How and What is Back Acne? – And how to Treat it!

Back acne is the same sort of acne that you get anywhere else on your body. It can be made up of the 5 different types of acne.

  • Comedonal Acne
  • Pustular Acne
  • Inflammatory Acne
  • Cystic Acne
  • and Nodules

If you would like to no more about the different types of acne, just head over to this article.

Back Acne or as some people call it “bacne” as mentioned is the same as any other acne and is caused by the same factors. Your skin pores have a hair follicle and an oil gland (sebaceous gland) at the bottom and an opening at the top. The sebum (oil) travels up to the skin surface to moisturize the skin, as it moves up it carries dead skin cells and other debris, acne happens when the oil, dead skin cells and debris are trapped in the pore. The clogged pore can also trap bacteria and the combination of all these factors causes inflammation and infection. Because the upper back has more oil glands the most other areas of the body it’s not uncommon for acne to develop.

Although back acne can form in any, some or all the different types of acne it generally forms in 2 main types;

  • Blackheads which are clogged pores but they remain open at the skin surface and the black is caused by air exposure.
  • Whiteheads are also clogged pores but they are closed.

Both of these forms of acne are called comedones.

It is certainly not unusual to get all types of acne on the back. Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the world, over 80% of people will have some form of acne at some time and the severity of the break out seems to be genetic. That is a quick overview of the how and why of back acne but there are other factors as well.

Most forms of back acne will respond to over the counter treatments, one of the most difficult things is being able to reach the areas infected but hopefully you have someone who can help. If not, or you don’t feel comfortable enlisting someones help then you can still win this battle.

The Solution to all Types of Acne

Clean your skin gently.

Don’t get all vigorous with it, this may actually make things worse. Use only your fingertips (no nails) or a soft washcloth. Clean all the areas, initially don’t go near break out areas, you can save this for last as you don’t want to spread any of the bacteria. When you have done all the areas on your face ( and if need be other parts of your body) then move onto the breakout areas. If you are a sporty type a double wash at night is a good idea, clean, rinse and repeat.

Use a Toner or Astringent

This helps remove excess oils and helps tone and hydrate the skin and depending on the ingredients it can help on blackheads and acne. Apply the product on a cotton ball or pad and gently smooth all over the face (and any other areas) and neck to help remove the last bits of cleanser and oil.

You do have to be a little bit careful of your skin type as you don’t want to dry out your skin too much or if you have oily skin you want it to be effective. It may be best to try to avoid products with too much alcohol ( do not drink it!!).

This step can be missed if you find it’s creating too much havoc with your skin but with the products we recommend it should be fine.

Apply Acne Treatment

After the toner has dried completely or after your face is completely clean and dry – don’t get vigorous with drying, patting the skin is better than rubbing it like crazy. Smooth on your acne treatment as directed. Let the treatment absorb or dry completely before going to the next step.

Apply an Oil Free Moisturizer or Gel

Before you say I’m crazy – you wouldn’t be the first though. It may seem like adding a moisturizer to already oily skin is counter-intuitive but this is an important step so please don’t skip it. Acne treatments can dry out the skin, so to reduce dry and peeling skin apply this twice a day.

Your moisturizer shouldn’t leave your skin feeling slick and greasy, good treatments are easily absorbed by the skin and won’t aggravate acne.

This is really the best way to combat back acne but as you can imagine having someone to help you would certainly be advantageous.

We definitely recommend the Exposed Skin Care range, especially the Advanced Kit which has everything you need. They quite often have special pricing or free shipping. They have thousands of happy customers and a success rate of over 98%.

Another product to look at is Blue Light Therapy, especially if you want to or have to tackle this problem by yourself. If you were to get a freestanding light then you can easily position it to start treating your back. Our recommendation is a light from Project E Beauty, they are also skin care professionals and have spent a lot of time developing their lights. Follow this link if you want some more information on light therapy, red light is for scars and general skin well-being and blue light is for acne treatment. You can get one light which has both colors.

Back Acne Prevention Tips

Here are tips that may help control acne anywhere on the body.

  • Don’t over-wash or use harsh scrubs. Acne is not caused by dirt. Two gentle washings a day is enough. Too much cleaning can leave skin irritated and dry, triggering glands to produce more oil, increasing the likelihood of pimples.
  • Use oil-free or noncomedogenic products (those that won’t clog pores) on your face.
  • Don’t squeeze or pick blemishes. Popping pimples can drive acne bacteria deeper into the skin. Picking can lead to more inflammation and permanent scarring.

Things that can make back acne worse

  • Friction caused by leaning on or rubbing the skin, think sports especially
  • Sweat left on the body too long
  • Harsh scrubbing of your back
  • Picking or squeezing blemishes
  • Pressure from bike helmets, backpacks, or tight collars and gym gear
  • Changing hormone levels in adolescent girls and adult women two to seven days before the start of the menstrual period
  • Stress

Keep it Up

This is not take a pill and it will go away scenario. You do have to keep at it.

So it’s three or four steps, a couple of songs long in the morning and evening – or whatever you choose to do to offset the time.

It will take a bit of money but if it will help your skin and self-esteem it will be worth it.

Also Important

The other thing is about sun protection, with or without acne this is hugely important. With acne, a lot of the treatments you use may make your skin more susceptible to sun damage, it’s no good to get rid of acne but look 90 when you are 29, 39 or 49!!! It’s not that bad but be aware that sun damage is a possibility. A lot of moisturizers do contain a SPF factor, if yours doesn’t then look for a sunscreen for the face as these tend to be less oily and perfumed.

Probably the questions you may want to ask yourself would be;

  • Are my pimples bothering me?
  • Do my pimples burst under my shirt when I’m out?
  • Is my self-esteem lowered because of my acne?
  • Do I not want to take my shirt off because of my pimples?
  • Do I want clear skin (back and other areas)?

So the two recommendations we make are;

If after 30 – 60 days you are not happy about your results it may then be time to see a health care professional.

I hope you have found this article informative and if you would like to leave a comment below please feel free to do so.

6 thoughts on “How and What is Back Acne? – And how to Treat it!”

  1. I have this condition, and it does leave one’s back riddled with spots. I totally wish I could get rid of it, for good. You have provided some nice tips and I am going to try all of those. 

    Good article, that has addressed the acne problem squarely. I hope you keep writing about all skin problems. 



    1. Hi AB

      Thank you for kind comments. I hope you can get your condition under control. Please let me know how it goes with you.

      All the very best.

      Kind regards


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