Acne outbreaks are not only restricted to the face but can also spread to other body parts. Among these, acne pimples can develop on the back, neck, shoulders, and upper arms. Getting rid of such back acne can be harder than facial acne.
Is Back Acne Different From Facial Acne?
Acne that develops beyond the face is usually known as inflammatory acne. People who suffer from this type of acne may experience more skin inflammation than others. The cause of back acne is the same as facial acne. It happens when a person has overactive oil glands, too many dead skin cells and bacterial growth in the area. What is acne?How to Get Rid Of Acne Scars?
The oil and dead cells get trapped in the hair follicle, or pore and create a blockage. The clogged pore then turns into a pimple and when bacteria invades in, an acne breakout happens.
The reason why the upper body can suffer from acne is because these areas have more sebaceous glands. The result is producing more sebum and an overabundance of dead skin cells. At the same time, sweat can also contribute to making back acne worse.
The skin on the back also has larger pores than on the face. This means that they are more susceptible to clogging.
Back Acne Is More Seasonal
When compared with facial acne, back acne tends to be more seasonal. This means that many people find that their back acne makes a comeback during summer months. This happens because people sweat more not just working out, but otherwise as well.
Plus, there is more exposure to the sun. This can dry out the skin and make you more dehydrated. Both conditions are a perfect recipe for breakouts.
Does Treatment To Get Rid Of Back Acne Differ From That For Facial Acne?
The skin on your back is much thicker than the skin on your face. This makes the back more resilient to treatment products used on the face. Therefore, you need stronger treatments, scrubs and exfoliants than you would use on the face. These treatments may be considered too harsh for treating facial acne.
The ingredients used to get rid of back acne are the same as those used for facial acne. But the products themselves are often stronger.
For example, two ingredients that can help get rid of back acne are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid attracts excess oil in the sebaceous glands and helps loosen oil to clear clogged pores. Benzoyl peroxide is a topical antibiotic which works to kill bacteria and clean pores.
When these ingredients are used to treat acne on the face, they can only be up to 2% concentrations. Anything over this amount will dry out facial skin. But when the same ingredients are applied to get rid of back acne, they use higher percentages. This is because skin on the back is thicker and less sensitive.
What Are The Different Types Of Acne Breakouts?
Acne breakouts can range from mild to severe with there being different types of pimples. The most common types include the following:
- Whiteheads are clogged pores which are not inflamed. These pores are clogged just under the skin’s surface. The result is a small bump on the skin where the pore remains closed and flesh colored.
- Blackheadsare quite similar to whiteheads. They are also clogged pores that are not inflamed but have a black top instead. This is because the top part of the spot is open, unlike the whitehead. The opening at the top exposes the spot to air which oxidizes the sebum and turns it black.
- Papulesform when the person suffers from inflammatory acne. Inflamed acne occurs when a clogged pore becomes irritated and swells. This type of breakout pimples turn red and begin to hurt. Papules are tender red bumps that are small in size and a little raised above the skin’s surface. They do not have any pus in them.
- Pustulesare zits which are hard, inflamed and full of pus. They give an appearance of having a defining white or yellow center where the pus has collected.
- Nodulesform in the most severe cases of acne breakouts. They are much larger, painful bumps under the skin. Nodules are most often hard but do not have pus in them.
- Cystsare an aggravated form of nodules and are filled with pus. With nodules and cysts, the inflammation goes deeper in the skin than in other types of acne breakouts. That is why you should never pinch or squeeze a clogged pore. The squeezing action can push the bacteria further into the pore, making it more likely for you to get nodules or cysts.
How To Get Rid Of Back Acne Fast?
Treating acne breakouts take time and effort to heal. Getting rid of back acne will not happen overnight and depending on its severity can be a long process.
Some of these ideas include daily hygienic practices. Others involve medicated options or trying some home remedies to get rid of back acne.
Practice Daily Hygiene
- Do laundry more often
One of the first things to do to get rid of back acne is to wash your clothing and sheets more. Since you sweat more, you should also clean your clothes more often. This does not apply to clothing only but also your linens.
You know that your clothes need to go in the wash because they collect a lot of sweat in summer. But you should also pay attention to your bedsheets as well. Bed sheets and linens may not look dirty but they do get dirty. And when you lie down or sleep on the sheets, they will rub against your skin.
When sleeping on dirty sheets, you end up rubbing old sweat and dead skin on your back. This will only make it harder to get rid of back acne.
Another important consideration is keeping your gym clothes freshly laundered. Make sure to wash your workout clothes after each use so that they are sweat free for the next time.
- Change clothes regularly
Get out of your gym clothes as soon as possible after a gym session. This is to prevent sweaty clothes from rubbing against the skin on your back and promoting bacterial growth.
