woman with bacne

Acne is a universal problem for people from all walks of life. Whether you’re a young adult going through puberty or a grown adult, male or female, acne can grow on your face or back. While back acne or “bacne” develops in an area that’s typically hidden, it can still be a nuisance.

Let’s talk all about bacne. What is bacne, really? What causes back acne in females? What are the available back acne treatments in the Philippines?

What is Bacne?

We’re all familiar with acne – those painful red bumps on the skin that you’re always itching to pop. These pesky little things don’t just develop on faces, but also on the chest and back.

Back acne or “bacne” is simply acne that develops on the back.

Bacne is not that different from other types of acne. Bacne forms when oil, dirt, or dead skin cells build up on the skin’s pores. Bacteria and friction from clothes or sports equipment typically irritate the build-up, causing pimples or other types of acne.

What are the different types of bacne?

There are inflammatory and non-inflammatory bacne. Let’s look at the different types of acne you may find on your back:

Inflammatory bacne:

  • Papules – These are larger pimples that have raised bumps but no head; these tend to be more painful due to the irritation to the pore’s walls.
  • Pustules – These are raised pimples filled with pus; these are often surrounded by a red ring.
  • Nodules – These are firm red bumps under the skin caused by trapped hair, dead skin, or oil.
  • Cysts – These are pus-filled white bumps that are tender and painful; they often leave acne scars.

Non-inflammatory bacne:

  • Whiteheads – These are clogged pores characterized by white bumps without any redness.
  • Blackheads – These are open comedones that have a black appearance due to the oxidation of sebum, hair follicles, and dead skin cells that accumulate in pores.

The back is a hard-to-reach area, which is why it’s often neglected – this is bad news because it leaves room for different types of acne to develop and spread to other areas and potentially leave deep acne scars.

woman with back acne

What Causes Bacne in Women?

As if face acne is not enough, why do women also get bacne?

Back acne seems to be more common among women because they are more prone to hormonal changes or imbalances. Examples of things that may trigger hormonal changes are puberty, pregnancy, and conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

However, the truth is that anyone can get acne on their back. Although it’s more common among women, teenagers and adult men can also develop back acne for other reasons.

Here are the most common bacne causes:

  • Hormonal changes or imbalances
  • Genetics
  • Poor hygiene
  • Friction from clothes
  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Medications
  • Skincare products

It’s important to understand the causes of back acne because you need to tackle its root cause to manage or eliminate it.

How to Get Rid of Bacne

Here are the best things you can do to help you prevent and eliminate those pesky bacne:

Avoid Friction on Your Back

Tight clothing, sports equipment, backpacks, or anything that rubs against your skin can cause bacne. The friction, combined with sweat irritates the skin and causes acne.

Avoid wearing clothes that could irritate the skin on your back. Instead, opt for looser fits and moisture-wicking materials like cotton.

change clothes

Shower or Change Clothes After Physical Activities

Don’t let your sweat simmer on your body after a workout, a game of basketball, or after your commute. Trapped sweat will not only make you smell unpleasant, but it can also encourage acne-causing bacteria to grow.

Be wary of sweat. Always wipe off sweat, or better yet, shower right after physical activities. Of course, make sure to clean your backside thoroughly to remove bacteria and dead skin that may clog and irritate your pores.

Wash Your Sheets Regularly

Even though we spend only five to eight hours (or maybe longer during the weekends) on our beds, don’t assume that it stays clean for a long time. Our sweat and dead skin cells accumulate on bed sheets every time we lay down so it’s not as clean as you think. If you don’t change your sheets regularly, the accumulated sweat and dead skin cells can irritate and clog your pores and trigger bacne breakouts.

Change your bedsheets (and pillowcases, too!) at least once a week. Sleeping on fresh sheets can help you avoid triggering different types of acne.

eating healthy food

Maintain a Healthy Diet

If you’ve been taking good care of your skin but are still breaking out, consider looking into your diet. The American Academy of Dermatology Association reported that a low glycemic diet may help reduce pimple breakouts. If your diet consists mainly of white rice, white bread, potatoes, sweets, and dairy products, food may be contributing to your bacne problem.

