With the hot weather upon us, baring our backs and shoulders brings some relief from the heat. For those of us who suffer from back acne and blemishes, fret not. The right skin care and treatments can help you clear up your skin.
Why does back acne occur?
The skin on our back is thicker than facial skin, and contains sweat glands and sebaceous glands that produce sebum (oil). If the glands are clogged by excess sebum, dead skin cells are not shed properly, creating a vicious cycle that results in inflammation and acne. Back acne can worsen due to other factors such as hormonal changes, stress, certain lifestyle activities, and diet.
How to eradicate back acne?
Here are some simple ways to prevent acne breakouts on your back:
1. If you exercise, it is best to shower as soon as possible, to clear sweat and excess sebum before they can clog pores. If you are unable to shower immediately after a workout, you can wipe your back with a clean wet towel, and change out of your sweaty clothes.
2. Wear lighter, breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics such as cotton and linen.
3. Avoid carrying anything that rubs against your back, as friction from clothing and/or bag straps rubbing repeatedly on the skin can cause acne. A clue to this would be if the pimples are distributed over specific areas of the shoulders where the bag strap sits. Use a handheld bag instead of a backpack.
4. Choose the right skincare products. Use gentle, oil-free, and fragrance-free cleansers and moisturisers instead of soap or other harsh antibacterial products which may worsen acne. Also resist the temptation to pick at pimples, as it may result in scarring.
5. Use an acid-based exfoliating lotion to keep pores clear. Healthsprings’ Oily & Acne Lotion is formulated to treat pimples, reduce oiliness, and prevent sebum buildup in pores. Our medical grade skincare products are available at our clinics and online.
For more severe cases of back acne, prescription medication may be necessary. Large and painful acne cysts or nodules that are not resolving may benefit from antibiotics and/or steroid injections to treat infection, reduce the ongoing inflammation, and avoid scarring.
Chemical peel treatments exfoliate dead skin cells and clear out sebum in clogged pores. This helps to treat inflamed pimples, reduce acne scarring and pigmentation, and prevent further breakouts.
Laser treatments reduce oiliness of the skin, and are also beneficial in reducing inflammation, redness, and acne scars. These treatments complement your skin care regimen, as they act on the deeper layers of the skin which creams and lotions cannot reach.
If you suffer from back acne that is not improving on its own, consult our doctors early to discuss suitable treatments for you.