result in further breakouts. Engage in stress-busting activities to get out of this vicious cycle.
Home Remedies For Back Acne
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is anti-inflammatory, has antioxidants and is a medicinal plant. It includes vitamins A, C, E, B12, potassium, calcium, zinc and lots of amino acids.
Slice an aloe vera leaf, rub the cool gel on your back and wash it off after a few hours. Do this regularly to see noticeable results. Aloe vera is suitable for all skin types.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It soothes and moisturizes the skin. It also fades away acne scars.
Gently massage your back with tea tree oil regularly. Tea tree oil can be used on normal, dry and combination skin types. Do not use on oily skin.
3. Turmeric And Besan
Turmeric has healing medicinal properties. It is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Besan exfoliates the skin and has iron, potassium, manganese, copper, vitamin B6 etc.
Mix the two ingredients and apply it on your back. Wash it off after 30 minutes. Do this once per day. This works well for all skin types.
4. Oatmeal And Honey
Oatmeal soothes inflammation and absorbs excess oils. Honey is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, healing and nourishing.
Mix oatmeal powder with honey and apply it on your back once daily till you see results. Let it sit for 20 minutes and rinse off. Oatmeal works great for oily skin.
5. Green Tea
Green Tea is rich in antioxidants and nutrients. It reduces swelling, eliminates microbes and also cleans oily skin.
Apply green tea paste on your back for 30 minutes or use green tea for rinsing your back. You can do this twice a day. Green tea is good for all skin types.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar has lactic, citric and acetic acids. It also cleanses impurities and bacteria from the skin.
Soak a washcloth in apple cider vinegar and spread it over your back. Let it sit for 15 minutes and take a shower. Do not use apple cider vinegar on dry skin.
7. Mint Leaves
Mint has salicylic acid which is very effective in treating and clearing out acne. Mint also has a cooling effect.
Crush a few fresh mint leaves and apply the paste on your back. Let it sit for 20 minutes and rinse off with cold water. Mint works well for all skin types.
8. Lemon And Egg White
Egg whites have proteins and help in skin tightening. Lemon is rich in citric acid and vitamin C which improve the skin's appearance.
Mix egg whites with a few drops of lemon juice and whip it nicely. Apply it on your back. Wash it off after it dries. Use only one or two drops of lemon juice for dry skin.
Yoghurt has probiotics and is both anti-bacterial plus anti-fungal. It also makes the skin smooth and soft.
Mix yoghurt or milk with a pinch of turmeric and apply the pack on your back. Wash it off after 30 minutes. This paste can be used on all skin types.
Papaya's enzyme Papain dissolves proteins plugs and treats inflammation. It also clears blemishes and makes the skin glow.
Mash a ripe papaya and rub the pulp on your back in circular motions. Leave it on for 30 minutes and rinse off. Papaya works well for all skin types.
OTC Treatments For Back Acne
There are numerous OTC medicated gels, creams or lotions available for treating back acne. Make sure to look out for the following ingredients while buying them -
- Benzoyl Peroxide
- Salicylic Acid
- Glycolic Acid
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids
- Lactic Acid
Important Tips To Prevent Back Acne
- Routinely exfoliate your skin to keep it clean and fresh. Follow-up with moisturizing your damp skin to keep it nourished and supple.
- Do not poke, prod or scrub the affected area to prevent infection and scarring.
- Wear loose-fitting cotton clothes while exercising to allow your skin to breathe freely. Cotton is a natural lightweight fibre that absorbs moisture quickly.
- Shower and change your clothes as soon as possible after a workout session or any activity that causes sweating. Wash your workout clothes frequently to keep them clean too.
- Bend a little and flip your hair to the front while shampooing. This prevents the shampoo from running down your back and worsening any existing skin condition.
- If you have long hair then style your hair in a bun after oiling it. This prevents the oil from coming in contact with your back and making it greasy.
- Wear sunscreen or carry a scarf if wearing a backless dress during the day, to protect your back from getting damaged by the sun's harmful rays. Damaged skin is more susceptible to breakouts.
- Eat antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. If necessary, take dietary supplements to replenish your body with vital vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.
- Use non-comedogenic skin-care products. If you have oily skin, use water-based skin-care products instead of oil-based ones.
- Use medicated and antibacterial soaps or body gels while bathing. Mild, gentle and fragrance-free products are the best.
- Wash and change your bedsheets and pillowcases every week. It is important to keep them clean since you rest your back on them.
- Drink enough water to keep your skin healthy and hydrated. Treat your back with homemade masks and relax to beat the stress.
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