Unless you were a very lucky teenager, you’ve probably had to deal with acne. And unless you’ve had very limited experience as an adult, you’ve probably had to deal with it continuing past your teenage years. Acne is a skin condition that affects literally millions of people every year. In fact, an astounding 40-50 million Americans have dealt with acne at some point in their life. While more cases of acne are found among teens, it’s not unheard of to see in older generations. People can continue to break out in acne until well into their 50s; it just depends on skin type and both internal and external body conditions.
Anyone who’s dealt with acne or even knows someone who’s dealt with it understands the different types of acne. The most common form of acne shows up on your face, but acne actually has more expansive properties, too. These pesky pimples can pop up almost anywhere, from your face to arms and back. It even goes as far as showing up on your rear in some cases. Breaking out in acne on your rear is less common, but more and more people find themselves plagued with its appearance on their back. Back acne, or “bacne,” is not only annoying and sometimes painful, but it’s also embarrassing and makes it hard to wear back-exposing clothes. If you want to reduce your acne and wear tank tops again, here are 10 reasons you might be breaking out in acne on your back.
10Party of the Sebaceous Glands
There are many different causes of acne, but one of the most common reasons is the clogging of pores. This can be because of dirt, oil, or even dead skin cells. These follicles are known as sebaceous glands, and they’re located all around the body. However, they’re naturally found more in areas like the face and upper portions of the body. That’s why you’re more likely to break out on in acne on your back, chest, and face compared to your calves.
So, your back is literally a party of sebaceous glands all together. These glands work to secrete sebum, as well as keep the body cool. However, these glands are located close to your hair follicles, making it easier for the follicle to get infected. Keeping the area clean can only do so much; sometimes the sheer number of pores and follicles close together is troublesome. The fact that you can find a lot more sebaceous glands on your back means that it’s easier for those pores to get clogged. This naturally predisposes your body to break out in acne on your back. On top of that, many people have genetics that gives them even more sebaceous glands on their back. The increased number of these glands only increases their chances of breaking out.
However, you can combat your back breakouts by using salicylic acid-based treatments in the shower. These come in many different variations. While you can’t control your genetics, you can control how you deal with them.
9It’s Getting Hot in Here
To build off of the previous reason, your sebaceous glands work to keep your body cool. A major function of the skin and the glands on it is to expel the things your body doesn’t need, ultimately detoxifying your insides. As your skin is the largest organ in your body, you have tons of these glands working to keep your body cool and toxin-free. When you sweat, your body uses these small pores as tunnels that allow water to exit the body. So, how does this relate to why you’re breaking out in acne on your back?
If you think about sports and just general exercise, a good game or run is incomplete with a good sweating session. Sweating in itself isn’t harmful, but when excessive sweating occurs, your pores can become clogged as a result. If you don’t shower right after you exercise, this sweat just dries on your body, creating a layer of bacteria. That bacteria mix in with more sweat and oil throughout the day and blocks your pores from functioning like they should. A blocked pore is followed by pimples. As your back is one of the main places you can see sweat during exercise, this might be a reason you’re breaking out.
If you think that your sweat might be behind your bacne woes, try showering as soon as you can after a workout. You sweat throughout the day even when you’re not exerting yourself, so keeping wet wipes handy until you can reach a shower also helps.
Your body is pretty amazing in the things that it can handle, both physically and mentally. Although it doesn’t function optimally during these times, it can take on great amounts of stress and still get the job done. In the same way, your body can handle a certain level of physical stress before starting to shut down. While something might not seem like a problem or source of stress, it can actually affect your health greatly. This is especially true for your skin. Because your skin serves as a protective barrier between you and the world, it’s exposed to several different bacteria, germs, and other stress-causing things.
One thing that your skin deals with almost constantly is friction. Friction doesn’t only refer to an actual sandpaper sheet rubbing against your skin. It can be made with something as common as a backpack. The constant up-and-down movement of a backpack doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it does a lot. That constant rubbing eventually starts to irritate your skin, especially if the backpack is heavy or you use it quite often. Irritation is one of the easiest ways for acne to form. Friction can come in other forms too, like heavy clothing, scarves, and other types of bags.
If you use a backpack or manage heavy body protection or clothing often, this may be the reason you’re breaking out in acne on your back. Reduce friction by lightening your load or using a messenger or handheld bag to reduce the appearance of acne.
