Blackheads and acne on the face? Troublesome. Blackheads and acne on your back? Even more so.
Unfortunately, your face isn’t the only place where blemishes can appear. It can affect any body part that has oil-secreting glands or hair follicles. That includes your back, chest, and even your shoulders. Back acne — or “bacne” as it is often called — can be particularly irksome.
What causes blackheads and acne on your back?
Like your face, your back has many sebaceous glands that secrete oil (sebum). Sebum, along with bacteria and dead skin cells, can build up in the hair follicles on your back and clog them. Now when a plugged follicle is located on the surface of your skin and is open, it forms a blackhead. The black-tip appearance of blackheads is the result of the reaction between sebum and the air.
On the other hand, back acne occurs when a clogged follicle eventually breaks down and forms an acne lesion.
Common causes of blackheads and acne on the back include:
- Hormones – For teenagers, hormonal changes that occur during puberty are often the cause of acne. But for women past puberty, breakouts can be linked to hormonal changes during menstruation and pregnancy.
- Genetics – If your parents and family members are acne-prone, you may be as well.
- Medications – Acne can develop as a side effect of some medicines such as certain antidepressants.
- Sweat – Sweat, especially if it’s trapped under tight clothing, can worsen acne.
Preventing blackheads and acne
Some factors that predispose you to develop back acne, like hormones and genetics, are out of your control but there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of getting them.
Here are some things you can do to prevent blackheads and acne from forming on your back:
1. Limit your use of oil-based skin care products.
Try not to use moisturizers, sunscreens, and any other oily products on your back, which can lead to back acne flare-ups. Also, look for products that are labeled non-comedogenic, meaning that they are formulated so as to not cause clogged pores.
2. Avoid certain medications.
Some drugs such as androgens (male hormones) and lithium are known to increase the chances of developing acne. If you happen to be taking any of these medications, talk with your doctor about possible alternatives.
3. Reduce pressure on your back.
Do you carry backpacks or wear sports equipment like shoulder pads? Prolonged pressure and friction from these objects on your back can cause acne mechanica, a certain type of back acne breakout. Try not wearing them for a while, or wear a clean cotton shirt under it that allows your skin to breathe.
4. Practice good skincare.
Cleansing is a very important step when you’re prone to breakouts and this also applies to bacne. Wash your skin with a gentle cleanser and always take a shower after you exercise. Avoid excessive sun exposure as well.
Treatments for blackheads and acne on the back
If you have bacne, try an over-the-counter treatment that contains acne-fighting ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid, and sulfur.
Another way you can get rid and further prevent blackhead causes is by taking Lactoferrin + d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate + Zinc (Lactezin). Lactoferrin, combined with Vitamin E and Zinc can help treat different types of acne breakouts, including blackheads in as early as 2 weeks with regular use (results may vary).
Lactoferrin + d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate + Zinc is the generic name of Lactezin. If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.
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