For the same reason, avoid wearing tight clothes and body hugging fabrics. These can hold natural oils in and cause skin to shed in pores. This, of course, can make it very hard to get rid of back acne. Instead, wear breathable clothing with soft fabrics that wick moisture. These fabrics will also keep the skin dry.
- Be aware of excessive sun exposure
Spending too much time in the sun can cause your acne to breakout more prominently. This happens because the sun’s rays dry out the skin and create dead, flaky skin. This dead skin clogs the pores on the back and shoulders making it hard to get rid of back acne.
To prevent this from happening, make sure that you do not overexpose your skin to the sun. Also, always wear sunscreen when heading outdoors.
One consideration when choosing a sunscreen is to get one which is suitable for your back acne. For instance, get a product which is water proof, lightweight and oil free. A sunscreen with these features will allow your skin to breathe well and not clog pores.
- Shower after a workout
Allowing the sweat and dirt sit on the skin after a session at the gym can affect acne breakouts in a big way. Try to shower as soon as possible after a workout to get rid of back acne.
There seems to be a debate with regard to exfoliating. Some people say that exfoliating acne prone skin is not a good idea as it may be too harsh on the skin. Others believe that exfoliating can help remove dead skin but you have to be gentle enough with it.
Skin experts do believe that exfoliating skin should be an integral part of skin care. Gentle exfoliation not only removes dead skin cells, but improves circulation in the area. The exfoliating action can also boost cell turnover.
For people with back acne, exfoliation should be done carefully. You can use a loofa, back brush or body brush to exfoliate the skin. The gentle scrubbing will remove dead skin and bacteria that clogs the pores and creates acne.
Do this once daily in the shower and follow with a non-comedogenic moisturizer. This will prevent skin from drying out.
Because acne fighting products can be drying, it is very important to moisturize properly. People with inflammatory acne have issues with skin products which can clog their pores even more. In this case, you need to look for products that are labeled non comedogenic and oil free.
Use a moisturizer that incorporates salicylic acid to combat dryness and help heal blemishes all through the day. Use light weight moisturizers that will dry quickly and feel comfortable under clothing.
- Keep hair off your back to get rid of back acne
People know a lot about taking care of acne prone skin, but not so much about hair washing having an effect on acne. There is, in fact a connection between the two. How you wash your hair may actually be affecting your back acne.
If you use a lot of products for nourishing hair, you may have beautiful, healthy hair. But if you also have acne breakouts, the same products may be affecting your attempts to get rid of back acne.
Most people wash their hair and condition it while letting it run down their back. This is really bad for acne prone skin. The ingredients hair products contain are designed to cling to hair. When they come in contact with your back skin, they may stick there too. This can cause pores to plug up.
Experts recommend that conditioner should be rinsed off to the side and not down the back. You should also complete your hair treatments prior to washing your body.
When you do this, you get the chance to wash off all oily residue from your back. You can then go ahead with your acne treatment procedures to do their thing.
Medicated Products to Get Rid Of Back Acne
Dermatologists recommend using products with specific ingredients to get rid of back acne. Among these the following types are the most popular:
- Benzoyl peroxide is used to reduce the bacteria that causes acne breakouts. This ingredient dries out excess sebum and peels off layers of dead skin.
- Salicylic acid is used in acne products to reduce the redness associated with acne. It also unplugs blocked skin pores and helps loosen scaly skin.
- Retinoids work in a similar manner to vitamin A on the skin. They unclog pores, regulate sebum production and reduce acne infections.
- AHAs in commercially produced products are beneficial to treating acne scars.
Try a Medicated Body Wash
Medicated body washes contain salicylic acid which is very effective against fighting acne. Likewise, antibacterial soaps can also prevent bacterial growth.
Use a Medicated Spray
The big problem with back acne is that it is in a hard to reach place. The answer to this problem is in using a medicated spray. Medicated sprays can be spritzed on from any direction aimed at acne spots. Quality sprays contain retinol and salicylic acid to get rid of back acne.
Clean Your Skin with an Anti-Acne Pad
Using a medicated body pad is another option to consider. These are available as jumbo sized pads that can be swiped over the skin to seek instant relief from sweat and itchiness. Anti-acne pads are available with helpful ingredients like salicylic acid to get rid of back acne. They may also contain witch hazel to keep skin refreshed or green tea to calm inflammation.
Use a gentle wipe
You can use a medicated, oil free wipe that can help swipe away bacteria from the skin. Medicated wipes are gentle enough to use on sensitive without aggravating sensitive skin. A gentle swipe can also help remove dead skin cells from the back.
