Acne is a skin problem that usually appears in adolescence, although there are many cases in which it occurs later. And pimples on the face may be more common, but just as annoying, especially in the Summer, is acne on the back.
The reason these red marks and black spots are created on the back, as well as on the chest, is because these places have the most sebaceous glands.
So when sebum production is intense, there are cases when natural oils, sweat and dead cells clog the pores of the skin and cause inflammation. The familiar pimples with white pus or with a black nose (pimples).
Are you wondering what are the factors that trigger the problem and how to get rid of it? In the rest of the article we will analyze it all.
What are the causes of back acne?
There are many reasons why someone may develop back acne. The main culprit is the clogging of the skin pores by various factors.
- Genetics: Many times acne both on the face and on the body is hereditary.
- Hormones: The changes that occur in our hormones (mainly androgens) during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, as well as in other phases of our life, can lead to an increase in the production of sebum. This results in the appearance of black spots and pimples on the back.
- Sweating: Sweat irritates the skin, since it increases the possibility of its pores being blocked by bacteria and dead cells present in the skin. This can lead to an acne flare-up, especially if you wear tight clothing.
- Increased sebum production: The skin creates its own sebum in order to hydrate itself. But if the oiliness is intense, the excess sebum accumulates inside its pores and clogs them.
- Medication: Pimples on the back may be a side effect of some medications, such as antidepressants and corticosteroids.
- Anxiety – stress: It may not be a primary cause of acne, but stress can make things worse.
- Diet: According to the American Academy of Dermatology there is evidence that some foods, such as carbohydrates, increase blood sugar levels, contributing to the appearance of back acne.
- Cleaning products and cosmetics: Both laundry detergents and cosmetics can cause back pimples. This happens either as an allergic reaction, or due to e.g. emollient cream remaining on the skin, which has not been washed off well and closes the pores.
Prevention tips for back pimples
In addition to the treatments, there are also some habits that will help you in the prevention, but also in the reduction of pimples on the back and the body in general. So by following the following tips you will be able to prevent the appearance of acne.
Proper cleanliness of the area
Keeping the area free of sweat can reduce or even eliminate the problem. Wash your back with clean hands, using a gentle cleanser – even your face. Avoid products with alcohol, dyes, parabens and soap, as they aggravate the problem.
It is also recommended not to use a sponge as it tends to collect bacteria and transfer it back to your skin.
So it is important to definitely take a shower a day and especially after exercise, always wearing clean clothes. Don’t let sweat stay on your body, because it creates fertile ground for bacteria, which multiply and create inflammation.
Avoid tight and synthetic clothing
Both clothes that stick to the skin and those that do not allow the skin to breathe can lead to the creation of acne on the back and other parts of the body.
The reason is that they trap sweat and dirt inside the pores, which leads to breakouts and blackheads.
Similar results can be caused by using a backpack that rubs against your back.
So be sure to invest in cotton and loose clothing that will let your skin breathe and absorb some of the sweat.
Exfoliation on the back
Although a common body scrub or vigorous scrubbing with a sponge can aggravate the condition, proper removal of dead cells from the surface of the skin will help reduce and eliminate back acne.
So use a mild exfoliator at most 2 times a week, such as one containing salicylic acid, and remove dirt and oil. Thus, the clogging of the pores and the formation of pimples are prevented.
Products with benzene peroxide and glycolic acid are equally effective.
Don’t bother with pimples
It may be tempting or you may think that you will get rid of annoying red pimples and blackheads faster, but the opposite will happen.
Popping pimples can spread the infection to other areas that are not affected. You may also develop scars that will never go away or take a long time to heal.
Brush the hair away from your back
Long hair may be impressive, but it’s not ideal for people who suffer from back acne. The reason is that they accumulate oil and dirt, which is transferred to the skin and creates breakouts.
So it’s a good idea to bathe often and put your hair up in a bun or a ponytail, especially on hot days of the year.
Discover some beautiful easy updos for hot days.
Also, when you bathe, make sure that there is no residue from the shampoo or conditioner on your back. This can block the pores and lead to pimples.
