Back acne, or "bacne" as some call it, can be somewhat similar to facial acne in its symptoms and causes, but the treatment of it does differ. Using our facial products on our body acne probably won't work, and it will be an expensive trial. The skin on your back has larger pores than facial pores, which means they are far more likely to become clogged. This is why it’s best to look for products that are specifically designed for the body to treat bacne.
If you've tried everything under the sun and nothing seems to work, maybe acne-causing bacteria aren't the issue. Maybe it's a yeast issue. Pityrosporum folliculitis, a yeast, is actually at the root cause for most people with back and body acne. The treatment for yeast acne germs differs from the traditional bacteria acne germs. Instead of anti-bacterial cleansers, anti-fungal and other skin care practices are needed to get rid of this pesky skin issue.
Like choosing a cleanser for your facial acne, using the right cleanser for your body is key to targeting aggressive bacne. Using things like shower gels may make you smell nice, but they don't really do much else. Instead, use medicated products that can kill yeast or bacteria and unclog pores. Some key elements to look for are pyrithinone zinc, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur.
Don't forget a good scrub, either. Because our skin can become clogged with dead skin cells, sebum and other things, exfoliation is important.
Just like you should spot treat a pimple that erupts on your face, you should also spot treat any pimples that stand out on your body. This is perhaps even more important, since lesions on your body can be quite painful, and can stick around for a very long time. Not to mention, if you have the type of pimples that tend to snag on clothes, open up and get bloody, you're likely to spread the bacteria to the surrounding area and create more pimples. Treating the pimple will help get rid of it a little faster, reducing the risk of bacteria spreading. You can use benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or tea tree oil - you may need to find the appropriate product for your needs.
While there's not much evidence to suggest that sweat itself can cause body acne breakouts, there is the possibility, especially if you're dealing with yeast which thrives in warm, moist environments. Regardless, it's good hygiene to shower as soon after exercise/sweating as possible. If this isn't possible, at least try to wipe away the sweat and put on fresh clothes.
While all of my exercise gear tells me to hand wash in cold water and not to use the dryer to extend the life of the garment, my body acne cares not for these instructions. When I trialed cold water gentle cycles and hang drying, I got a nice case of Athlete's Foot which then proceeded to Jock Itch. Needless to say, after switching back to gentle warm water cycles and using the dryer on delicate, this problem has been eradicated and my gear is no worse for wear, either.
If you have a local tanning salon with red light therapy machines, it wouldn't hurt to give them a try. While sun exposure can exacerbate acne and skin issues, red light therapy is gentle, safe and has shown to be effective in treating skin conditions like acne.
Try soaking in a salt bath, or making a simple salt spray to spritz on the area. While this may not be ideal, and may result in some dryness, this can be an effective maintenance approach.
Guest Blog By:
I first got acne in high school, and it came back in my early adulthood. I was able to struggle through those difficult times and come out of it a stronger, wiser, healthier person as a result. I'm here to help you do the same thing!