Recently, I have had a significant number of clients come to me for help with back acne! First, it’s important to determine the root cause and then to determine the proper treatment plan. Your back acne could be caused by:
1. Hormones! Yes, the gift that keeps on giving. Hormones can be a big cause of acne. If estrogen or testosterone goes into overdrive, it can cause the sebaceous glands to pump out excess sebum. The follicles can’t handle it all, so pores become clogged. Women may also experience breakouts during hormonal changes that occur just before their menstrual cycle begins.
2. Genes. If it’s not hormones, you might be “thanking” mom and dad instead. Heredity can play a factor in how acne affects you. If one or both of your parents had acne, you’re at a greater risk for inheriting the triggers that cause overproduction of sebum and lead to clogged follicles.
3. Environmental, dietary and situational factors. Pollution and high humidity can also be factors in back acne because they create the perfect conditions for clogged pores and breakouts. Stress or certain foods, can also play a role in acne development. Stress can throw your body chemistry off balance, and food intolerance can make your back break out as well as your face!
4. Daily patterns! There is actually a condition called acne mechanica, in which acne occurs on areas of the body where the skin is more susceptible to aggravation by heat, pressure or friction. Tight uniforms, chaffing sports bras, or even heavy purse or backpack straps put a lot of pressure on the skin, causing acne mechanica. People who work outside in hot weather can develop acne from too-tight clothing. People who drive a lot can be prone to back acne from the pressure of the seat on their backs.
Now that we know a little more behind the causes of back acne, let’s take a look at how you can control it.
4 Major Don’ts When Combating Back Acne
1. Sunlight. Stay away from the tanning bed. Sunlight hasn’t been proven to diminish pimples and the harmful effects of ultraviolet light—namely risk of skin cancer and premature skin aging—far outweigh the perceived benefits.
2. Excessive washing. Acne isn’t the result of dirty skin, so there’s no need to scrub your back five times a day. Do keep your back clean by using a proper cleanser (my clients love to use Osmosis Purify) to remove excess surface oil and dead skin cells.
3. Popping pimples. As tempting as it is to get rid of pus-filled zits by popping them, you should avoid squeezing acne blemishes. Picking can cause further inflammation and force the pus deeper into your skin.
4. Unproven home remedies. Colloidal oatmeal, nettle, mint, lemon juice, aloe vera and vinegar have also been thought to be able to stop acne. However, none of these products has been medically proven to work, and some may even cause further irritation to your skin.
What You CAN Do
Natural remedies and supplements. Tea tree oil and zinc supplements may relieve the pain caused by back acne.
Adjust your habits. Wearing loose-fitting, breathable clothing will also relieve some pressure and friction on your back and allow skin to breathe properly. Also, be conscious of what you are eating in case your back acne is triggered by certain foods.
Let the professionals help! My Clear & Glow Back Facial is just the TLC your skin needs to begin healing! Treat your back to a cleansing, soothing massage, exfoliation, steam and mask. I will even extract any blackheads she may come across to make your back smooth, clear, soft, and glowing. Excellent treatment if you expect to wear a low back top or dress!