Home Remedies to Get Rid Of Back Acne
Take an oatmeal bath
Oatmeal is good for oily, dry and irritated skin. it can soak excessive sebum and oil off of the skin. Oatmeal can also help clear away dirt and other toxins in the process. It is also gentle on the skin and can be a mild exfoliant to remove dead skin cells. Prepare this bath to get rid of back acne by using 3 tablespoons oatmeal-powdered, 3 tablespoons oatmeal flakes and a clean sock.
Run a warm bath and add the powdered oatmeal to it. Put the oatmeal flakes in a clean sock and tie the end closed. Take the sock into the bath with you and squeeze it at frequent intervals to replenish the oatmeal. Soak in bath for 20 -30 minutes and repeat daily.
Epsom Salt Soak to Get Rid of Back Acne
Epsom salt has the potential to flush out toxins and reduce inflammation from acne prone skin. At the same time, it can also minimize redness and itchiness of the skin.
To use Epsom salt in the bath, fill tub with warm water. Add in a cup or two of Epsom salt. Soak in bath for 20- 30 minutes and gently scrub back with loofah.
The salt absorbs liquid so keep well hydrated after taking an Epsom salt bath.
Sea Salt Bath for Getting Rid of Back Acne
Another option is to prepare a sea salt bath. Sea salt can absorb excess oils and moisture on the skin. This action can help prevent bacterial growth which causes back acne. To run a salt bath, only use organic sea salt as table salt has iodine which can aggravate and irritate the acne.
To use, fill a tub with water and add 2-3 cups of sea salt in it. Soak in the bath for approximately half an hour and follow with applying a light moisturizer.
If you have mild acne on the back, you can prepare a sea salt water spray instead. Fill a spray bottle with water and add some sea salt o it. Mix well and spray on the back at least two times every day. When you follow this remedy, take care to let your back dry completely before putting on a shirt. Also, wear only loose and breathable clothing to prevent the acne from aggravating.
Tea Tree Oil Application to Get Rid of Back Acne
This is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory oil. It also has anti-microbial and antiseptic properties. All these features make tea tree oil a suitable way to get rid of back acne. However, tea tree oil is very strong so you need to dilute it well with water or any other carrier oil. Using tea tree oil on its own is NEVER recommended as it can cause itching, redness, blistering, irritation and over-drying of skin.
A safe ratio to use tea tree oil is to take 2-3 drops of the oil and mix it with one cup of water. Use a cotton ball to apply this solution to get rid of back acne. Let dry completely before putting on a shirt. You can repeat this application two times a day and store the remaining mixture for future use.
Baking Soda to Get Rid of Back Acne
Baking soda has so many uses for multiple problems. It is also very beneficial for restoring the skin’s pH levels. Baking soda has well known anti-septic and anti-inflammatory features which can help with getting rid of back acne. Its active properties kill bacteria and diminish swelling. The grains in the baking soda can help exfoliate the skin to get rid of dirt and dead skin cells.
To use, mix enough baking soda with water to form a paste. Apply to the affected area and leave in place for 10- 15 minutes. Rinse with water and repeat two times a day.
Aloe vera has strong antifungal and regenerative features that can help combat bacteria. An application can halt fungal infection, heal wounds and scars while also smoothening skin. Along with all these benefits aloe vera can also boost the growth of new cells in the affected area.
For best results, always use freshly procured organic aloe vera gel instead of commercial products. To use the gel for an application, slice open an aloe vera leaf. Scoop out the gel and apply directly to the back. Let gel dry on the acne pimples and rinse with water. Re-apply a couple of times daily to heal back acne breakouts.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has cleansing and exfoliating qualities that can help with getting rid of back acne. An apple cider vinegar application can target the bacteria that causes breakouts on your back.
The acidic nature of ACV makes it easier to unplug pores and reduce inflammation. However, when using this application take care to dilute the vinegar. On its own, ACV is very strong and can burn skin.
Start by mixing equal amounts of the vinegar and water and use a cotton ball to apply to the affected area. This application works by clearing excess sebum from the skin and removing any buildup of dead skin cells. Repeat once daily to get rid of back acne and help your skin heal.
Witch Hazel Application
Witch hazel is a popular remedy for various skin conditions. One of its healing properties is to get rid of back acne. This is because it can reduce the inflammation and infection associated with acne.
Its astringent features can effectively contract large pores and help dry the secretion of excess oils. Another benefit is that witch hazel is a mild astringent while many others can be harsh on the skin. Applying witch hazel to get rid of back acne does not irritate the skin but does cleanse the skin of dead cells.
The best way to use witch hazel for getting rid of back acne is to apply it as a toner. To make a toner, mix 6 tablespoons of witch hazel with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel. Add in 5-10 drops of lavender oil. Mix well and pour into container. Use a cotton ball to apply to the affected area.