The first thing to keep in mind about how to get rid of back acne is that the pimples you get on your face are not like them. Yes, it’s similar in that you get incredibly confused and angry and emotional about it (especially if you’re on steroids) because the pores clog and bacteria are often to blame. But in that it comes with its own rulebook for handling and avoiding it it is distinct.
Bacne, thankfully, is very treatable and very preventable. And I didn’t know all the ways to hold it at bay until I received the answers from a bunch of board-certified dermatologists. In terms of back acne, we got the advice they always send their own patients, and now they have your back, too: here’s how to get rid of back acne.
Start with a body wash of benzoyl peroxide (5-10%):
Benzoyl peroxide body wash was cited by almost all dermatologists as their top recommendation for bacne clearing, as it actively destroys the bacteria that cause you to break out back there. But be warned: it will stain your clothes and sheets, so when done, scrub thoroughly and maybe wear a white t-shirt to bed afterwards.
Using zinc-packed dandruff shampoos as an alternative:
Pityrosporum folliculitis or ‘back acne’ is an overgrowth of a yeast usually found on our skin. It is beneficial to use antifungal shampoos and body wash, everyday for 10 days, and weekly for maintenance.
Using a brush to get back there:
For your acne-fighting body wash, or even a body brush, use a long-handled cleaning sponge. They thoroughly clean your back in the tub.
Try a back mask:
For 5-10 minutes, you can also keep your 10 per cent benzoyl peroxide cleanser on like a mask. I would never do it on the face, but it can be taken up by the back, and it helps to leave it on longer.
Try out a peel in a pinch:
I suggest a chemical peel if it’s really bad and a person has a major event coming up. I suggest doing an over the counter one or using peel pads if there’s no time for an in-office one.
Eat more anti-inflammatory foods
Increasing foods that fight inflammation can be a great addition to your acne regimen, such as green leafy vegetables, fish, and tomatoes.
Omega 3s are good. Sugar are bad:
Low glycemic index choices (meaning low in simple carbohydrates) have good results. So the omega-3s that we can find in salmon, avocado, and walnuts are increasing.
Frequently wash your towels and clothes:
Washing your towels regularly or switching to an antimicrobial fabric is necessary so that bacteria do not settle down and then begin to be transferred back to the skin. Ditto for your clothing, especially everything in which you sweat: it becomes a bacterial breeding ground.
Never soak in a sweat of your own:
Shortly after a workout, getting in the shower and rinsing off will help minimize the effects of damp clothing discomfort from sweat and occlusion.
Wipe yourself clean if you can’t shower:
Often you’re in a rush, or you want to postpone the shower until you get home. If so, use a wipe to preserve clean pores and remove some of the urgency of showering (though you should still do so soon).
Wicking fabrics with sweat, always:
As they have full cooling and a dry fit, use wicking fabrics when you work out. Yes, cotton is breathable, but it holds the moisture next to your skin to create an environment that is beautifully hospitable.
Folliculitis are often seen in professional athletes. They would confuse the bumps with acne on their thighs, lower back, and groin, when they may actually become infected with hair follicles. Compression is a recent trend that may lead to this phenomenon. Hair follicles can be blurred and irritated by tight yoga pants, compression shorts and sleeves, and you can further raise the risk of hair follicle infection by reusing clothes without washing.
Whey is bad:
STOP shakes and bars of whey protein! Whey protein supplements have been associated with acne in the back. The acne clears up for certain patients after the supplements are stopped. Consider converting to a protein that is non-whey.
This goes without saying, but for steroids, say no:
Eliminate from your fitness routine anabolic steroids. Not only can they cause ‘roid rage,’ but intense, scarring acne drives them.
If, despite these measures, your back acne is progressing, talk to a pro, get a board certified dermatologist. For the most serious cases of nodule-cystic acne, the dermatologist may provide more intensive care, including prescription creams, short-term antibiotics, hormone therapy, extractions, peels, laser treatments, and even isotretinoin, to stop acne until it scars. Acne-imposters such as steroid folliculitis, fungal folliculitis and hidradenitis suppurativa may also be identified by a board-certified dermatologist.
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