April 13, 2024

How to get rid of bacne fast: 7 tips from skin experts

We’ve all heard of acne and how it can affect the skin on our faces, but what about bacne? A little known fact is that breakouts are just as common on the back and neck. In fact, because the upper torso has more oil-producing glands than elsewhere on the body, the skin here is especially susceptible to developing bacne.

From one skinfluencer’s 7-step skin clearing routine, to another’s «skip-care» ethos, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding information on how to treat breakouts on the face. We know what to do if our acne is hormonal, the specific ingredients to incorporate into our regimes, and the treatments to tackle acne scarring.

But when it comes to our backs, it’s a problem we tend to ignore for most of the year – that is, until the warmer months roll around and we start reaching for those off-the-shoulder outfits and strappy summer dresses.

Really though, we shouldn’t be waiting to treat bacne or simply covering it up with a jumper during the winter months. Neglecting the condition will only make it harder to treat in the long run and addressing your acne now means it’ll be less of a struggle when the warmer months arrive.

The good news is simple tweaks to our daily personal care routines can make a huge difference and they’re easier to implement than you’d think. So if you’re keen to get rid of your bacne once and for all, here’s what you need to know according to the skincare experts.

What is bacne (back acne)?

Bacne is acne that occurs (yep, you guessed it) on your back. It’s exceptionally common and can appear as bumps, whiteheads or blackheads as well as more severe cystic acne.

It’s most likely to appear on the upper back and shoulders, since these areas contain the most sebaceous glands, but can occur anywhere on the body.

What causes bacne?

To prevent bacne from occurring or returning, it’s important to know what causes it in the first place. «Similar to the spots on our face, bacne is caused by excess sebum production, the build-up of dead skin cells, and bacteria», says dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk. «The skin on our backs is extremely thick so the potential for blocked pores is very high», she adds.

“For those who are prone to spots, the accumulation of oil and dead skin cells in our pores creates an ideal environment for a particular bacterium called ‘propionibacterium’ acne to thrive,» she continues. «This triggers inflammation in the skin leading to angry red bumps and pus-filled spots. »

In addition to this, there are lifestyle factors that can contribute to outbreaks, such as hormones and excessive sweating. «Body acne is more probable during the summer, if you work out regularly and if your skin is already acne-prone», says Julie Morris, an aesthetic nurse at Effortless Skin. This is because the bacteria that causes acne thrives in moist, damp conditions so keeping your sweaty sports gear on for hours creates the perfect storm. Even having long hair can cause bacne because the oil from your lengthy locks, combined with hair products, can be deposited on your back. Grim.

7 top tips to clear up your bacne

There are simple steps we can take daily to help curb the breakouts on the back and neck – and we’ve put them together below…

1. Shower immediately after working out

“Wash your skin in the shower every day, using a loofah or wash cloth to help achieve a thorough cleanse,” says Dr Kluk. This is even more important if you’ve just worked out as the build up of sweat and dirt inside your clothes can block pores and trigger breakouts.

2. Exfoliate regularly

“Look for a body wash or body moisturiser containing the ingredients salicylic acid, glycolic acid or lactic acid and use an exfoliating scrub in the shower two or three times per week to prevent dead skin cells from building up and blocking your pores,” advises Dr Kluk.

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