This story was updated in January 2019.
Is one of the reasons you’re wary of sporting backless dresses or low-cut sari blouses dreadful back acne? Well, we feel your pain. Most women go through it. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Acne can affect any part of your body. It’s bad enough when it’s on your face and then sometimes it even shows up on your back. Back acne can be quite painful, considering we sit, sleep and have often tight clothes around our back. The good news is, like acne on other parts of your body, acne too has a cause and a remedy! All you have to do is make a few small changes in your lifestyle and you’ll be set.
What Is Back Acne?
Back acne, a.k.a. “bacne”, is usually found on your back. It can affect the lower back, upper shoulders and even some parts of your chest. A rather uncomfortable situation for women, considering we wear a bra and other clothes that may or may not cling to our body, bacne can be a pain! Having acne of your back can be severe and painful. And if you do have an extreme case of back acne, it’s definitely advisable that you consult a dermatologist. Bacne is usually caused by a number of reasons. When the body’s oil and dead skin cells get trapped within the follicle and create a blockage, it leads to inflammation. This blockage then becomes a blackhead and may even further result in a pimple if the bacteria spreads.
What Are The Types Of Back Acne?
Much like pimples on your face, acne on your back too can be of different types. Identifying what type of back acne you have is the first step to treating it correctly.
Cysts: The worst and most severe kind of acne you can get on your face and body are called cysts. They are larger and filled with pus and tend to leave scars on your skin once they fade.
Whiteheads: Whiteheads are also known as closed comedones. They form beneath when a plugged follicle gets trapped under the surface of the skin along with sebum. This usually leaves a white bump on the skin known as a whitehead.
Blackheads: Blackheads are open comedones. They form when a plugged follicle is exposed to air, the reaction of sebum to exposed air makes the follicle black and dark.
Papules: Papules are tiny red bumps on the surface of your skin.
Pustules: A pustule or a pimple is often yellow and pus-filled.
Nodules: A deep-rooted hardened acne lesion is called a nodule. When inflammation occurs deep inside the skin, it forms an acne lesion. This gets clogged and hardens to form an often painful nodule.
What Are The Causes Of Back Acne?
Back acne is caused by the same things that cause acne on your face. Excessive sebum production, sweat, clogged pores, inflammation, bacteria or bad skincare practices.
There are multiple reasons why bacne happens too – one of them could be the type of clothing material you’re wearing. If you wear synthetic clothes too often it might irritate your skin and make it sweat excessively, this could be a cause for acne. Other factors like friction from a bra strap, a bag strap or tight clothing item could be another cause for back acne. Sometimes, genetically and hormonally people are more prone to acne and bacne. Other factors like using harsh, abrasive products or using oily products that clog pores could be another cause of bacne. Sometimes, waxing your back could also cause a breakout. Even medication sometimes makes you prone to acne.
How To Prevent Back Acne
Understand what’s causing your back acne is the first and foremost step to recovery. If your bacne is severe, you might want to consult a dermatologist and get yourself professional treatment.
- Maintaining good hygiene is the first step to avoiding bacne of any kind. In general, try to shower as soon as you can after sweating profusely.
- If you condition your hair regularly, make sure you soap and rinse off your body well. Sometimes residual conditioner on your back too causes acne.
- Be wary of the kind of products you use on your skin. If your skin gets clogged easily, stay away from oily products. Using oil-free and non-comedogenic products through your entire skincare routine is important.
- If waxing causes your bacne, find better ways of getting rid of body hair.
- Wear clothing that’s light and breathable, cotton fabric blends are the best.
- If you sweat a lot, a doctor might be able to recommend a medicated powder that you can use on your body to absorb excess sweat.
- If you wear a lot of tight clothing and carry backpacks, try to switch to loose, comfortable clothes for a while and try to avoid carrying anything that causes pressure or friction on your back.
- Don’t use any harsh scrubs and exfoliators on irritated skin.
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Back Acne
Whatever be its cause, we’re here to help. Here are 8 natural ways to get rid of back acne!
1. Dip Yourself into a Tub with Sea Salt
Regular cooking salt has high quantities of sodium, which can aggravate acne. That’s why we recommend you use natural sea salt – grains of these dry out your skin, taking away all the excess oil that causes acne on your back. Here’s how to make the best use of sea salt!
Step 1: Fill 2-3 cups with sea salt.
Step 2: Pour it into a tub of steaming hot water.
Step 3: Soak in this mixture for about 30 minutes.
Step 4: Get out of the tub and pat yourself dry.
Step 5: Apply a light water-based moisturizer after your skin is completely dry.
Step 6: Do this twice a week.
This remedy will start showing results in about 3 weeks. But if you think this is too much effort, you can also opt for another option, wherein you use the same mixture in a spray bottle and spray it on your back twice a day!
2. Make a Mask Out of Oatmeal and Honey
Mix some oatmeal and honey and create a paste. While oatmeal is known to cleanse oil and dirt, honey works as an antibacterial agent and has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe your skin. Here’s how to use it.