7Too Tight for Comfort
Clothes are something we can’t live without. The business for these items is booming in the U.S. and around the world, and people aren’t showing any signs of slowing down with their clothing purchases. In fact, the average American family spends nearly $2,000 on clothing throughout the year. This statistic for money spent only gets higher as the income of the family increases. With something as essential as clothing, it’s easy to see why people are always buying new items. With so many options on the market today, unfortunately, you’re bound to purchase something subpar. We’ve all been in the position where we buy a shirt that’s perfect, but just a little bit too snug. Whether you make plans to fit into them after losing a little weight, or you purposely buy tighter fitting clothes, you end up taking it home and wearing it.
But the problem is that your skin literally needs room to breathe and properly expel toxins from your body. Some fabrics don’t allow any air flow between the cloth and your skin, making it a perfect place for bacteria. So, tight clothes may give your body more definition and a better shape, but they can also cause irritation, leading to acne.
If you suspect that your tight clothes are causing you to break out in acne on your back, try switching to something less form-fitting. It doesn’t have to be three times your regular size, but something that’s breathable is important for reducing back acne.
On the subject of clothes, some people go to great lengths to take good care of their favorite items. Certain clothes and fabrics require specialized cleaning treatments in the form of dry cleaning. Others have specific washing or drying methods you need to follow to maintain the structure and color of the clothes. One crucial part of the laundry experience is the detergent. Each brand has its own unique scent and recommended doses for detergent. While it might not seem like a big deal, the actual amount of detergent you use makes a difference. Not only does it prolong your washer’s rinse cycle, but excessive amounts of detergent can also remain on your clothing after the wash is done.
Excessive detergent can irritate your skin and make it more susceptible to infections in the form of acne. Although detergent is safe for you to touch with your bare hands, it’s not safe for you to remain in constant contact with it because there are certain ingredients that begin to irritate the skin after a while. Even if you follow the correct doses for detergent, your skin still may be sensitive to it if you switch to a new brand. To reduce the appearance of acne on your back, try following the detergent directions as closely as you can. If you feel that you’re sensitive to the new brand you use, try experimenting with different brands or just revert back to the tried-and-true one you used to use. This should help reduce acne.
5Not the Last of Your Hormonal Spikes
When it comes to acne, there are several things that could be causing it. In the case of teenagers, it’s generally expected to see acne breakouts because of the high levels of hormonal imbalance in their systems. This shaky setup of chemicals and substances can cause frequent acne breakouts in teens. But acne can continue well into your adult years. You would think that you’re all done with your unstable hormones, but the truth is that you can still experience hormonal imbalances in adulthood. Generally speaking, your hormones are most likely settling down. They may not be perfect, but they’re definitely better than what they used to be. As adults, we occasionally experience a fluctuation in our hormones as well. This can be in the form of menopause for women and testosterone spikes for men. This may even happen if you take steroids for better physical performance in the gym or in the bedroom, as these also give boosts of certain hormones in your blood. This quick and unexpected shot of chemicals causes your skin to break out in acne.
If you’ve recently taken steroids or are going through a hormonal change that’s been diagnosed, like menopause, this may be why you’re breaking out in acne on your back. In the case of steroids, it’s best to just stop taking them. Your body eventually clears out the excess and the acne recedes as a result. If it’s a natural hormonal change, you can take prescription drugs to regulate those hormones as best as possible.
4Back Hair Removal Blues
You probably know that there are many ways to remove unwanted hairs. You can try waxing, tweezing, epilating, or shaving. Even among those few options, there are several different types and specific methods you can use. Every method has its own pros and cons, but unless you use electrolysis, you’re going to have some regrowth. During the time of regrowth, your hair comes back slowly, and sometimes gets trapped under the surface of your skin. Ingrown hairs are common, but are still annoying and can lead to infection and acne growth. This all boils down to whether or not you remove back hair. If this is something you do regularly, it may the cause of your acne.
Dealing with ingrown hairs is troublesome, and coupling that with the occurrence of acne only adds on to that. But all it takes are some good products to relieve the issue. Use purposeful exfoliating methods to remove the hair from under the skin. You can also take care of your skin before you remove the hair by using the correct preparatory cream. Both of these methods can help reduce the appearance of ingrown hairs. On the other hand, you may be mistaking your ingrown hairs as acne on your back. After all, both look similar to each other with a red appearance and raised skin. But the treatments for both are different, so getting a solid diagnosis from a doctor can help you discern between them and get the treatment you need.
