When it comes to methods for clearing up our facial acne, we’re spoilt for choice.
From one blogger’s 7-step skin clearing routine, to another’s accutane cure, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to acne treatments; we even know what to do if your acne is hormonal and how to treat acne on different parts of your body.
But as for our backs, it’s not something we usually think about until summer comes around and we start reaching for those off-the-shoulder tops.
So if you’re looking to slip into something a little backless, here’s what you need to know to get rid of your bacne once and for all.
What causes bacne?
To prevent bacne from occurring or returning, it’s important to know what causes it in the first place.
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“Similar to the causes of spots everywhere, bacne is namely 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”, says Dr Kluk.
“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. 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, Aesthetic Nurse, Effortless Skin.
This is because the bacteria that causes acne thrives in moist, damp conditions. So yeah, keeping your sweaty sports bra on for hours isn’t exactly ideal. In fact, even having long hair can cause bacne because the grease and oil from your lengthy locks and hair products can be deposited on your back. Ew.
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Top 8 tips to clear up your bacne
Dr Justine Kluk shares her advice for treating back spots…
1. Cleanse your skin thoroughly in the shower every day.
2. Look for a shower gel or body wash containing the ingredients salicylic acid, glycolic acid or lactic acid and use an exfoliating scrub in the shower two or three days a week to prevent dead skin cells from building up and blocking your pores.
3. Apply a moisturiser to soothe and repair your skin barrier, but make sure that any products you leave on your skin are labelled ‘non-comedogenic’, meaning they won’t clog your pores.
4. Shower as soon as possible after exercise. Bacteria loves sweaty skin so it is important to remove your gym clothes as soon as possible, especially bra tops.
5. Wash bras after every wear.
6. Carry a spare T-shirt with you if you tend to sweat more in warmer weather.
7. Whatever you do, don’t pick, squeeze or scratch your spots. This increases inflammation and can lead to scarring.
8. If you’ve tried all of these things and are still struggling to get on top of your breakouts or are aware of developing scars, see a dermatologist who can advise you on prescription treatment.
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Products for treating bacne
“You can also use targeted treatments that work to clear up and prevent breakouts”, she says.
“The Murad Blemish Control Clarifying Body Spray (£34) contains menthol, salicylic acid and niacinamide to go deep within the hair follicles to remove blockages, and the Sesderma Azelac Lotion (£18.20) combines azelaic and salicylic acids to remove oil and bacteria, while calming inflammation.”
She recommends spraying them onto clean skin every morning and evening to treat back blemishes.