Updated: Jul 20, 2022
Back and Body Acne (Bacne) is as much of a nuisance as acne on the face. Those who suffer from acne on the face are more likely to experience it on the body. On the other hand, Bacne sufferers may never experience a pimple on their face yet become plagued with congestion and pimples on the chest, shoulders and back.
What Causes Bacne?
We have pores all over the body, so just like the pores on our face can become clogged, so can the ones on our body.
Skin with an overactive sebaceous gland will produce more oil, and when the skin on the body is left untreated, it can lead to a build-up of excess oil, leading to clogged pores and acne.
If the acne is particularly severe and persistent, then I recommend working alongside a skin specialist and a naturopathic doctor as it may be due to a hormonal imbalance.
Bacne can also be from an infection of the hair follicle known as folliculitis. Folliculitis happens when the hair follicle becomes damaged; once the damage has occurred, the follicles are more likely to become infected with bacteria, leading to what looks like a sudden breakout of acne.
Bacne may appear worse in the warmer months, just in time for summer, how convenient. In the warmer months, we tend to produce more oil and sweat more, which can lead to clogging of the pores and breakouts. Summer is also the time for more beach days which means heavy sunscreen application which can lead to clogging pores. I'm not saying skip on sunscreen, but find one that doesn't cause skin irritation and always shower it off once home.
Bacne can be highly annoying, I know this too well myself, and it can affect the self-esteem of those suffering. Below are my tips and tricks on dealing with Bacne.
Tips and Tricks for Treating Bacne
Cleansing the body
If you are using a cleanser for facial acne, use the same on your body. Cleansers with salicylic acid work well as its ability to cut through oil to clean out the blocked pore. Salicylic acid is excellent for regulating sebaceous gland activity and reducing inflammation. I recommend Dermaquest BHA cleanser for treating acne on the face and body, containing 2% Salicylic Acid and can be used as a cleanser or a treatment mask.
If you are using benzoyl peroxide, please be careful as it can bleach clothing, so be cautious if using it in a body cleanser or as a leave-on treatment.
Any gym bunnies who work out regularly are more prone to Bacne as a result of the extra sweating, alongside any other bacteria that can stick to gym wear. It's essential to shower straight after working out, don't allow any sweat to sit on the skin as it can lead to breakouts. Remove gym clothes as soon as possible after working out, to avoid bacteria and sweat sitting on the skin.
Exfoliate your body with a body scrub twice a week to remove the build-up of dead skin cells, which can lead to clogging the pores and Bacne. Dermaquest DermaClear pads containing 2% Salicylic Acid are great for harder to reach areas.
Apply a lightweight body cream or gel to the skin. My go-to is PCA Body Therapy, containing Lactic acid which exfoliates the skin leaving it more radiant without clogging the pores. This cream has been a lifesaver in dealing with my Bacne. I recommend avoiding usage straight after shaving, due to the acids it can cause a little sting.
Your skin goes way beyond your face, so treat your body as you would your face.
Is it your shampoo?
Shampoos and especially conditioner can lead to breakouts on the body. Avoid shampoos and conditioners touching your skin when washing your hair in the shower. Conditioners especially can leave a film on the skin, which can lead to clogged pores and future breakouts. Wash your hair upside down, and keep your hair in a bun when leaving your conditioner in your hair.
Change your bedding often, especially if you find you sweat a lot at night, also change your Pjs daily. Try keeping your hair up in a loose bun while you sleep to avoid rubbing and irritating the skin on the body.
If you have a hard time reaching your back to treat the Bacne seek professional back treatments for deep exfoliation and cleansing of the skin. Hydra facials and skin peels work fantastically in reducing Bacne. Avoid picking at your skin, if your need extractions always seek a professional treatment.
Apply a lightweight body cream or gel to the skin. My go-to is PCA Body Therapy, containing Lactic acid, which exfoliates the skin leaving it more radiant without clogging the pores. This cream has been a lifesaver in dealing with my Bacne. I recommend avoiding usage straight after shaving, due to the acids it can cause a little sting and treating acne.
Follow my tips and tricks in treating Bacne. If the acne is particularly severe and persistent, then I recommend working alongside a skin specialist and a naturopathic doctor as it may be due to a hormonal imbalance. A skin specialist can treat the outside, and a naturopathic doctor can do all the relevant testing to see if it is a hormonal imbalance or if there is another imbalance in the body.
With Skin Love