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Back Acne: Common Causes & How to Manage Back Acne


Back Acne: Common Causes & How to Manage Back Acne

Whether it’s the odd blemish here or there, or large clusters of pimples and blackheads, if you’re experiencing back acne, you’re not alone. While not as widely discussed as facial acne, back acne is a concern for 60% of those with acne1 – and the subject of 185 million google searches. A source of self-consciousness, as well as discomfort, it can affect quality of life for both adults and teens.

Body breakouts aren’t something you need to put up with, however, and there ARE some simple steps you can take to help turn your back on bacne. Our go-to guide investigates the causes of back acne and the best acne-fighting ingredients for the body (and face). It also provides a targeted skincare regime to not only address existing blemishes, but help break the breakout cycle – for clearer looking skin from top to toe.

What causes back acne?

With hormones being a known trigger, back and chest acne is common during puberty. However, like facial acne, body acne can continue into the 20s and 30s (and beyond). Other factors that can contribute to back acne include having an oily skin type, sweating, genetics, stress, certain medications, non-breathable fabrics, hygiene, excess sun exposure and lifestyle choices.

Like facial acne, back acne and chest/body acne can present as pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, red spots and cysts. It also develops in a similar way, with a process that begins weeks before a blemish appears on the skin’s surface.

To understand pimples, we need to look at pores. Each pore of the skin is the opening to a follicle, which contains a hair and a gland. It’s when these pores become blocked with excess oil, dead skin, dirt or bacteria that infection and inflammation can occur, resulting in a pimple.

How to manage back acne

As with facial acne, there are a series of steps that will assist with the management of back acne. Helping to clear current blemishes, and also helping prevent future breakouts.

Step 1 – Always practise good hygiene

Hygiene is an important part of treating back acne. This means showering after a gym or pool session to remove sweat, chlorine and bacteria, wearing breathable or sweat-wicking fabrics (particularly while working out) and changing towels and bedding regularly. It’s important to also resist touching or picking blemishes to prevent infection and scarring.

Step 2 ­– Avoid harsh, overly-drying ingredients and exfoliants

Exfoliation plays an important role in acne management, by increasing cellular turnover and removing dead skin cells and impurities that can clog pores. However, aggressive manual body scrubbing with a loofah or grainy scrub can cause further irritation, redness and sensitivity, while spreading bacteria. Overly drying skincare ingredients also signify to the skin that it needs to produce more oil, resulting in further problems for acne-prone skin. The best approach for back acne therefore involves a gentle chemical exfoliation, using ingredients such as salicylic acid and lipohydroxy acid (LHA).

Step 3 – Follow a targeted routine for oily, acne-prone skin

To manage back acne, seek out the ingredients above and stick to a targeted skincare routine for sensitive oily and acne-prone skin. As always, a consistent approach is required for best results.

La Roche-Posay’s NEW Solution for Back Acne Management

Formulated with 2% Salicylic Acid, LHA and Zinc, La Roche-Posay’s new Effaclar Micro-Peeling Gel Purifying Cleanser is scientifically proven to visibly reduce face, back and chest acne in one easy step.

Developed for sensitive acne-prone facial and body skin, the deeply purifying gel cleanser removes dead skin cells and excess sebum without irritation. Deeply unclogging pores, it also helps to control shine and reduce the appearance of blackheads and red marks.  

Free from microbeads, alcohol, soap and perfume, Effaclar Micro-Peeling Gel Purifying Cleanser addresses existing and future blemishes with four performance ingredients. Salicylic Acid and LHA provide gentle yet effective micro-exfoliation, unclogging pores from dead skin cells, and reducing excess sebum for smoother skin. Meanwhile, Zinc purifies skin and reduces sebum, while Glycerin provides hydration for comfortably cleansed skin.

Consumer trials resulted in a 51% reduction in facial blemishes in four weeks2 and 54% reduction in body acne3, while also demonstrating the cleanser’s continued efficacy on pimples and marks two weeks after application. 

Leaving skin soft, clean and refreshed, in a facial care routine for acne the Purifying Cleanser should ideally be followed with targeted moisturising care product, Effaclar Duo [+]. Unclogging pores, hydrating and mattifying, Effaclar Duo [+] contains Procerad to visibly reduce redness in just 12 hours4, with a visible reduction in imperfections in eight days5.

If you are experiencing back or chest acne, you may also wish to use Duo[+] on problem areas – In addition to the Purifying Cleanser – for further anti-acne action.

For further information on acne management and for any individual concerns or expert advice, please see your health care professional.

1. Everyday Health 2. N=52, 4 week study, applying 1x /day on face, counting lesions by the dermatologist.
3. N=35, results after 42 and 84 days of treatment, counting lesions by the dermatologist. 54% reduction at 84 days. 4. Instrumental test, results from 12h, 43 subjects. 5. Cosmetoclinical study - 38 subjects.

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