how to treat back and body acne

Back and Body acne: How to treat it

When we talk about acne, white, little breakouts on the face come to our mind however some people get acne beyond the face. Back and body acne is not perpetually visible but can be painful and irritating. But we got you, in this blog, we will cover everything about back and body acne and carve out a skincare routine to deal with it.

What is back and body acne?

Back and body acne exists as chunky, cysts, whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and pustules, scattered all over the back. They are very similar to face acne. It is revealed that people who encounter face acne also experience body and back acne. It is interconnected. Bacne persists on the shoulders, neck, and backside whereas the body acne goes down to the butt. It gets difficult to treat them as it is strenuous to reach and people aren’t aware that body and back acne are a thing.

Back and body acne is also a concern for people who have family history, genetics, and hereditary factors involved. These people are more vulnerable and prone to this condition.

Causes of back and body acne

The preliminary step towards resolving the issue is to get acquainted with the cause. Body and back acne are caused by some underlying factors which we will be discussing in detail. We are listing down the common causes so you can pinpoint your cause and eliminate it.

  • Hostile exfoliation: The skin is covered with a protective barrier or natural oils, excessive and aggressive exfoliation breaks down that and causes inflammation. Hostile exfoliation swindles the glands into producing more oil-inducing body and back acne.

  • Moist clothes: Post-workout shower is a thing for a reason. Sweaty clothes become a breeding ground for bacteria leading to more body and back acne. Dirty and sweaty clothes clog the pores of the skin.

  • Unclean towels: People are discriminatory when it comes to cleaning used towels. Dirty and damp towels hanging in the bathroom have fungus and bacteria in them. It is one of the most substantial causes of body and back acne. This cause further extends to filthy sheets as well. Sheets collect a lot of dirt, sweat, dampness, bacteria, fungus, etc.

  • Hormonal imbalance: When a person is stressed the body produces androgens. Androgen is a hormone that provokes increment of hair follicles and oil glands.

  • Tight clothing: Many people aren’t aware that tight clothing and accessories also prompt body and back acne. Continual rubbing and friction are prominent triggers.

  • Haircare products: Many haircare products including shampoo, conditioner, hair mask, etc, are known to cause back acne. These products have comedogenic, and oil ingredients. The haircare products in addition to bad washing habits lead to bacne.

  • Medications: Specific medications high in lithium, testosterone, and even birth control medication that has only progesterone may exacerbate body and back acne.
    Medication to treat acne
  • Food: A handful of foods are known to cause acne according to dieticians. These foods include sugary drinks, white bread, and potato chips. This specific diet may increase the acne breakout.

Types of back and body acne

Back and body acne are distinct in kinds. Identifying the type is the first step towards treating bacne. The types include:

  • Blackheads: It is known to be formed when the hair follicle present in the skin gets clogged up due to the production of excessive oil, dead skin cells, or dirt. Blackheads are very visible on the skin as a small bump. When the skin on the bump opens up, due to the oxidisation, the bump turns black. This is the most common form of body and back acne.

  • Whiteheads: Whitehead formation is greatly similar to that of blackheads, the only exception being that the bump on the skin does not open up and there is no oxidisation so, the bump appears clean and white.

  • Pustules: It is a small bump on the skin with a reddened base with fluid or pus. Pustules are commonly found on the body most prominently on the back. They can cause mild pain and irritation. It is also known as pimples.

  • Papules: Papules are remarkably small in size and are also known as acne lesions. Due to overabundant bacteria, dirt, and sweat papules develop. Papules can cause inflammation but are tender.

  • Nodules: This type of body and back acne are little serious. They form below the skin as firm and agonizing and appear in colour above the skin. They can appear all over the body. Nodular acne feels inflamed and can cause scars if untreated.

  • Cysts: It is formed when dead skin cells and bacteria clog the pores of the skin. Cystic acne is formed under the skin and can cause inflammation and swelling. It is also another form of serious acne that people may develop.

Difference between face and body acne

There are several deviations between facial and body acne (bacne included). Let’s delve into some of them.

  • Cause: The cause of facial acne is predominantly hormonal imbalance whereas body acne is caused by clogged pores due to the collection of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. The fluctuation in the hormones can cause the issue or may worsen it. On the other hand, as a consequence of wearing sweaty and dirty clothes can cause the bacteria to multiply resulting in back and body acne.

  • Differential skincare regime: Most people tend to associate skin care with the face only leaving behind the rest of the body at the mercy of the other harsh chemicals. Facial acne gets treatment while the body does not.
    Differential skincare regime

  • Contrasting skin: The facial skin is more lighter and sensitive. It has more sebaceous glands that produce oils to protect the skin, which is why, acne is more prominent on the face. Whereas, the skin on the rest of the body is thicker and the oil glands are also bigger. The body acne can be treated in a confrontational way as compared to the facial acne.

