Back Acne

Like most pimples, “bacne” (obviously found on the back of the body, arms, lets, or butt) shows up with clogged pores. Back acne is usually difficult because of the number of sebaceous glands on the back (leading to more sebum, which leads to more clogs). This overactive sebum cloggin’ (and the resulting pimples) could be due to stress, genetics, witchcraft, a curse, or a were-pimple bite. Naw, I’m kidding. The cause could be any one of the above, so the best course of action is to focus on treatment of the symptoms.

Best Ways to Get Rid of Back Acne

Bathe regularly

If you are like me and sweat alot, you’ll want to bathe regularly to get rid of back acne. You’ll want to shower after you sweat, otherwise the sweat gets trapped against the skin…leading to clogs. No, not the wooden dancing shoes. The bacne kind. You’ll also want to try use an anti-bacterial soap when you wash, keepin’ things nice ‘n squeaky.


Loads of folks worry about exfoliation, especially once they see redness on their face. However, because the skin on the back is thicker you’re safe on the back. Try a bunch of different ways to scrape off that dead skin, and go with what works for you. Be sure to watch for making your back acne worse, or irrtation in general. Scrubs work for some folks, but maybe use a sugar scrub instead of a salt one. It’s a bit more mild. If you do notice reactions, cut down the exfoliation times per week.

Use medicated topical creams

Use either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Don’t use both, there could be some pretty negative consequences if you do so. If you go with benzoyl, go for one that’s at least 2.5% strength. Put these creams on your back a couple times a day, and let it dry. You may want to use a moisturizer afterwards. Always read the ol’ labels for exact instructions.

Do laundry

Whatever you wear or touch with your back (t-shirts, towels, pillow cases, sheets, bras, etc. etc. etc.) needs a cleanin’. The main point here is that the dirty/sweaty/filty stuff attracts bacteria. Bacteria loves to cause acne in general, sooo, yeah. Clean it up. Try finding soap that is hypoallergenic. You may have to start doing laundry more often, but you know what they say about cleanliness, godliness, and the lack of back acne.

See a dermatologist

If nothing is working for you, and you’ve given it a few weeks to percolate through your system and habits, you may want to check with a professional. They can be sure it’s bacne and not an infection (for instance, a relative of mine had a staph infection in his skin). The dermatologist will help you get rid of your back acne.

Back Acne and Tight Clothing

Dependent on what types of clothes you wear, you may be one of many who think that tight clothes cause back acne. Think of it this way: tight clothing can exacerbate the problem of having a bacteria friendly environment (remember what we said above about sweat). Consequently, you may either want to change more often, wear looser clothing, or things of that nature. Anything that will help you do your daily business without helping a back acne environment will help.

Professional Treatments for Back Acne

There are any number of forms that Back acne takes, but usually it’s painful and it’s deep in cyst form. They’re tough to treat, and they scar. If you’ve got back acne like this, check with your dermatologist. They’ll prescribe something like Retin-A or another antiobiotic. They may aslo try something like Accutane (an isotretinoin). You’ll want to be sure that you talk with your doctor, though, as there are some issues with birth defects while on the medication. If after you’ve tackled the acne, you want to take on some cosmetic surgery to deal with discoloration or scars, your dermatologist is the best person to discuss that with.

Natural Remedies for Back Acne

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil, which comes from the “paperbark tree” in Australia, has long been used to treat skin problems. If used consistently, the oil could help destroy bacteria that can cause serious breakouts of back acne. Think of it as an alternative to benzoyl peroxide and apply it topically; be aware, however, that your skin may find tea tree oil to be irritating. Maple Holistics Tea Tree Oil from Amazon.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been known to help relieve back acne. It can kill off bacteria, and it can also absorb oils by balancing the skin’s pH (measure of acidity or alkalinity) levels. Start off with a small concentration of the vinegar and mix with water — try eight parts water to one part vinegar to begin with. Apply directly to your back. Gradually work toward half vinegar/half water, but watch your skin closely for signs of irritation. Amazon sells Apple Cider Vinegar, if you can’t find it locally.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is to treat the symptoms of the acne, as it won’t get rid of it. You can reduce a lot of the irritations with the cooling moisturizer, either from the plant directly or in a moisturizer gel. Your choice there.

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About the Author

Julianne Ragland

Julianne Ragland