Summer means sun and fun outside, relaxing by the pool, but for some, it can mean another season of battling bacne. If you have acne on your back, or “bacne” as some people call it, you don’t have to wait for it to clear on its own. Treatment and the right skin care can help you see clearer skin more quickly. You may even be able to clear your back on your own.
Who can treat back acne at home?
You may see clearer skin from treating it yourself if you:
- Have a few blemishes on your back (mild acne)
- Developed back acne recently
- Have a mix of whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples on your back, but nothing that’s painful or goes deep into the skin (moderate acne)
Anyone who has deep, painful acne on their back (or anywhere else) will need a dermatologist’s help.
The OTC Treatment For Back Acne That Works
Doctor’s Approach Benzoyl peroxide: This helps to kill the bacteria that cause acne. Used daily, it can help control back acne and reduce flares. Studies show that the key to getting results from a benzoyl peroxide wash is to leave it on your back for 2 to 5 minutes before rinsing it off. Letting the benzoyl peroxide sit on your skin for a few minutes has two advantages:
- This approach helps the medicine penetrate your skin. Skin is thicker on the back than on the face.
- Rinsing it off prevents bleached clothes, sheets, and towels. Benzoyl peroxide is known to bleach fabrics.
Doctor’s Approach Benzoyl peroxide is an advanced formula that deeply cleans and exfoliates the skin, our Benzoyl Peroxide Wash contains 5% Benzoyl Peroxide that helps stop blemishes before they start. If you feel that you need stronger medicine, you can try Doctor’s Approach Bezaderm Gel, the strongest concentration of benzoyl peroxide that you can buy without a prescription.
Acne friendly skin care is essential
To get the results you expect from treatment, you’ll also need acne friendly skin care at home. Without it, your acne can flare, even when you’re treating it. To help our patients with back acne get the best results, we recommend the following:
- Cleanse your skin gently. Scrubbing skin with acne may seem best, but this actually worsens acne. When washing your back and applying acne treatment, you want to be gentle.
- Stop irritating your skin with harsh skin care products. Antibacterial soaps, astringents, and abrasive scrubs can worsen acne. Ditto for loofahs, back brushes, and buff puffs. For best results, you’ll want to use gentle, fragrance-free skin care products.
- Use oil-free skin care products and cosmetics. The packaging may read “non-comedogenic,” “non-acnegenic,” “won’t clog pores,” or “oil-free.
- Avoid using anything that rubs against your back, such as a backpack. Anything that rubs against your back can irritate your skin, causing back acne to flare. Swap a backpack for a handheld bag. If you carry a purse on your shoulder, place the strap on your arm.
- Resist the temptation to pick and pop acne, even on your back. This will only worsen acne.
Protect your skin from the sun. People often believe that the sun’s rays will help clear acne, but the sun can actually worsen acne. The sun’s rays tend to darken acne and cause it to last longer. You can help clear acne by always wearing oil-free sunscreen when outdoors. You’ll want to apply sunscreen to all skin that clothes won’t cover.
When shopping for sunscreen, choose one that says the following on the packaging:
- Non-comedogenic (or oil-free)
- SPF 30 (or higher)
- Broad-spectrum protection (UVA/UVB protection)
- Water resistance
Change your sheets and pillowcases weekly. Clean sheets and pillowcases are essential for clearing back acne. You may want to change pillowcases twice a week. By the end of a week, sheets and pillowcases are swarming with dead skin cells and bacteria. When washing sheets and pillowcases, be sure to use fragrance-free detergent. If you like fabric softener, it, too, should be fragrance-free.
When to see a dermatologist
It can take time to see results from treatment. If a treatment is working, you may start to see results in 6 to 8 weeks. Complete clearing can take up to 3 or 4 months. If you don’t see any difference in 6 to 8 weeks, you may need our help. Contact us today and we’ll help you find the right solution to clear your “bacne” once and for all.