Skincare routine to get rid of body and back acne

  • Cleanse: Cleanser is a notable step in any skincare routine. It gently washes off the dirt, sweat, makeup residue, and dead skin cells. A cleanser rich in Benzoyl peroxide is a must-have to treat body and back acne. It can be used for a long time to prevent future acne. Apply the cleanser and leave it for some time before rinsing off.

    Apart from benzoyl peroxide cleanser, salicylic acid cleanser also proves to be an amazing replacement. Salicylic acid is known to control the production of unrestrained sebum and unclog the pores. The only demerit of it is that salicylic acid can dry off the skin.

  • Exfoliation: The buildup of excessive sebum combined with dirt and sweat clogs the pores. Gentle exfoliation is an easy way to treat body and back acne. Exfoliation opens up the pores by removing the excess. It must be done regularly as avoiding it may aggravate the production of sebum.

    We recommend DRSQ’s Body Elixir which gently hydrates and exfoliates the skin. It has niacinamide, salicylic, and glycolic acid as its key ingredients that exfoliate and calm the skin as well as accelerate cellular renewal.

  • Body wash: A back and body acne wash that has AHA exfoliants including glycolic or lactic acid or BHA exfoliants such as salicylic acid works exceptionally well to treat acne. The body wash is an indispensable part of the skincare routine and can not be missed. Look for a product that caters to your need to remedy acne as well as soothe the body. A salicylic body wash can be used which is also enriched in hyaluronic acid to hit two birds with one stone.
    Body wash to rid of body and back acne

  • Retinoid Cream: This is one of the less-known but most effective methods to treat body and back acne. Apply retinoid cream after a shower at night. Retinoid is one of the derivatives of Vitamin A that amplifies the skin's cellular turnover as well as encourages collagen and improves the texture and tone of the skin. It is said to be more beneficial as it penetrates the skin barrier and works from below the skin. The only side effect of retinoid cream is that it makes the skin sun sensitive that’s why we told you to apply it at night. It can be used even after the successful elimination of the acne to elevate the overall texture.

Change in daily routine that can prevent body and back acne

From teenage to adult life, the body undergoes numerous changes, and developing acne is one of them. Making little changes in your daily lifestyle can make significant improvements. Here are some tips to prevent the formation of acne.

  • Wear loose clothing: We know, we know it is more appropriate to wear clothes of your size but those clothes cling to the body. Sweaty, damp, and dirty clothes become the breeding ground of bacteria so, switch to loose-fitted clothes especially post-workout to let your skin breathe.

  • Opt for fragrance-free products: Fragrant products sometimes carry comedogenic ingredients, increasing acne development. Switch to non-comedogenic and oil-free products.

  • Retain your hairdo: During hot days, it gets difficult to maintain your hair similarly on those days, it is challenging for the body as well as the hair contains natural oils to keep them hydrated, that oil rubs onto the back aggravating the process. Keep the hair off the back while working out and showering. It is also recommended to protect your body from products running down it.

  • Do not pop the pimples: Never touch the sensitive skin as it irritates and transfers the bacteria from the hand to the skin. Popping, poking, and pinching pimples and acne will only worsen the condition. Also, scratching the affected area would scar as well. Keep the hands as far away as possible.

  • Bathe frequently: At the end of a tiring day, a shower is necessary to prevent the buildup from collecting at a place. If extremely exhausted, at least put on fresh clothes and wipe the body with a cleansing wipe.

  • Use SPF: Applying sun protection whether indoors or outdoors is indispensable. Sunscreen minimises the chance of worsening the acne condition. It is recommended to use up to SPF 30 at most.

  • Cleansing Brush: The most genuine problem is how to reach the back where the acne is present. It is difficult just by using the hands so, why not try a cleaning brush which will reach places that you can not easily.

  • Back Facial: As much we love to take care of our face, it is important to invest in a good back facial. The experts at the spa know how to give a rejuvenating back facial.

  • Pimple patch: This is the easiest and quickest way to treat the body and back acne. If there is not enough time to heal the acne slowly, try the pimple patches. It is a great way to speed up the process of healing.
    Pimple patch


Body and back acne is a painful and humiliating condition. Having small, red, inflamed, and irritating acne all over or partially over the body requires human intervention. Back and body acne can be prevented through changes in lifestyle, diet, and skincare routine. Hope this blog will help you identify your type and cause of acne and how to manage it. If the condition persists, it is advised to visit the medical practitioner.

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