Treatment for Back Acne
Acne is an inflammatory disease that leaves red spots on your skin. Apart from the face, the back is the most common area for acne breakouts. Two-thirds of people who suffer from acne also get it on their backs. Back acne affects 20 percent of all men and, while less common, is also prevalent in women. A range of treatments for back acne are available, from gentle cleansing regimes to antibiotics and steroid creams.
Acne occurs when your skin's sebaceous glands produce too much oil, resulting in pimples, pustules, whiteheads, blackheads or cysts. The bodily area with the most sebaceous glands is the face, but the glands on your back are bigger, explains acne.org. This means they produce more oil and cause larger breaks in your skin, leaving your back more exposed to cysts and larger spots. Back acne is often referred to as "bacne" and is painful as well as irritating and unsightly.
You will not get back acne until puberty, when your glands mature. When your glands produce too much oil, that oil can clog up your skin follicles, preventing dead skin from escaping. This allows bacteria to breed and acne breakouts to occur. When clothing is warm and tight against the skin, acne may thrive, according to the University of Michigan's Health Service, because tight clothing can also trap dead skin cells. Tight clothing or a backpack may aggravate back acne by spreading the bacteria, causing fresh outbreaks. Theories for the cause of back acne are stress, genetics, hormonal imbalance and a poor diet, although none of these possibilities have been proven beyond all doubt.
Wearing loose, cotton clothing may help prevent the spread of back acne. Carrying a handheld bag instead of wearing a backpack is advised. You also need to wash regularly and immediately after exercise. Aim to shower twice a day. Any more may dry and irritate the skin on your back. Use an antibacterial soap. Exfoliate your back with a sugar-based scrub a few times a week. Do not wear shirts more than once and keep bed sheets clean. If you sweat a lot, wipe your back with a soft towel regularly. Try not to scratch your back as this will exacerbate the problem.
Because the skin on your back is tougher and denser than the skin on your face, treatment can be problematic. It is also a hard place to reach. Treatments differ depending on the severity of your back acne. If you have mild back acne and washing regularly is not enough to control it, topical treatments sold in drugstores may kill bacteria, dry oil and remove dead skin cells, according to the Mayo Clinic. If over-the-counter treatments are too weak, a doctor may prescribe a topical cream for moderate cases of acne. In severe cases, Accutane may be prescribed. This medication comes in pill form and is derived from Vitamin A. Accutane has the power to shrink oil glands, but comes with serious side effects, such as dry eyes and lips, aching joints, itching and blurred vision. If your back acne leads to scars or cysts, you may be suitable for laser treatment or surgery, but consult your doctor before scheduling any procedures.
If you get red marks or irritations on your back, check with your doctor to ensure you are suffering from acne and not eczema, as this requires a completely different treatment.
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