Back acne is something that all of us experience and is quite common, but that doesn’t make it less painful or troublesome. Back acne is very commonly termed as “bacne”. These tend to be more stubborn and annoying than face pimples or any whiteheads or blackheads. That is why it takes more care and advice. Considering the fact that they are on a difficult to reach body area it can be of great discomfort.

Bacne looks very similar to the regular face pimples, but they are quite different from the face acne as the cause of the breakout can be different. These are characterized by red bumps, whiteheads, blackheads, and nodules caused due to several reasons. 

The various causes of bacne are the following:

1. Dandruff: Dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, which is characterized by dry scaly patches leading to excessive flaking of the scalp. When these flakes fall on body areas like neck, forehead or back clog the pores causing troublesome zits and pimples.

2. Hormonal PCOD: PCOD is one of the common causes of acne. PCOD or hormonal imbalance can create an increase in testosterone in the body. This condition causes an excess of sebum production resulting in face and body acne.

3. Folliculitis: This is a very common skin condition that occurs as a result of bacterial infection. Pores on the body are comparatively larger than the one on the face. Bacteria and impurities get easily trapped in them causing infection.

4. Heat: Combined heat and humidity is some of the common causes of bacne in summers. The body has more sebaceous glands, especially on back and chest. Heat and humidity lead to excessive sweating, which in turn leads to excessive oil production thus creating the environment more favorable for bacteria to grow resulting in acne.

5. Tight clothing or friction: wearing tight clothes can cause constant rubbing of fabric on damp and warm skin, thus damaging the hair follicles and making the skin more susceptible to infection.

6. Haircare Products: Chemicals in hair care products also tend to irritate the skin, clog pores, and stimulate excess oil (sebum) production.

7. Shaving and waxing: This is a very common cause leading to folliculitis on the back.

We all are aware that skin on other body parts is a little thicker than the facial skin. Hence, it can be a little difficult to treat body acne. Often they leave marks on the body surface. But timely management and a holistic approach can help treat them and also prevent them on a long term basis. An expert dermatologist can help to diagnose the exact cause and treat the problem accordingly. The first and foremost step to treat bacne is avoiding the triggers. This can be different for different cases as per one’s cause.

  • Dandruff being one of the most common causes needs to be treated with appropriate dandruff shampoos. Often using the same shampoo can lead to product saturation, so, it is advisable to keep changing molecules after discussing with a dermatologist. One can opt for molecules like ketoconazole, coal tar, salicylic acid, cyclopiroxolamine, etc.

  • Wash clothes properly. Avoid tightly fitted cloth. Remove workout clothes immediately after a workout and take a shower and wash the clothes regularly.

  • Never over oil the scalp and choose the right hair care product. Also, if someone is into back massages then reducing that to the minimal can help. Oiling on the back can occlude the sweat glands. Also, clean the bathing accessories regularly to maintain hygiene.

  • Avoid loofahs, back brushes, and buff puffs. No exfoliation or scrubbing the back. Look out for ingredients while choosing skin care products and hair products. Prefer non-comedogenic products. Opt for gentle fragrance, non-creamy and medicated body washes or anti-bacterial soaps for the body.

  • Body washes containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid will help relieve the acne as they have anti-bacterial properties.

  • Retinoic acid-based creams or clindamycin can be used as prescribed by the dermatologist.

  • Consult a dermatologist. He/she will prescribe the right body wash and medications to reduce inflammation and pain. In case these medications are unable to improve the condition there are treatment procedures done at the clinic which includes medicated peels like a salicylic acid peel or TCA Peel.

    At times acne subsides leaving a lot of dark spots or acne scars behind. A dermatologist has a solution to this too. The right treatment can help in reducing this pigmentation and scars giving an improved and better skin.

    Keep Healthy! Keep Glowing!