Your Guide To Dealing With Back Acne


Back acne, or ‘Bacne’, is a form of skin inflammation that erupts on your shoulders, upper and mid-back area. A common cause of concern for people who work out and maintain active lifestyles, bacne can be very annoying if not dealt with. The eruptions can either be mild, like whiteheads or are quite extreme as cystic acne. And since they can be hard to reach for many, dealing with them gets equally difficult. But they do need to be dealt with – bacne can often be quite painful and lead to substantial scarring. Here’s a handy guide to help you not turn your back to bacne!

What Causes Back Acne?

There are a couple of critical back acne triggers, namely –

1. Clogged pores – FYI, you can get acne in any and all areas of your body where sebaceous and sweat glands are found. This includes your face, chest and back. Excessive sweating paired with dead skin buildup and acne-causing bacteria can lead to clogged pores on your back and cause eruptions. 

2. Excessive Sweating – If you tend to work out a lot or generally tend to sweat a lot, bacne can set up shop. Sweat creates a moist environment where infection can grow and lead to folliculitis. This is usually triggered by Malassezia, a kind of yeast that is a part of the natural microbiome of your skin and the overgrowth of the same can lead to fungal acne on the back. 

3. Hormonal eruptions – Most hormonal acne is found on the lower part of your face, especially the jawline. But hormonal outbreaks can happen on your back as well. They are very painful pustules that can often be quite irritating under clothing. 

4. Dietary factors – A high glycemic index diet has often been associated with back acne. 

5. Improper hygiene – Not changing out of sweaty gym clothes, re-suing body towels for a prolonged time, and improper bathing habits can also lead to back acne. 

Now that you are privy to bacne triggers, what next? Well, first things first –

Include Acne-Fighting Ingredients In Your Body Care Routine

Regular soap and water won’t cut it with bacne. You have to enrich your body care routine with acne-fighting ingredients to start seeing instant results. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are two acne fighters you can easily rely on. Salicylic acid penetrates the bumps and dissolves the buildup to calm inflammation. Benzoyl peroxide helps kill acne-causing bacteria, Cutibacterium acnes, dry out active acne and stop it from getting infected further. Look for salicylic acid body washes and benzoyl peroxide gels as leave-on treatments to help curb the breakouts. Leave your body cleanser on your skin for a while before you rinse it off. Also, make sure to wait for your benzoyl peroxide treatment to dry out before getting dressed, as it can bleach your clothing. 

Have a Set Routine For Your Back 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by AMINU (


Much like the face, an acne-prone back needs a skincare routine as well. Make sure to use an acne-fighting cleanser on your back daily. Use a washing tool to get to the hard to reach places and cleanse properly. You also need to exfoliate twice a week – opt for chemical exfoliation over physical one as too much scrubbing can irritate the breakouts and make them even more uncomfortable. AHA and BHA infused body cleansers are the perfect pick for that. Make sure to follow up your bath with a moisturiser – your skin needs an ideal hydration level to fight acne. A good body moisturiser will also help o[counter the dryness caused by drying ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Wear sunscreen daily, especially if your back is exposed to the sun. Acne and sun damage can lead to hyperpigmentation that is difficult to treat.

Your back care routine extends to the scalp as well. Dandruff and an oily scalp can lead to back acne as well. Use a ketoconazole shampoo to remedy a flaky scalp and keep your back acne-free.


Keep A Check On Your Lifestyle

Lifestyle factors are equally to blame when it comes to back acne. Your diet and stress levels can contribute to the worsening of the condition. As mentioned above, highly salty and processed foods can make your hormonal breakouts worse. Stress spikes your cortisol levels, putting your sebaceous glands into overdrive, thus producing excess sebum and clogging up your pores. Maintain a food diary and manage your stress levels to help minimise flare-ups. Spironolactone is a miracle pill that many swear by to help control hormonal flare-ups.

Also, keep an eye out for external aggressors like laundry detergents and perfumes. Switch to a plant-based detergent to avoid irritating your skin. You have to opt for hypoallergenic fragrances to curb the breakouts. Avoid wearing tight sports bras and clothes too often as they can further cause skin congestion.

For advanced cases of cystic acne, it is always best to consult a dermatologist for the same. They can prescribe topical and oral retinoids to help fix the issue from deep within.

Photos: Instagram, Pexels

More From

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content