Acne doesn't always stick to our faces. Many people with acne-prone skin also experience bacne (back acne). We know it's easier said than done to embrace your bare-shouldered and open-backed tops when dealing with bacne, especially since bacne breakouts can be very painful and easily irritated. Read on to learn about what causes bacne and how to treat it.
What causes bacne?
Like our faces, our backs have active sebaceous glands that mix with dead skin cells to clog pores and allow the skin bacteria, C. acnes, to thrive and overgrow. Again, you can thank hormones and genetics for bacne, but other factors like stress, diet, sweat, and friction also affect bacne.
How to treat bacne
Use an exfoliant
The best way to get rid of bacne is to use a body wash specifically made to treat body acne. Look for an exfoliating body wash that contains salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a gentle, chemical exfoliant that can penetrate oil deep into pores and dissolve dead skin cells. As with facial acne, scrubbing your bacne too hard can cause further irritation and inflammation, so be gentle when washing areas with breakouts.
Shower right after a workout
When dealing with bacne, it's important to shower regularly, especially during hot and humid summer months or after a sweaty workout. Sweat and humidity sit on your skin and attract dirt, pollen, and other environmental toxins that clog pores. Try to shower ASAP after sweating to prevent clogged pores and breakouts.
Avoid tight clothes
Tight clothes, including heavy backpacks and sports equipment, can trap sweat and irritate the skin leading to breakouts. Choose loose-fitting clothes made out of natural fibers to let your skin breathe. Also, if you can't immediately shower after a sweat session, change into a clean shirt quickly when you're done.
Put your hair up
Long stretches between shampoos might be beneficial for our hair, but our skin doesn't always sit well with dirty hair. Oil and dirt from hair, shampoos, conditioners, and hair care products can clog pores and lead to breakouts. If you have acne-prone skin and are wearing a top that bares your shoulders or back, consider pulling your hair up to avoid contact with your skin.