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Causes of back acne

What are the causes of back acne?

Acne on Back and Shoulders

Acne is a skin infection that causes pimples to form, making the affected area prone to scarring. There are various reasons why acne can occur on the shoulders and back, some of which include stress, oily skin, smoking and alcohol consumption, aging, improper diet and even using poor quality skincare products.

Acne is a common problem that affects the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders. It occurs when oil and dead skin cells clog your pores. Acne sometimes can be triggered by stress, greasy makeup or hair products, your menstrual cycle, certain medications and medical conditions.

Acne usually involves blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. The location of your acne can indicate what's causing it. For example, acne on the back might be caused by pimples that develop beneath your shirt or bra.

Common Causes of Back Acne

There are many reasons why you may get acne on your back and shoulders. Some of the most common causes include:

1) Overproduction of oil by the sebaceous glands:

The body produces a lot of sebum or oil, usually during adolescence. This excess oil reaches the surface causing pimples and blackheads. Once you reach the age of 18, this production of sebum usually starts to settle down and if not, treatments can help manage it.

2) Bacteria on the skin:

Many of the bacteria that cause acne are naturally present on our skin. One way to prevent your back and shoulders from acne is by always practising proper hygiene.

Acne happens for many reasons. Regardless of the cause, acne is often the result of some kind of imbalance or blockage in your skin. A clogged pore may be caused by overactive oil glands, bacteria, dead skin cells, or some combination of these factors.

3) Hormonal imbalance:

Acne occurs on the back and shoulders as well as on the face, which can also be caused by a hormonal imbalance. The acne on the back is mostly due to the fact that the back is excessively oily due to certain hormones. Bacne can also occur when hair follicles become infected and inflamed. It's a common cause of red bumps on the back and shoulder area. 

Back acne is mostly due to hormonal imbalances and issues like hyper sebaceous glands. People often have acne on their shoulders, especially when they are teenagers. 

4) Improper clothing:

Acne can also result from wearing tight clothing, improper cleaning or working out. The shoulders are acne-prone areas because any kind of fat within the body can be converted into sebum by an enzyme called lipase. Sebum is an oily substance that clogs the pores of the skin which gives rise to acne.

How to Treat Acne On Back and Shoulders?

Acne is not only limited to the face. It can appear on other body parts like your back, chest, shoulders, etc. You may find this very embarrassing and so you need to treat acne on the back and shoulders.

To treat ‘Bacne’ on your body, follow these steps:

  1. Clean your skin daily: The best way to treat acne on the back is with a good cleansing routine for the rest of the body, not just the affected areas. Cleansing will remove bacteria and dirt from the body while reducing stress which may contribute to acne problems. 

Wash your back and shoulders with mild soap and water every day. This is to remove excess dirt and oil that can clog your pores.

After washing your back and shoulders with mild soap and water, dab the affected areas with cotton balls. Dab them gently so as not to irritate them further. 

  1. Diet: Shifting from a poor to a healthy diet, staying hydrated and getting enough amounts of vitamin C are also helpful in treating acne on the back. A good diet can help reduce skin inflammation while water helps flush out toxins from the body.
  1. Topical creams/pills: 

Topical creams include products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. People can apply this medication to the affected areas once or twice a day. The result can be seen within 4-8 weeks.

A healthcare provider may prescribe oral medications in case of severe cysts and nodules. Antibiotics and birth control pills are usually recommended by a doctor that a person needs to take for about 2-6 months.

  1. Home remedies: 

a) You can use a combination of tea tree oil, witch hazel or aloe vera gel. Apply it to the affected areas with a cotton swab once or twice daily until your acne clears up. Witch hazel works great because it stops the growth of acne-causing bacteria.

b) Wash your back and shoulders with warm water two times a day. This will help to wash away dead cells and break down blackheads.

c) Apply soothing herbal ingredients on your back and shoulders like neem, Haldi (turmeric), tulsi (holy basil) or sindoor (vermillion) on your back. Wait for it to dry naturally and then wash it off with warm water.

d) Wash your hair twice a week, use mild shampoo which is free of harsh chemicals like parabens, sulphates. Because shampoos tend to run down from your hair to the back and shoulders and if they contain harsh chemicals then there is a high chance that they can irritate your skin, leading to skin issues like acne.

e)Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes, especially during summers.

f)Use homemade scrubs once or twice a week to exfoliate dead cells on your back and shoulders.

How to Prevent Back Acne?

Body acne occurs when bacteria infect the hair follicles. This causes inflammation around hair follicles. Acne often occurs after puberty, especially during the adolescent years. 

It can also occur in adults who are overweight or are not active. Body acne can be prevented by following these simple steps:

1) Shower after each workout- Remember to wash your body carefully after each workout session to remove the sweat and dirt on the skin.

2) Clean your armpits- Clean underarms with antibacterial soap twice a day since it is the most prone area for acne.

3) Don’t share towels or clothes- Always use your own towel or clothes. Bacteria from other people’s clothes can cause acne.

4) Wash your face before going to bed daily.

5) Use a clean bed sheet daily.

6) Drink lots of water and follow a healthy diet.

7) Do not use antibacterial soaps or soaps containing alcohol since they can damage your skin.

Take Away

Acne is the most common skin disorder that is observed in almost all men and women. Acne can appear as a result of excess sebum production or due to clogged pores where the sebum is produced.

To prevent acne on the shoulders and back, ensure that you eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and try to maintain a healthy state of mind. Also, avoid touching your face and back as this can add to your acne woes.