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.


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.


Since 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.


Even with the most careful and considered skincare regime, acne breakouts can still occur and in these cases it is necessary to seek treatment from a dermatologist. Although there is no foolproof treatment that will work for every sufferer of back acne, there are many options available and a dermatologist will develop a unique treatment plan for you to follow. Some of the most common back acne treatment methods include:


For some, over-the-counter washes and creams simply aren’t powerful enough, but prescription strength products can produce brilliant results. Many dermatologists will prescribe topical medications alongside other acne treatments to ensure the best results.


For inflammatory acne, topical antibiotics are a great solution, as they help to minimize the amount of bacteria present. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for very active acne sufferers who tend to sweat regularly and develop cystic and scarring acne as a result.


This powerful prescription medicine not only targets existing acne, but it also has long-term benefits to keep future acne at bay and minimize acne scarring.


By emitting gentle, controlled pulses of energy, lasers such as the CoolTouch are able to penetrate deep into the skin and shrink oil glands on areas affected by back acne. Once shrunk, the oil glands are still able to produce enough oil to keep the skin healthy without overproducing oil that blocks the pores and causes acne.


This high intensity fluorescent light works to kill the bacteria which causes acne to progress and spread. It’s a very simple but effective procedure.


When applying fat-soluble acids to acneic skin, the lipid portion of the clogged pores act to soak up the acid, pulling it into the skin. Salicylic acid is an excellent choice for treating acne on the face or the back.


If you’re plagued with persistent, painful and unsightly back acne and are desperate for a solution, it’s time to consult a specialist. Contact us now to book a free consultation with one of our expert dermatologists to begin discussing an effective treatment plan to help you overcome acne once and for all.