How to Deal With Embarrassing “Backne”

back acne skin dermatologist

Back Acne is a common skin disease. Backe does not only affect one’s physical appearance, but it dramatically affects confidence and self-esteem. If you’re suffering from this skin condition, it is essential to treat it effectively.

Back acne has several triggers, including dirt, oil, and excessive dead skin cells. But there are also a couple of factors to consider like diet, genes, hormonal changes, and even stress. Here’s some more information on acne and how to deal with it.

Types Of Back Acne

Back acne is either inflammatory or non-inflammatory. Different types of backne can range from mild to severe, which also require varying medications. Acne, known as acne vulgaris, forms when bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells block hair follicles.

The blockage of follicles causes imperfections such as blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, and pimples that worsen the appearance of skin. Here are the types of acne and its characteristics:


Comedones are small bumps and skin-colored imperfections usually found on the face, shoulders, and back. There are two types, the open comedones (blackhead) and the closed comedones (whiteheads). The production of comedones can either be because of bodily hormones or skin products that trigger it. Products that trigger comedones are known as comedogenic, so choose non-comedogenic skincare products.


Whiteheads are closed comedones that form a white bump on the superficial layer of the skin. These comedones form when oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria become trapped in one of the pores.


Blackheads are open comedones filled with keratin in dilated pores. There is no way to get rid of blackheads permanently, but there are ways on how to prevent it.


These are small and reddish lesions due to clogged pores that affect the top layer of the skin. In some cases, papules form clusters that look like a rash. Like other types of acne, papules are caused by bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells that are trapped in the follicles. These are inflamed and sensitive to touch, but it don’t contain puss.


It is characterized as a white or yellow pus-filled papule. It is due to the inflammation of the clogged follicle. When the clogged follicle is filled with white blood cells, there will be a build-up of pus. Pustules are tempting to squeeze or prick, but doing so leaves scars and dark spots.


Nodules are lesions that are deep-seated below the skin’s surface. Unlike other types of acne, nodules are hard and painful when touched. You can’t treat nodules with just topical solutions. Speak with a doctor about possible antibiotics and other prescription drugs.

Acne Conglobata

Acne Conglobata is a severe type of acne that involves inflamed nodules. This is common for men, especially those who are raking in testosterone or steroids. It grows deeper in the skin, so treating this kind of acne needs help from dermatologists.

Acne Mechanica

Acne Mechanica is known as sports-induced acne because it is common for athletes. The formation of this type of acne is caused by heat, friction, and pressure against the skin. Choosing the right kind of skincare product and wearing lightweight clothing material will help reduce its formation.

What Causes The Production of Back Acne?

Blocked dirt, oil, and bacteria are the triggering factors why back acne prospers. However, addressing these underlying factors can make medication even more effective.

  1. Diet

Research shows that a carbohydrate-rich diet and oily foods contribute to acne symptoms. Following a low-glycemic diet such as fresh vegetables, beans, fresh fruits, steel-cut oats, etc. helps prevent acne breakouts.

  1. Stress

Chronic stress allows the hormone, cortisol to release the skin’s sebaceous (oil) glands that mix with dead skin cells and breakout-causing bacteria. Sebum is essential for hydrated skin. But in excessive amounts, it can clog pores, creating unwanted acne.

  1. Hormonal Changes

The changes in bodily receptors, specifically the androgen receptor, triggers excessive oil production. The overproduction of sebum is one of the major causes of acne growth. Aside from the changes in the production of androgen, a decrease in estrogen levels also creates more sebum.

  1. Genes

Genes play an important role in determining what kind of skin type and issues a person will have. For genetic acne, the best treatment is through dermatologist-prescribed acne medication.

How To Treat Your Back Acne

Back pimples are either mild or severe. The treatment varies from each person, depending on the backne’s condition. There are ways on how to treat it aside from using home remedies. The use of over-the-counter treatments and opting into abrasive and non-abrasive treatments prevents and heals backne.

1. Use over-the-counter treatments

Trust your dermatologist’s advice for over-the-counter treatments. These include medicated lotions or topicals, sprays, and oral antibiotics. For medical lotions or topicals, make sure that it can reduce the oil and kill bacteria. Treatments should have salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or alpha hydroxy acids.

These products should work for both mild and severe backne. Some treatments would take effect in a week but wait for about three months to see maximum results. If there are no significant results after three months, contact your dermatologist.

2. Medical abrasive and non-abrasive treatments

If topicals medications don’t work, it’s time to ask your dermatologist about other effective ways to deal with it. Common treatments are prescription topical and oral medications, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, LED light therapy, and laser treatments. Compared to over-the-counter treatments, these medical procedures are quite expensive but take effect faster.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are an exfoliating treatment that can improve acne scars through different intensities. Microdermabrasion gives less intense exfoliation than chemical peels. Microdermabrasion is suitable if your backne is just mild or moderate. LED  light treatment uses light energy to kill acne causing bacteria within the hair follicles,  and also boosts collagen production to reduce acne scarring. Lastly laser treatment is non-abrasive and can help remove acne scars.

Tips to Avoid Backne

As they say, “prevention is better than cure.” Do these simple tips on how to prevent the occurrence of back acne.

  • Avoid bacterial build-up by showering as soon as possible after sweating. If showering is impossible, wipe the area with a pad with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or use an oil-free cleansing wipe. Make sure not to rub the area to make things worse.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes or lightweight, breathable garments.
  • Look for skincare products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic. Products with strong formulation or scrubs may irritate back acne.
  • Bacteria usually cause back acne. Aside from using clean clothing, make sure to change beddings and pillowcases to avoid picking up germs.
  • Protect the skin from the sun. Sunlight makes dark spots from acne worse. Choosing the right broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 can help.

Consider an “Intensive Back Treatment”

As acne and cysts on the back can lead to scars and even large keloids, you must get it cleared up as soon as possible. As it may be difficult to reach all parts of your back, our intensive back treatment extracts clogged pores, exfoliates, hydrates, and infuses targeted serums directly into your skin.  At Eternal Dermatology, we will not only give your pores a much-needed deep-cleaning, but our board-certified dermatologist will also provide professional advice on how to improve your skincare routine to prevent a recurrence.


Backne is a common condition that can be embarrassing. There are ways to deal with backne. If skincare products and some home remedies don’t seem to work, that is a sign to see a dermatologist. This is the best way to get flawless skin.

If “backne” and the resulting scars and discoloration are bothering you, call us at (301) 679-5772 now or book online.


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