Ideally soap your body and especially your back after you have finished bathing. Alternatively, make sure to hold your hair up while you let the conditioner work and rinse by leaning forward.
Correct selection of sunscreen and cosmetic products
The ideal products to reduce pimples and blackheads on the back are those labeled oil free and noncomedogenic. Those based on water are equally effective.
These cosmetics do not increase the oiliness of the skin and therefore help the pores to stay open and breathe.
So look for a body moisturizer, cleanser, and whatever else you need that’s suitable for acne-prone skin.
Follow a balanced and healthy diet
This does not mean eating only vegetables and fruits. Certainly a diet plan rich in them helps, as it provides the body with hydration and vitamins, but you can eat everything in moderation.
Of course, it is recommended to limit fat, junk food and foods that increase the glycemic index as much as possible. All of these tend to raise blood sugar levels, making acne worse.
Also, whole grains and lean protein help keep blood sugar at normal levels.
Natural treatment for pimples on the back with homemade recipes
Most of the time, back pimples can be easily treated using natural remedies. Of course, it is enough to act in time before the problem becomes severe and some more drastic medication is needed.
Treatment with tea tree oil
One of the beneficial oils for the skin that helps to deal with acne is that of tea tree. According to the authoritative Healthline, it has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antibacterial effects. Therefore, it works by soothing irritation, redness and swelling.
Also, it can prevent its appearance, but also heal the scars left by pimples on the back.
All you have to do is mix an amount of coconut oil with 2-3 drops of tea tree and apply topically on the pimples. Leave the mixture on the affected area overnight and wash it off in the morning.
Caution, do not use tea tree oil straight as it can cause skin irritation.
Aloe vera gel against back acne
Known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, aloe can help treat inflamed acne.
You will need:
- 1 teaspoon of aloe gel
Way of use:
- Apply the gel to the pimples on your back, shoulders and chest.
- Leave it on for 30 minutes.
- Rinse off with plenty of lukewarm water.
You can repeat this treatment 2-3 times a day.
Mask with aspirin for pimples on the back
Aspirin is known for its anti-inflammatory effect and for the presence of salicylic acid in its composition. For these reasons, many consider it ideal for treating acne.
However, according to MedicalNewsToday, although there is research showing that aspirin can treat skin conditions, there is no data to support it as a treatment for acne.
Applying a paste of aspirin and water topically for no more than 15 minutes has helped some to reduce inflammation. This is due to the fact that salicylic acid dries the skin and reduces oiliness, while removing dead cells that clog pores and lead to pimples.
So apply the paste topically, wash it off after 15 minutes and apply a non-greasy moisturizer to avoid irritation and dryness.
Therefore, aspirin is suitable for removing pimples caused by inflammation, but not for blackheads.
You should of course keep in mind that aspirin should not be used as a treatment by people allergic to it, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and small children. It is also not recommended for people suffering from asthma, allergic rhinitis, nasal polyps and peptic ulcer.
Treatment for acne on the back with chemical peels and other methods of dermatology
If the above is not enough to prevent its appearance and limit its extent, there are some dermatological treatments that will help you deal with the problem from its root.
The following methods can be applied either alone or in combination with medication from pills or creams that your dermatologist will recommend. Always depending on the extent of the problem.
- Chemical peeling: This particular method is based on the application of chemical solutions, such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid (hydroxyethanoic acid) and retinoic acid (also known as tretinoin). Learn more about chemical peels.
- Laser or Photodynamic PDT Therapy: Harnessing the power of light, it treats the factors that create acne in the body, reducing bacteria and sebum secretion. It is a method with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action that does not have unwanted side effects like pharmaceutical treatments.
- Micro-Needling (Fractional RF Radio Frequency System): It is a minimally invasive method carried out with the help of tiny needles that transmit radio frequency (thermal energy) to the skin. It activates the regeneration of damaged skin and the production of collagen, without exfoliating the skin.
- Dermabrasion: Creates a deep cleansing of the skin without being an invasive method. It renews the skin and makes it smooth and shiny without pimples and acne scars. See in detail what diamond or microcrystal dermabrasion is and discover everything you need to know.