Back Acne: How to Treat It
Treating back and body acne often proves to be a bit tougher than facial acne. For one, the logistics of rubbing a treatment cream on your own back is a factor. Secondly, body blemishes are often deep and stubborn.But with the right treatments, some time, and patience, you can get your body acne under control.
Mild body acne (meaning you just have small bumps and breakouts, or just a few pimples) often responds to good daily skin care and over-the-counter (OTC) treatments.
Try an acne-treatment body wash or cleanser. Choose a body wash containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. If you prefer, there are bars containing benzoyl peroxide. You can find these at any drug store. Use it every day. Try to shower as soon as possible after working out or sweating to minimize pore blockages.
You can use several OTC acne treatments at once, just monitor your skin for irritation. When treating body acne, you typically can use several acne treatment products at once without causing excessive irritation (for example, a salicylic acid wash plus a benzoyl peroxide lotion). The skin on the back, chest, shoulders, and upper arms is tougher than facial skin, and can generally tolerate more powerful treatments. But, the skin on the neck is fairly sensitive. Use treatment products slowly and carefully in this area. If you notice excessive irritation, dryness or peeling on any area of the body, scale back or discontinue use of the treatment product, and consult your doctor.
Treating Moderate to Severe Body Acne
Body acne is stubborn, so moderate acne to severe breakouts aren’t going to get any better with the OTC options listed above. You’ll need to bring in some stronger prescription treatments to get those breakouts under control.Don’t wait too long to see a physician for a prescription acne treatment, especially if your acne is severely inflamed. Body acne can also cause deep scarring. The greater the inflammation, the higher the chance of developing lasting scars.Depending on your situation, your dermatologist may prescribe a topical treatment, oral medications, or both. Some common treatments are:
- Topical retinoids like Retin-A (tretinoin)
- Oral antibiotics
- Isotretinoin (AKA Accutane)
As with facial acne, it takes time to control body acne. You will most likely have to try several treatment products or medications before finding the one that works best for you.
Once you start on a proven acne treatment routine, there are a few steps you can take to boost the effectiveness of your treatments.
Don’t pop or squeeze blemishes. Just as with facial acne, avoid popping your body and back acne pimples. This is a surefire way to cause more inflammation and quite possibly acne scarring.
A Word From Verywell
It can take a lot of time to successfully clear a case of back acne, so try to be patient. You have to be very consistent with your acne treatment medications and daily skin careroutine. If you don’t feel like your medications are working, let your dermatologist know. It can take several tries before finding the treatment, or treatments, that works for you. But with the right treatment, your body acne can be cleared.