What’s worse than pimples on your face? Pimples on your back, of course! Not only does body acne ruin your back-baring outfit plans, but it can also cause discomfort. And even though you might be able to reach a zit on your chin without any trouble, it can feel impossible to treat acne in places like your back and shoulders.
If you’re feeling like the acne gods are out to get you, fear not. While it may look and feel the same as regular pimples, body acne is a little different from the breakouts on your face. Body acne is actually a common skin condition that occurs when bacteria and other impurities enter your hair follicles, causing them to become infected. And because pores and follicles on the body are larger than those found on your face, dirt and oil can be easily trapped inside. Bacne becomes a bigger problem in warmer months, as your body heats up from the weather or exercise, sweat increases and provides an ideal environment for bacteria to grow.
Additional factors that can cause follicle damage and clogged pores include:
- Bath towels and sheets — Your bath towels and sheets may look fine on the surface, but you might be surprised to learn they’re filled with sweat and dead skin cells that can make you break out.
- Tight clothing — Tight clothing that chafes and rubs against your warm skin causes damage to your hair follicles, making them more vulnerable to infection.
- Hair care products — Sulfates and synthetic colors in your hair products can irritate your skin and clog your pores. Be sure to wash off all products from your back to prevent this.
- Fragrances — Synthetic fragrances are known to be skin irritants, and they can contain chemicals that clog pores and hair follicles.
In-office treatments include light therapy, laser treatments on acne scars, and Photo Dynamic Therapy (PDT). At home, there are a number of steps you can take to keep your skin clear and acne-free.
Here are some tips on how to get rid of back acne:
1. Exfoliate like you mean it.
You can use salicylic, glycolic, resorcinol, or mandelic acids to help exfoliate your skin and remove pore-clogging impurities. These acids pull out dead skin cells and allow sulfide bonds between them to break down so they can be shed. Try Makari’s Exfoliating Body Wash
2. Spot-treat the dots
Tea tree oil, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid are all known to be effective against acne. In addition, the top acne-fighting ingredients are topical retinoids, which include retinol and retinol ester.
3. Wash and change everything regularly
Changing your sheets weekly and washing workout gear after each use can help you keep your skin healthy. Make sure to regularly change out your bath towels as well.
4. Dose of probiotics
Probiotics are known to strengthen your gut’s microbiome and prevent inflammation. Topically, probiotics form a protective barrier over your skin that help prevent the spread of acne-causing bacteria and infection.