Try to eat a balanced diet with high-fiber and nutrient-dense food like lean meat and fish, vegetables, and low-sugar fruits. See if your bacne clears up!

Improve Stress Management

Stress is a part of our lives. We know it’s not simple to minimize stress. However, stress does aggravate acne especially if you’re already prone to acne, in addition to being bad for your overall well-being. So, if you are struggling with bacne flare-ups, it might help to manage your stress levels.

Try to implement some strategies to help keep stress at bay, such as exercising or taking walks, journaling, taking time to unwind, or engaging with a hobby. You could also consult with a therapist to help you process your stress and learn ways to handle stressful situations.

exfoliating back

Exfoliate Your Back

Clogged pores are a major cause of back acne, so it’s important to exfoliate. Exfoliating helps the skin slough off dead skin cells on your back.

But exfoliating is a tricky business! Over-exfoliating and harsh exfoliators can worsen your back acne. Use gentle exfoliators once a week, or twice up to three times if you have oily skin on your back.

You may use physical exfoliators like washcloths or dry brushes but be careful not to rub too hard. You may also use chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid or salicylic acid.

Use Oil-Free Sunscreen

Sun exposure can darken acne and result in scars. Pimple scars are difficult to remove, so it’s best to avoid these by minimizing sun exposure and using sunscreen whenever you step outside.

Look for oil-free sunscreens for your body that are guaranteed not to clog your pores.

using acne fighting ingredients

Use Acne-Fighting Ingredients

If you’re prone to bacne, you need to take care of the skin on your trunk like you do with your face. This means cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and protecting your skin. However, don’t just use any product. You need products that will help you get rid of bacne.

Here are some of the go-to acne-fighting ingredients:

  • Retinoids – This is derived from vitamin A and can help unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the production of collagen.
  • Benzoyl peroxide – Treats mild to moderate acne by targeting acne-causing bacteria.  
  • Adapalene – Helps reduce acne breakouts and promotes faster healing of pimples.
  • Salicylic acid – This is an exfoliant that helps the skin shed dead skin cells to avoid clogged pores.
  • Green tea – This ingredient has anti-inflammatory properties, and it helps slow down the development of bacne.

These ingredients are available in a variety of skincare products like cleansers, moisturizers, topical medication, and so on. However, take note that some of these are strong acids that must be used in small doses or cannot be used with specific products. Make sure to conduct research before using anything and test your skin’s reaction first.

Better yet, consult with a skin expert on which products to use for your back acne.

Don’t Pick on Pimples

Popping pimples when they’re ripe and itchy is satisfying. But that is not good for your skin! Picking on or squeezing pimples can lead to an infection or acne scars. The steps on how to get rid of pimple marks are just as complicated as preventing and treating acne itself.

So, by avoiding squeezing your pimples, you have one less thing to worry about.

consulting a derma doctor for bacne

Consult with a Professional

Of course, the best thing you can do when struggling with acne, wherever it may be on your body, is to consult with a skin expert. They can help you figure out the causes of your back acne and, consequently, how to best treat it.

For some women, bacne is caused by hormonal imbalances, which cannot be completely managed by topical treatments. A professional can help you pinpoint the cause or causes of your breakouts, the types of acne you have on your trunk, and provide science-based recommendations.

Skin experts can prescribe an acne medication, such as isotretinoin, or recommend an anti-acne treatment like AcneClear Therapy or a deep acne scar treatment for your pimple scars. This way, you don’t risk aggravating your breakouts with incompatible products.

woman with flawless back

Say Hi to Facial Care Centre and Bye to Bacne!

Anyone who has had bacne knows how annoying they are and, more importantly, how difficult they are to manage and treat.

With guidance from skin professionals can help you make sense of what has been causing your bacne and help you figure out how to get rid of your bacne, whether it’s through a new skincare routine, oral medication, or acne treatment.

If you want to learn more about how to manage acne, book a consultation with Facial Care Centre today!

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