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What Is Back Acne?

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  • Written By: Angela Farrer
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Back acne is a type of body acne normally triggered by the same factors that lead to acne on other areas, such as the face. The blemishes associated with this kind of body acne can sometimes be more difficult to completely eliminate. Skin pores on the back are relatively large and can therefore become clogged with more sebum and dead skin cells and acne-causing bacteria. Back acne scars are fairly common in more serious cases, and many dermatologists recommend treatment to clear up these blemishes with as little scarring as possible.

The main cause of back acne is normally thought to be excess oil secretions that hormonal changes usually trigger. This condition is especially common in adolescents. Blemishes that form on the back can range from minor surface blackheads to deeper cysts that may require more intensive treatment. Some young people are more prone to this skin problem than others, and this kind of acne can often be worsened by external irritations. Clothing made from synthetic fibers can often cause sweat to become trapped against the skin and increase the amount of blemish-causing bacteria. Frequent contact with the backs of chairs or with knapsacks can also make an existing case of back acne more severe.

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Treating back acne is generally done with medicated cleansers and lotions specifically formulated to treat this common skin condition. Some back acne sufferers also report good results from regularly applying a medicated astringent to their backs. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are two of the ingredients proven to clear acne blemishes and prevent new ones from appearing. A variety of these products are available over the counter, although dermatologists often prescribe versions of them in higher concentrations for more serious acne cases.

Wearing clothing made from cotton or other natural fibers can also be helpful for preventing back acne breakouts. Dermatologists often advise body acne sufferers to switch to breathable cotton bed sheets as well. A shoulder bag that does not create friction against the back is usually recommended as an alternative to a backpack that can further irritate acne blemishes. Keeping the skin cleaned of sweat is another preventative measure. Showering and gently washing the affected back area with medicated cleanser should ideally be done as soon as possible after vigorous exercise or significant time outdoors in hot weather.

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