How To Cure Back And Body Acne

How To Cure Back And Body Acne

sad guy on the beachWhen I was on the Waikiki beach a few months ago, I saw this guy hanging out with his friends on the shore. While every other guy was wearing boardies (thankfully not tiny speedos), this one guy in particular was wearing a t-shirt as well. And not a sun smart I’m-protecting-myself-from-UV kind of t-shirt, it was just an ordinary t-shirt. And I could see his acne creeping up from underneath the back of his shirt and up his neck.

Back acne, or ‘bacne’, can be just as embarrassing, if not MORE embarrassing than facial acne if it’s severe enough. Some people, (and it’s usually men) can even feel the need to cover it up all the time, just like this guy did in Waikiki.

Why do we get body acne?

We get body acne pretty much for the same reasons why we get facial acne. The strongest difference being back acne can often be induced by sweat. So wearing a backpack or doing a lot of sport that makes you sweaty can bring on a body acne breakout. An allergy to the laundry detergent you’re using to wash your clothes can also cause a body acne breakout.

How to treat back and body acne

back acneTreating back or body acne is similar to treating acne on your face. You need to take a holistic approach and treat your body both inside and out. So this means following the steps in this guide first: 7 Steps To Acne Free Skin

If your body acne is mild …

It also depends a lot on the severity of your acne. If your back or body acne is mild, then you’ll likely be able to cure it with just regular exfoliation. This means keeping some kind of abrasive bath cloth in the shower or exfoliating body scrub and using it every single day. You’ll probably find that your acne will clear within a couple of weeks.

When I was in my teens I used to get mild back acne. I kept some body wash in the shower, along with one of those little puff ball things that’s designed to be used with body wash (I don’t know what they’re actually called so I found a picture for you). I found this abrasive enough to exfoliate my skin daily, but still gentle on my skin. You can use a loofah if you want, but I find loofahs a little too harsh on my skin.

Using this exfoliation method, the skin on my back would always clear within two weeks.

bath sponges

There are other ways to exfoliate your acne prone back too, like using a skin care product such as an exfoliating body scrub. There are plenty of brands available, and plenty of natural options around too. Body exfoliation products often contain abrasive particles like sugar or salt which work by gently ‘scratching’ your skin I guess to exfoliate all the dead skin cells and toxins off.

You can also use a chemical deep pore cleanser, or a combination of both the deep pore and surface exfoliation.

Moderate to severe body acne

If your body acne includes a lot of inflammations (pussy heads), then it’s best not to use the abrasive exfoliants for now so you don’t spread the bacteria. Instead, you should try using a deep pore exfoliator and/or anti-bacterial wash. It’s great if you can get a combination of the two, because the deep pore exfoliant keeps your pores clear, while the anti-bacterial helps prevent the actual acne bacteria from spreading.

The active ingredient in deep pore exfoliants is usually salicylic acid and there are plenty of options available in drug and grocery stores. Make sure you purchase something that is made for the body and not the face, because body products are often a little more robust. You can also try looking for a glycolic acid natural product, but they may be hard to find.

As for the anti-bacterial wash, I love tea tree oil products for the body. Tea tree oil is a natural anti-bacterial and it works beautifully for most people. But anything that is an anti-bacterial (chemical or natural) will do.

Also, as usual, make sure you check any new products up on MUA.

So in case I’ve confused anyone, here is my action plan for back and body acne …

For mild body acne:

  1. Exfoliate your body in the shower or bath once per day, using a surface exfoliant (abrasive bath sponge or body exfoliant skin care product with abrasive particles) OR a deep pore exfoliator (such as a salicylic acid or glycolic acid product).

For medium to severe body acne:

  1. Use a deep pore exfoliator, such as a salicylic acid or glycolic acid product once per day.
  2. Use an anti-bacterial body wash, preferably a natural product once per day.

If you can find a product that is both a deep pore exfoliant AND an anti-bacterial, that’s the most desirable option.

Note: Also MAKE SURE you continue to treat your acne using holistic methods to ensure your acne does not come back after you discontinue the use of any products that you’re using. Holistic methods will also help your skin clear a lot faster.


16 comments… add one

  • It’s shameful for me, but this is also a problem for me that’s why i can’t wear lowback or backless dress.