Step 1: Boil water in a utensil
Step 2: Add oatmeal to it and leave it for about 5-7 minutes.
Step 3: Then add in a spoonful of honey.
Step 4: Stir the mixture for about 10 minutes
Step 5: Apply gently to the affected areas of your back.
Step 6: Leave it there for about 15-20 mins.
Step 7: Wash it off with lukewarm water.
Do this thrice a week.
3. When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon Juice!
Lemon juice is extremely beneficial for the skin. While citric acid does the job of lightening blemishes, the alpha hydroxy acids help get rid of dead skin cells and stimulate fresh growth.
Step 1: Take a shower and pat your back dry.
Step 2: Squeeze a yellow lemon, and use a ball of cotton to soak the juice up.
Step 3: Apply on the affected areas of your back.
Step 4: Keep it there for about 10-15 minutes.
Step 5: Wash it off with lukewarm water.
Tip: Do this at night time, because lemon juice is prone to reacting with sunlight, which can irritate the skin.
4. A Spoonful of Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps the Acne Away
Apple cider vinegar truly does wonders for your skin. It helps restore the pH balance of your skin, which naturally lowers the chances of acne breakouts. It’s also considered to be an effective antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. Here’s how to make the best use of it.
Step 1: Mix apple cider vinegar and water.
Step 2: Pour this mixture into a spray bottle.
Step 3: Spray the mixture every night on your back before going to bed.
Step 4: If you aren’t comfortable with using the spray, make use of a cotton ball.
Step 5: You can keep the mixture on all night of it’s a diluted one (2-3 spoonfuls in a bottle of water), or wash it off after 30 minutes if you’ve made a more concentrated solution.
5. Mash Up Some Tomatoes!
Tomatoes not only make a healthy snack but are also good for your skin. Since tomato juice is acidic in nature, it acts as a natural bleaching agent. It helps improve skin texture, making it more radiant and reduces the chances of back acne. Why don’t you give the remedy below a shot?
Step 1: Cut a tomato into half and mash it to make a pulp out of it.
Step 2: Gently apply the pulp to the affected area.
Step 3: Leave it there for 15-20 minutes.
Step 4: Rinse it off with cold water.
Try this once a day for a few weeks.
6. Peel an Orange
Oranges are rich in vitamins, including a vitamin called Retinol. This compound helps get rid of dead skin cells and regenerates new ones. Oranges also contain high quantities of vitamin C, which is responsible for improving skin texture. Here’s how to make the best use of it.
Step 1: Peel an orange, and dry its skin in the sun.
Step 2: Grind the dried peel in the mixer and make it into a powder.
Step 3: Add in a quarter glass of water to make a paste.
Step 4: Apply the mixture on your back acne to lighten scars.
Step 5: Wash it off after 15 minutes.
7. Turmeric Powder to the Rescue!
Turmeric is known to possess healing properties. When it comes to skin protection, it makes an excellent exfoliating agent. As such, it not only speeds up the process of eradicating acne but also smoothens and brightens up the skin. Follow these steps to use it to banish your bacne woes.
Step 1: Take one tablespoon of turmeric powder.
Step 2: Add milk cream to it.
Step 3: Stir the mix until it turns into a thick, yellow paste.
Step 4: Gently apply it on the acne affected areas.
Step 5: Leave it on for 15 minutes then wash it off.
Do this every day to see results.
8. Nutmeg, the Ultimate Skin Healer
When it comes to skin, nutmeg has amazing healing benefits. It has antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce acne and acne scars on the back. If you combine it with honey, it will reduce infection and swelling around clogged pores.
Step 1: Take a spoonful of nutmeg powder, one spoonful of cinnamon powder and honey.
Step 2: Mix the ingredients to make a paste.
Step 3: Apply on the affected areas.
Step 4: Leave the mixture on for an hour, and then gently wash it off.
Tip: Apply on a patch of skin on your arm first before applying it on your back, and check for irritation after an hour. This mixture may not be ideal to use on skin that is super sensitive, so the patch test is important.
Other Ingredients That Help Treat Acne
While home remedies are great to treat acne, there are also a few other medicated ingredients that treat acne. These are used commonly in the treatment of acne on the face and even body acne. Over the counter treatments like Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid, Sulfur and Tea Tree Oil have also proven helpful in the treatment. It’s not necessary to use medicinal creams you can always use products like a body wash or a soap containing any of these ingredients. That’s a great way to prevent and keep body acne at bay. But another thing to keep in mind is that any treatment products will dry out your skin, so ensure you moisturise with something lightweight like aloe vera gel. Try the Greenberry Organics Detox Charcoal & Tea Tree Oil Soap (Rs 166), Vaadi Herbals Anti-Acne Soap With Clove & Tea Tree (Rs 41) and the Cetaphil Cleansing & Moisturising Syndet Bar (Rs 139) are all great options for body soaps.
Featured Image: Kiara Advani on Instagram
Internal Images: Shutterstock
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