How To Get Rid Of Back Acne

How To Get Rid Of Back Acne

When you think of acne, you probably picture the angry red marks that took over your face during adolescence. Face acne is a common symptom of puberty and can last into your twenties and even thirties. A lesser-known, though almost as common concern, is back acne (or bacne) which involves pimples across your back. Luckily, you don't need to live with bacne.
We’ve put together a selection of the best treatments for back pimples, so you can wear that backless dress confidently.

What Is Bacne?

While acne can develop on any part of the body, it is most likely to appear in areas that have a lot of oil glands. That explains why your face and back, along with your chest, are prime targets for acne.

The Difference Between Treating Back Acne And Face Acne

Can back acne be treated in the same way as face acne? Yes and no.
Medically, acne is the same regardless of where it appears on your body. If you've already found a treatment that works well for face acne, using it on the same types of blemishes on your back will give just as good a result. The difference is that your back is much more difficult to comfortably access than your face, making some treatments harder to apply.
A long-armed scrubber or washcloth can work wonders, allowing you to reach all areas of your back without having to become a yoga master. Just as you would leave your regular acne treatment on your face for a few minutes before washing it off, make sure you're just as patient when treating pimples on your back. Rather than letting it all wash away in the shower, try applying your treatment before you get in the shower so it has a few minutes to work its magic before being washed away.

The Different Types Of Back Pimples

Just as pimples on your face aren't all the same, so too are there different types of back pimples.


Whiteheads develop when a follicle is plugged and remains underneath the skin, forming a small white bump.


Similarly to a whitehead, a blackhead occurs when a follicle is plugged but is open and above the surface of your skin. While many people think that the black area of a blackhead is dirt or a hair follicle, it is actually caused by a chemical reaction between the air and the oily substance known as sebum.


If you've ever noticed tiny pink lumps on your skin which may feel tender to the touch, you've found papules.


The classic pimple – a lump filled with yellow or white pus and with a bright red base is medically known as a pustule.


When a pimple develops deep under the top layer of skin, it can become hard to the touch and even painful. These are known as nodules.


The largest types of pustules, cysts are pus-filled and can be painful. Left untreated or popped in the wrong way, cysts can cause scarring on the skin.

The Levels Of Back Pimples – Mild, Moderate, And Severe

While most people will have pimples at one time or another, it is much less common to suffer from severe acne. Mild acne is associated with mostly whiteheads and blackheads with no nodules or scarring, while moderate acne can include some painful nodules and mild scarring. If moderate acne shows no improvement after six months of treatment, it can become severe acne. In severe acne, extensive nodules and cysts with scarring can occur.

How To Treat Back Pimples

Over-The-Counter Treatments

Mild body acne usually requires nothing more than simple over-the-counter treatments.

Medicated Lotions And Sprays

The wide selection of medicated lotions and sprays available to treat back acne can be overwhelming. When choosing, look for a treatment that includes either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Both have been proven to effectively treat mild acne by penetrating skin pores, dissolving the build-up of dead skin cells, and preventing further breakouts. When applying these to your back you'll need to use a long-armed scrubber or have someone else apply the medication for you.

Oral Antibiotics

If over-the-counter treatments aren't working on your mild acne, or you're dealing with moderate to severe acne, your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. It can help to continue using an over-the-counter treatment while also taking oral antibiotics, subject to the advice of your doctor.


If over-the-counter treatments and oral antibiotics are not treating your acne in the way you'd like, it's time to see a skin specialist at a laser clinic. There are several highly effective treatments including LED light therapy, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser treatments that can give you back your clear complexion.

LED Light Therapy

LED light therapy involves using light at different wavelengths to stimulate the natural production of collagen, naturally helping your skin to heal from acne while improving acne scars.

Chemical Peel

A chemical peel is an exfoliation treatment that can be adjusted with varying intensities to remove a number of layers of skin depending on the severity of the acne and acne scars.


Microdermabrasion is a less intense exfoliation treatment and is used to maintain normal skin and treat mild or moderate acne.

Laser Treatments

Laser treatments have been proven to be an effective treatment for back acne. The upper layer of the skin is heated with a laser light, stimulating the natural production of collagen which diminishes acne scars and prevents future breakouts.

How To Prevent Back Pimples

Getting on top of a current bout of back acne is one issue. But what steps can you take to prevent future outbreaks from occurring? Some aspects of acne, including genetics and hormones, are largely out of your control. However, there are other steps you can take to reduce the severity of future episodes of face and back acne.

Two Simple Tips To Prevent Back Pimples

Shower After A Workout

You may have been told that sweat and exercise cause acne. While this isn't correct, there is a grain of truth in this statement: sweat, when mixed with dead skin cells and bacteria, can clog your pores and cause acne. To prevent this from occurring, always work out in clean exercise clothes, and take a shower straight after your workout before putting on a fresh set of clean clothes. If it is not possible to shower straight away, minimise the risk of an outbreak of pimples on your back by wiping away your sweat with a towel and putting on clean clothes.

Don't Pop Pimples

Sometimes the temptation can be extreme, but it's important to avoid picking at or popping your acne. Doing so can cause long-term scarring, secondary infections, and even lead to further inflammation and breakouts. Hopefully, that is a sobering enough thought to stop you from picking at your skin, no matter how tempting it may be.


In some situations, nutrition can play an important role in preventing future outbreaks of back acne. For some people, a low GI diet can have a dramatic effect on skin complexion. Other people find that dairy products can cause the skin to break out. And almost everyone can benefit from concentrating on nutrient-rich foods that are high in anti-inflammatory antioxidants like vitamin C. If you've ever noticed that your skin breaks out following the consumption of sugary food or dairy products, it can be worth experimenting with a change in diet to see if this will positively affect your complexion.

Body Washes, Lotions, Oils, And Sprays

A good body wash, used regularly, can play a large role in preventing future breakouts of bacne. Even if you're not currently experiencing a breakout, you can keep using the same over-the-counter treatments, including medicated lotions and sprays, on a daily basis. Doing so will keep your pores clean and prevent the build-up of bacteria and dead skin cells, increasing your chances of remaining blemish-free.
Back acne can cause embarrassment and low self-esteem, but you don't need to live with pimples on your back. Treating bacne is a simple matter of trying various remedies, whether over-the-counter, prescription, or treatments at a skin clinic until you find the best fit for you.
Know that with the right treatment, some persistence, and a little patience, you can rid yourself of back acne for good.