What is backne?
Back acne or body acne has the same characteristics as facial acne, including the appearance of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, red spots and even scarring. Severity can vary and is common among adolescents. Backne can also affect some adults.
Causes of back acne
Backne is caused by a build-up of dead skin cells, dirt and oil blocking the hair follicle, trapping bacteria and causing inflammation. Backne can also occur when sweat is left on the body for too long. Hormonal fluctuations can also cause backne in females.
How to prevent back acne
Regular showers, body exfoliating and avoiding occlusive clothing (especially gym wear) which can cause excessive sweating and irritate the hair follicle can prevent and reduce the recurrence of backne. We recommend showering immediately after a workout if you are consistently suffering from backne.
Body washes containing Salicylic Acid and AHAs such as Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid are useful for preventing clogged hair follicles. Sulfur and Benzyl Peroxide are also very useful ingredients as they have mild anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
How to treat back acne
The first-line treatment for backne is to start with a suitable body wash with Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid or Benzyl Peroxide. Changes to your lifestyle e.g. avoiding occlusive clothing and showering immediately after a workout are also useful when it comes to preventing backne. If symptoms persist, oral antibiotics, oral retinoids or hormonal medication may be required and prescribed by your doctor as the last option.
Written By: Helen Huynh (B Pharm) MPS