Acne can appear on any part of your body that has oil secreting glands or hair follicles.  The most common areas are your back, chest, shoulders, and face.  Some people can even get acne on the backs of their legs.  This is completely normal. 

Back acne happens to about half of people who suffer from acne.  Back acne can include blackheads, whiteheads, and cystic acne which is pus filled bumps.  Acne can happen to anyone teens going through puberty, or even some adults suffer from acne.  Back acne has become so popular that it has its own name, bacne.  


Causes Of Bacne

The causes of bacne are just the same as face acne.  What causes a pimple is that oil and dead skin cells become trapped in pores and cause blockage.  This blockage then develops into a black head, and then a blackhead turns into an inflamed pimple.  This can happen from overactive oil glands, excessive dead skin cells, or even acne causing bacteria. 

Genetics can play a role, if you have a family history of others in your family with acne you can be more susceptible to getting acne yourself. 

Medications can cause acne as a side effect, like antidepressants. 

Hormones can cause acne, imbalance hormones, teens going through puberty, or women who suffer from PCOS can all struggle with acne. 

Sweat, stress and even your diet can cause acne. 

Rubbing, pressing, and sweat can cause irritation and inflamed pores.  This can be caused by tight clothing, too snug collars, backpacks, purse straps or athletic pads or gear.  


Lifestyle & Home Remedies

Acne is usually self diagnosed.  Lifestyle changes can usually be enough to treat acne.  Home remedies can also be effective. 

Make sure you shower after you workout.  Getting all the sweat and dirt off your body can help keep your pores from being blocked.  Wash your workout clothing in between sweaty sessions too. 

Washing your sheets and pajamas on the regular can also help.  Sheets hold a lot of dead skin cells that fall off. 

When you take a shower don’t over scrub.  Use a gentle exfoliator, ones that have salicylic acid, or benzoyl peroxide are great.  If your skin feels overly dry and tight make sure you moisturize your skin. 

Tea tree oil has been shown to help alleviate acne.  You can find lotions, cleansers, and creams that contain tea tree oil. 

Some shampoos and conditioners you use wash your hair with can lead to clogged pores, so when washing your hair try not to let your shampoo and conditioner run down your back. 

If you suffer from overactive oil glands you will want to limit your oil based skin care.  Over the counter creams or gels that are non-prescriptions that contain .1% retinoid.  

When you are getting hot and sweaty keep your hair off your back.  The oil from your hair can clog pores in your back too. 

When outside in the heat, wear loose fitting clothing.  Breathable clothes that are moisture wicking can help keep your skin dry without clogging up your pores. 

And when out in the sun wear sunscreen that won’t clog your pores.  Sunscreens that are noncomedogenic are best for making sure they don’t clog your pores.  Excessive sun exposure can also be bad for your acne.  So keeping your skin covered and out of direct sunlight is best.   

Your diet can sometimes play a role on your skin.  If you are eating too much processed, sugary, or high glycemic foods it can cause your skin to break out.  So ditch high glycemic foods such as white breads, white pasta, and rice.  Add in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and whole foods into your diet to help clear up your skin.  


Seeking Professional Help

If home remedies and lifestyle changes don’t work then you may want to reach out to a dermatologist.  A dermatologist may be able to prescribe you topical products that are stronger than what you can get over the counter. 

Oral contraceptives can help women who have hormonal imbalance or PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. 

Oral antibiotics can also help clear up acne. 

Isoretinoin is a potent medication that can clear up acne but it can cause severe side effects, so most dermatologists or doctors don’t recommend it. 

Antiandrogen therapy is an option of medications that suppress testosterone, this is another option for women with PCOS. 

A dermatologist can also perform light or laser therapy to help with acne.  This can be done in a dermatologist’s office when different colored lights are applied to the area that is affected.  



Bacne is normal and affects half the people who suffer from acne.  Changing some things in your life or trying some over the counter products can usually help alleviate your back acne.  It can affect people to the point where they don’t wear certain outfits or participate in certain activities. 

If you are unable to clear up your back acne alone then reaching out to a dermatologist may give you some other treatment options. 


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