Back and body acne (bacne) is just as troublesome and disagreeable for sufferers as it is for those who endure the condition on their face. The unfortunate reality is that the pores on your chest, shoulders and back, just like those on your face, can become clogged. In fact, most of us with acneic skin will experience congestion on our bodies at some point.
The bad news isn’t solely reserved for oily skin types, however, as back and body acne is also prevalent in the unlucky few who have barely experienced so much as a pimple on their face.
Back and body acne differs a little from facial acne as it’s triggered when hair follicles become infected. That said, it appears, and may be managed, in the same way as facial acne, though there are a few distinct components that can aggravate the condition. If you do suffer from back and body acne, you may have noticed it’s worse during the summer (yes, very conveniently at the same time we love to show more skin in backless dresses and swimsuits) due to excess heat and sweat.
Your body tends to produce more oil in warmer months too – a recipe for congestion and acne, in combination with another culprit, thick zinc based sunscreen, which you’re likely wearing more of in the summertime. Those of us who exercise frequently are more prone to body and back acne due to increased sweat and exertion (often trapped, along with other bacteria, especially if your work-out wear is made with synthetic material.
Back and body acne, is, at it’s best, annoying. At it’s worst? It can impact self-esteem, overall confidence and can be physically painful. Treating back and body acne is all about implementing, and sticking to, an effective skincare regime for affected areas (as the rest of your skin needs a little TLC from time to time, too). My tips below.
Use an active acne fighting cleanser with salicylic acid to treat inflammation, blemishes, imperfections and general congestion. If you’re already using a cleanser formulated specifically for acne on your face, you can use this on your body, too. NB: If your facial cleanser is formulated with benzoyl peroxide, use with caution as it may have a bleaching effect on clothes.
Exfoliate at least twice a week with a scrub or brush to ensure the removal of built up dead skin cells, dirt and debris.
Invest in an body spray containing salicylic acid and aha’s to treat acne in those hard-to-reach places. Use this daily, after cleansing or as a stand-alone product, depending on the severity of your acne. I love Biologique Recherche P50 Corps.
Moisturise with a lightweight milk or gel creme with ingredients such as lactic acid. I love PCA body therapy.
If you do exercise frequently, shower immediately after each session to remove excess sweat and bacteria. Never leave your gym clothes (particularly your sports bra!) on for too long.
Remember: your face goes all the way down to your decolletage! Treat the skin on your chest and neck the same as you would your face.
Always stick to an anti-inflammatory and wholesome diet to encourage optimal skin health.
If your breakouts are particularly severe, please see a dermatologist. They will be able to identify any underlying causes and map out an effective treatment plan, which may include medication.