by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

Bacne Hacks: What You Need to Know to Get Rid of Back Acne Once & For All

While bacne (a.k.a back acne) is totally normal, it may still leave you feeling insecure from time to time—especially when it’s 30 degrees out and you’d like to bare your back and shoulders.

Be it cystic acne or tiny red bumps, blemishes on the body can be extremely infuriating, not to mention stubborn. What’s the best way to treat it, especially if it crops up in hard-to-reach places?

Luckily, a few simple modifications to your daily routine can help you make bacne a thing of the past.

First, how does bacne form?

Acne tends to develop in areas with a high concentration of oil glands, like your face, chest and back. And just like regular old acne on your face, bacne is typically caused by a build-up of oils and dead skin cells in and around your pores. When bacteria, dead cells, and sebum build up, they can inflame the pores, leading to a breakout.

Because it’s linked to our hormones, you’ll have likely noticed it starting around the time your hormones kick in—usually when you start to go through puberty—and that some individuals with oily skin or suffer from hormonal disorders like PCOS are more prone to bacne.

Another probable cause is friction from clothing and accessories; since your back or shoulder is almost always covered by clothing or a bag strap, it can promote congestion and pimples.

Does working out actually contribute to bacne?

Contrary to popular belief, your spin class has less to do with your bacne than you think. Instead, take a look at your post-workout routine.

Sweat can mix with bacteria on the skin and dead skin cells, which can cause clogged pores. It’s this recipe that causes body acne, not your workout or the sweat itself.

It’s important to work out in clean clothing and to get out of your sweat-drenched clothes as soon as you’re done exercising. In fact, hopping in the shower after a workout is one of the best ways to tackle body acne. Keep a clean towel handy as well, to wipe the sweat away as you work out.

Here are more ways to get rid of back acne once and for all:

1. Change your sheets

Try your best to change your sheets about once a week or so. Dead skin cells and bacteria can accumulate on them throughout the night and irritate the skin, so it’s vital to wash your sheets every so often to avoid an unpleasant AM surprise.

2. Swap out your current body wash

That ultra-creamy, vanilla-scented shower gel may feel seriously luxe, but if it doesn’t contain zit-zapping ingredients, it’s probably not doing your bacne any good. Look for superstar ingredients like salicylic acid and glycolic acid to help prevent dead skin cells from building up and blocking your pores.

The good news is that many face washes can double as body wash. Reach for cleansers supercharged with benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil, sulfur or salicylic acid, as these solutions will mop up oil and kill acne-causing bacteria that block your pores. Apply your cleanser, let it sit and lather while you sing a tune, then rinse off!

You can also incorporate body scrubs to regularly exfoliate your back. This will help keep the follicles clean and clear, making them less prone to pimples.

3. Give your back extra love

This may seem like a no-brainer, but picking at your blemishes is more common than you think. Whatever you do, don’t pick, squeeze or pop your spots. This can introduce infection and lead to scarring.

Instead, opt for spot treatments. If you’re applying a topical product after you shower, let it dry before getting dressed; salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can both bleach clothing. You can also consider body sprays with acne-fighting ingredients for hard-to-reach spots.

4. See a dermatologist

If you’ve tried all of the above and your bacne is still stubbornly sticking around, it may be time to see your oral or topical prescription medications that may just do the trick.

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