How to Get Rid of Back Acne: 13 Simple Tricks to Try
These lifestyle tweaks can help get rid of stubborn bacne.
One of the main causes of acne on your back and chest is from working out. Tight gym clothes trap sweat and oil close to the skin, which can clog pores and hair follicles and cause back acne breakouts. Change out of your sweaty gym clothes as soon as possible and hit the shower. Use a body wash with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to reduce breakouts and kill bacteria. While benzoyl peroxide is a beneficial ingredient, find out the skin care ingredients that are making you break out.
While your facial skin may dry out quickly, especially after showering, other parts of your body don’t require the same amount of moisturizer. Angela Lamb, MD, a dermatologist with Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, recommends applying moisturizer to your legs and arms, but using a lighter touch on your chest and back. These areas have more oil glands than your extremities, and may not need any extra moisturizer.
Change your sheets regularly
While you’re sleeping, dead skin cells and body oils rub off on to your sheets. “Built-up oils and bacteria on your sheets may be contributing to your [bacne] breakouts,” says Dr. Lamb. For how to get rid of back acne, she recommends washing sheets weekly to reduce the amount of pore-clogging oils your skin is exposed to. The same goes for towels, bras, and pajamas: If it touches your skin, keep it clean. Find out the things dermatologists say you should never, ever do to your skin.
Tight-fitting synthetic materials like spandex trap oil and moisture, preventing skin from being able to breathe. This causes clogged pores and bad breakouts. Try switching to breathable cotton clothing if you struggle with body acne or back acne, especially while working out. Learn the myths about adult acne you need to stop believing.
Try a salt water bath
Epsom salts not only relax your muscles but can soothe inflamed skin and dry out oily patches. While there hasn’t been extensive scientific research on the effects of epsom salts on acne, it’s still a home remedy that Healthline vouches for. An oatmeal bath also sucks up excess oil on your skin. Add a cup of epsom salts or a half-cup of plain, unflavored oats to your bath water and soak for 20 to 30 minutes.
Be an exfoliating pro
Pores on your back are larger and more prone to clogging than pores on the face. It’s a recipe for bacne: Pimples are caused when a mix of dead skin cells and bacteria get trapped in a clogged pore. For how to get rid of back acne, use a body scrub with salicylic acid two to three times a week to slough off dead skin cells and clear clogged pores. The skin on your back is also not as delicate as the skin on your face, so even if you’re not usually a fan of exfoliating you might want to give it a try on your body. Learn what back acne specifically, as well as the acne on other parts of your body, is trying to tell you.
Take care with hair products
Conditioners and other products can rub off on your face and back, especially during the summer time when tank tops are common. Always use body wash or exfoliant after rinsing out your conditioner in the shower. This will ensure that no thick product remains on your skin. In addition, according to Healthline, your hair itself can be a culprit of back acne. It can contribute to oily skin if it lies on your bare skin for an extended period of time, so try to keep your hair off your back, especially when you’re going to be working out and/or sweating. Healthline also recommends making sure you wash your hair regularly to keep oil to a minimum.
Spot treat with tea-tree oil
This fragrant essential oil has strong antibacterial properties that make it a powerful back acne treatment. The Australasian Journal of Dermatology found that tea tree oil effectively reduced mild to moderate acne. Here’s how to get rid of back acne using it: Apply the oil to your skin with a cotton swab or loofah. It will penetrate clogged pores and dry up oily spots. Tea tree oil may be a good option if over-the-counter medications are too harsh for your skin. Here are more health and beauty uses for tea tree oil.
Switch your laundry detergent
Scented products can irritate skin and cause back acne breakouts. If you’ve tried acne treatments and your skin still isn’t clearing up, try eliminating your scented products one by one to see if you can find the culprit. Banishing breakouts may be as simple as replacing your fabric softener.
Make an apple cider vinegar toner
Apple cider vinegar regulates your skin’s pH, which can lead to clearer skin, and dries out oily spots and blemishes. Create a toner by combining one part apple cider vinegar to two parts water in a spray bottle. For a back acne treatment, spray on breakouts or dab with a cotton ball every night before bed. Adding apple cider vinegar to your diet can also help with your skin. Dilute one to two tablespoons in a glass of water and drink daily. If you’re not a fan of apple cider vinegar, look for a body wash that balances the pH of your skin.
Watch your diet
The American Academy of Dermatology has found that the food you eat can have an effect on your complexion. Try to avoid or cut down on foods with a high glycemic index, like white bread and potatoes because they cause your blood sugar to spike; it also suggests cutting back on dairy products. As for the foods you should eat, those aren’t particularly surprising: Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will be your skin’s best friend. A low-carbohydrate diet has been shown to help regulate hormones, which can reduce breakouts. For more about how to get rid of back acne with your diet, learn more about which foods help clear acne and which foods cause it.
Keep an eye on your skin care
Any number of the things you’re putting on your skin could be causing back acne. If you’re using harsh or scented soaps or particularly oily sunscreens, you’ll probably want to consider switching out those products. Healthline warns that greasier sunscreens can clog your pores and cause acne, so try switching to an oil-free sunscreen like this one. Men’s Health also recommends giving a gentle exfoliating bar soap, like this one, a try.
Try acne-fighting products
Ternavskaia Olga Alibec/Shutterstock
Of course, one of the best solutions for how to get rid of back acne may be to actually invest in products that target and clear up acne. Try out Differin Gel, which was the first FDA-approved retinoid to treat acne and has stood the test of time. If you prefer a spray, Replenix is a tried-and-true brand that Men’s Health recommends as a quick, easy post-workout acne fighter. But you may not need to purchase anything at all; try out these home remedies that can help banish acne.
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