By Aesthetica Med Spa
Although acne is most commonly found on the face, more than half of people who suffer from acne experience severe breakouts on the back, as well. Aside from being aesthetically unpleasant and making sufferers self-conscious about exposing their skin, acne on the back and shoulders can also be incredibly uncomfortable as clothes rub against the painful spots and sores. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to minimize the severity of back acne and treat major breakouts.
WHY DOES BACK ACNE OCCUR?Just like facial acne, back acne occurs when pores become blocked and infected with excess oil and dirt, and bacteria. Often, acne occurs as a result of the body producing excessive amounts of oils which block the pores, but there are also lifestyle factors which can make the problem worse. Poor hygiene, environmental allergens and stress can all contribute to breakouts, causing sufferers to experience whiteheads, blackheads, cysts or a combination of all three. One of the reasons why back acne can be particularly painful is that whiteheads and cysts on the back tend to be much larger than with facial acne. This is because skin on the body is thicker and has larger pores than that of the face, making it more prone to clogging. Additionally, glands that produce oil tend to be more active than those on the face, which makes cystic acne, where spots are particularly large and inflamed, more common.
HOW TO PREVENT BACK ACNESince back acne can affect people in many different ways, there is no guaranteed method for preventing it. However, there are many measures which can easily be incorporated into a daily routine to help keep breakouts at bay. Here are some proactive tips:
- Shower or take a bath immediately after sweating (or use cleansing wipes if showering is not possible) to remove excess oils before they have a chance to block pores.
- Wear light, breathable fabrics such as cotton to minimize sweating.
- Avoid oil-based body washes and lotions which can clog pores, and opt for those that state ‘non-comedogenic’ on the label. These are designed to avoid breakouts.
- Do not use topical steroids (corticosteroids) unless prescribed by a dermatologist, as these tend to cause acne when used excessively.
- Try a Benzoyl Peroxide wash when in the shower, as these can help to reduce inflammation and bacteria. They may be purchased over the counter or you may get a stronger one by prescription.