Get rid of back acne once and for all!
Dealing with back acne can be so hard at times, especially when it feels as though you’re trying everything and it’s just not getting any better. While it might seem hopeless right now, there are definite steps that you can take to get rid of back acne as well as techniques that you can learn to prevent it.
We are going to take you through all the different things you can do so that you can aim for an acne-free life.
What is acne?
Acne is a condition where your skin is oily and develops spots. In more than 50% of acne sufferers, these spots can appear on your back.
Sometimes the skin can feel hot or painful to the touch. Acne is really common, especially when you are going through the hormonal changes associated with puberty. In fact, 95% of people aged 11-30 have experienced acne.
There are six different types of spots that you can get with acne:
You are more likely to suffer from acne if you have a family history of it and you are also more likely to develop acne during times when your hormones are changing, such as puberty, pregnancy, or certain points of the menstrual cycle.
Acne can develop as a side effect of certain medications, such as some antidepressants. There isn’t any evidence that diet or poor hygiene plays a role in developing acne. So if you get acne, it doesn’t mean that you are unclean or unhealthy.
When these hormones build up, it causes glands that are next to your hair follicles to produce more oil, also known as abnormal sebum. This changes the activity of a bacterium called P. acne, causing it to become more aggressive. This leads to a build-up of pus and inflammation. The hormones also make the lining of your hair follicles thicker, which can cause blocked pores.
How to prevent back acne
While back acne is caused by hormonal and genetic factors, there are things that you can do to prevent a flare-up. Your goal is to try to stop your pores from getting any more blocked than they already are and to prevent any extra irritation.
1) Don’t wash too often
While it can be tempted to try to keep your back as clean as possible to stop the back acne from reappearing, this can actually make the situation worse. If you wash your back more than twice a day, this can cause it to get irritated, which can stimulate acne to develop.
2) Don’t use harsh soaps or hot water
Harsh soaps and hot water both strip your skin of its natural oils. You might think that getting rid of oil is key to preventing an acne breakout, actually, your skin’s natural oils are important for preventing them. The oils work as a barrier to stop any bad stuff from getting into your pores and if your skin gets dry, this can stimulate even more production of abnormal sebum which can make your acne worse.
3) Wear loose clothing when you exercise
Tight-fitting workout clothes trap sweat in between your clothes and your skin, which can clog your pores. If you wear loose-fitting breathable clothes instead, this gives your skin a chance to breathe and can make sure that the sweat doesn’t get trapped. It is also a good idea to have a wash as soon as possible after you have finished exercising.
4) Don’t squeeze your spots or clear out your blackheads
It is very, very tempting to do this, but you really shouldn’t. You can risk getting irritants into your pore which will just make the situation worse, and you are also at risk of causing permanent scarring. There are other ways of getting rid of back acne which won’t cause these issues.
How to get rid of back acne:
If your back acne is bad at the moment, don’t panic, There are lots of things you can do to get rid of it in a way that will work long-term.
If your back acne has got infected, you may need antibiotics to help clear it up. It is always a good idea to speak to your doctor to see if you need to take antibiotics. These usually start working within a few days.
2) Birth control
For women who have periods, sometimes birth control such as the pill can help to control acne breakouts. This is because it helps to regulate the hormones in your body, preventing the sorts of wild swings that can trigger acne.
3) Benzoyl peroxide
This is a gel or cream that your doctor could prescribe to you. It is an antiseptic, so it reduces the number of bacteria on your skin, which stops the pus from building up. It also reduces inflammation and can reduce the number of blackheads and whiteheads on your back. You normally need to apply it twice a day straight after washing, and it usually takes around 6 weeks for your acne to go down to nothing, or nearly nothing.
Retinoids such as Tretinoin come from vitamin A. They come in cream or gel form and when you apply them to your skin, they exfoliate it (get rid of dead cells), which can stop your hair follicles from getting clogged up. They can also increase how quickly cells grow and divide, which can get rid of spots more quickly and can stop new ones from growing. It is usually applied 20 minutes after washing and for around 6 weeks.
5) Other medications
If your acne doesn’t get better with normal treatments, you can be prescribed stronger medications. These can be really effective but they can also have some bad side effects. For example, you could be prescribed co-cypindriol, which is a type of hormone therapy, or isotretinoin.
6) Chemical peels
A chemical peel is where you apply a special chemical solution to your skin, which allows you to peel off the very top layer. This stimulates the growth of new skin cells and gets rid of the top cells that are currently covered in acne. It works best for mild to moderate acne.
7) Photodynamic therapy
This is where you are given medication that can make your skin more sensitive to light, and then different types of light are shone on the areas of your skin that are affected by acne. It works by destroying the bacteria in the skin and abnormal cells. It is often used for acne that hasn’t responded to other types of treatment and can really work for many people.
Back acne can be really difficult to live with, but you don’t have to suffer in silence. There are lots of treatments out there that can get rid of back acne, and your doctor will be able to work with you to come up with a treatment plan. There are also lots of things you can do to prevent back acne from coming back. Once you get the hang of how to manage your acne, it should come back much less often.