3Hurting More than Helping
If you’ve struggled with back acne for a long time, you may have built up your arsenal of products to combat its appearance. From scrubs and ointments to maybe even products you can use in the shower, different methods are used to help heal acne and reduce scarring. However, not all of these products are actually as helpful as they claim to be. The secret to good skincare products are the materials they’re made out of. The ingredient list may contain lots of words you don’t know, but familiarizing yourself with components, especially oil is the key here. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to avoid all oil-based products when you already have oily skin. This goes across the board, from face washes to body washes. Your body wash may be causing your oil to build up even more on your back, and in turn, increasing the rate of acne growth.
To avoid breaking out in acne on your back, you want to look for products that are labeled as non-comedogenic. Non-comedogenic products don’t clog pores, and so, won’t block the glands on your back. These products work to give your body a deep cleanse, but not at the risk of creating excessive oil and further clogging pores. Even if you don’t have oily skin, using non-comedogenic products is a great way to ensure that your products actually help your skin type. Finding a body wash that’s designed to keep your pores open is your best bet when you want to reduce back acne.
2Get More Bubbly Back Action
Let’s say you’ve found the right non-comedogenic products for your acne, but still don’t see any results. If you’ve been using it religiously, the problem may not even be in the product, but rather the application. As bacne occurs on your back, it’s considerably more difficult to reach the correct area than your face. You can’t even see it properly, so reaching it to apply an ointment or acne medication is even more difficult. Having the right product or exfoliator for your skin is one thing, but applying it correctly is a whole different game. Not applying your products as they should be or incompletely could be the reason why you’re breaking out on your back.
So, you might just need to up the bubbles on your back by using a handy back medication applicator. These applicators are usually a bit like back scratchers. They’re long and have a handle on one end with an application pad on the other. You dab on the ointment or soap on the application pad and use that to reach your back easily. It saves a lot of time from trying to reach back there yourself. Plus, these applicators are very easy to assemble and are available at affordable prices. Finding a brand of back medicine applicators that works for you may be what you need when it comes to actually get the product on your back. Once you have that down, you can easily apply for your medicine quickly and efficiently, ultimately reducing the appearance of acne.
1Take Your Time
Finally, if you’re doing everything correctly and still don’t see results, it’s time to look into each step of your skincare routine carefully. Are you taking your time to follow directions diligently and thoroughly? Consider how well you’re following the directions for the product. Every product works well when you pay attention to exactly how it’s supposed to be used. No one knows how to work a product better than the people who made it, so be sure to read and understand instructions fully.
How this ties into your back acne is simple. Many acne medications like benzoyl peroxide need to be applied to your skin and then left alone for a certain amount of time. This time differs depending on the brand, but usually, it’s best to leave it on overnight so the medicine has time to deeply penetrate the skin. This allows the medicine to have its full effect and take out the acne bacteria from the root. If you leave the medicine on for a short period of time, it may be too soon to see adequate results. You can also apply this logic to back acne medicine. Most of the time, these medicines come in the form of a lotion or soap to use in the shower. In both cases, you want to leave it on your back for at least ten minutes to see good results. Taking your time with the application just might be what your skin needs to reduce the appearance of acne.
From all of the different types of acne, the one that occurs on your back is probably the most frustrating to deal with in terms of treatment. While it’s easier than other forms because it’s not so apparent and can be hidden, it’s tougher to handle because you can’t reach your back easily. This hinders how well you can apply the necessary medicine to take care of the problem, so it prolongs the whole experience. On top of that, your back is naturally more likely to get oily and sweaty because of its position on your body and the fact that there are more sweat glands located on it. On the other hand, you could use an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach to your back acne, but that is likely to worsen the condition. It gives you the easy way out but doesn’t really stop the problem.
Back acne needs a little more effort and requires more time to heal because of its position. However, remaining diligent in your applications and practicing a good skin care routine is the fastest way to reduce your acne. You can start by doing a little research to find the best body washes and scrubs to give you a non-oil based clean. Expedite the application process by using a back medicine applicator, and make sure to allow enough time for the medicine to do its work. Understanding the root of your back acne and using some of these tips can put you on the right track to clear skin.