    I’ll try to follow your tips. They are easy, I just need to be persistent and consistent.


  • Mary

    Hi, since the weather is already getting warmer where I live, girls are already wearing short sleeved shirts. And im probably the ONLY one not wearing them. I feel so embarressed. I have acne on my back, chest, and upper shoulders. Is there another remedy on FAST acne treatments at home? Im kinda tight on cash so i won’t be able to buy those expensive ones. Please help, im desperate..

  • Clayton

    I was wondering if baking soda and water (to a paste like substance) works. I have heard and read about it and allegedly it’s an extremely affective exfoliant.

  • anu

    hi i have so many acne at my used to aches me ..i am embaranced to wear open dress which i like…i feel bad of ,my bod please help me …….

  • Hi
    that was a very helpful article on back acne and i know there are tons of treatment available which dont have to break your bank.I’ve felt that sea salt scrub is natural and because it is rich in minerals,it is excellent for decongesting and balancing the Ph of the skin.The fresh new cells and tissues absorb the minerals that feeds the skin.Essential oils are excellent too.

  • Marissa

    I have severe back acne as well as mild acne on my chest, i don’t know what to use. It is embarassing and i am desperate, any suggestions?

  • EJC

    I have very sensitive skin… I’ve started to clear the acne on my back by using laundry detergent without dyes or perfumes along with Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub as a general body wash in the shower AND Neutrogena Body Clear 360° spray on my back after I’ve dried off. I let it dry before I put my shirt on.

    For the record, I tend to get the blemishes that are very deep in the skin. They are painful and even when it feels like they need to be “taken care of”, I can’t. I’m assuming this is why the exfoliation method (the Neutrogena products have salicytic acid in them) is working for me.

    I’m 39 and have had this problem since puberty, to varying degrees. This combination is yielding the best results I’ve ever had. I’m a redhead with pale skin so having a clear back is all the more important since blemishes show up from across the street!

  • steve

    Hi. I have moderate to severe bacne and I was wondering is there anything specific I can use, as I’m unsure? Also, as it’s on the back what’d be the best way to apply it.

  • Danae- Start with something natural and see if that works. There are LOTS of brands around so try your health stores. I picked up one the other day from an eko friendly gift store that I’m going to use today! If you want to save money you can mix baking-soda, raw sugar or rock salt into your cleanser. Just don’t use the sugar or salt on your face because they can be a bit harsh, but on your body it’s good.

    If that doesn’t start to work after 5-6 weeks, then consider buying a SA product from the drug store.

  • Danae

    What sort of exfoliant do you recommend? I have mild acne on my chest and back. They aren’t really pimples though.. just bumps that look like blackheads. Should I be using something natural or something with salicylic acid. Tight on cash so I can’t afford any of those expensive treatments. Something simple would be awesome.

    Thanks Fran. Really great blog you’ve got going.

  • amy

    p.s. a cooler shower will keep your skin moisturized.

  • amy

    Oh and Steve!
    I had a bottle of prince and it spilled everywhere!!!
    So mad because it cost me over $50 I believe.
    Do you know where i can order this cheaper????

  • amy

    if you have body acne.
    use a lufa once in a while( i use it every shower)
    But if you think it is too harsh, use it gently but use one!
    It works and turn the shower as hot as you can stand it (like a jacuzzi) on back or chest or wherever effected areas are, just berfore washing. You don’t have to have it running very hot the whole time if you don’t want to.
    When i switched my body wash to all natural it made a huge difference! Awesme!

    i use Witch Hazel i got from an organic supermarket called “Whole Foods” a few times a week or as often as needed i poor some on a cloth and rubb on my baack.


  • Steve

    I bought PrinceReigns for my facial ingrown hairs (jury still out on that use) but its pretty darn good for my bacne. Had good results using twice a day in three days.

    I think it may be the glycolic acid that does the trick.

  • zack

    I get bacne when its hot outside. Thses last 2 day in phoenix have been sooo Humid It feels like florida! I use a spray that called Nature’s cure they have it everywhere its really good! Or I just put lemon juice back there or on my chest. I seem to break out more on my chest than back.

  • Gary

    I use sea salt. Salycilic washes seemed to dry out my back and shoulders too much. I have had very good success with sea salt scrubs. Anthony makes a very good one.

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