Back Acne & Tight Clothes
Acne doesn't just develop on a person's face. It can manifest almost anywhere on the body, including the back. Though a number of factors often contribute to the formation of acne, it's usually due to dead skin and excess oil of the sebaceous glands. But since the sebaceous glands on the back are much larger than those found on the face, back acne can be much worse than facial acne.
Acne is basically an inflammatory response of the body to a combination of dead skin and excess oil obstructing the pores. The dead skin and excess oil form a soft plug that causes inflammation of the hair follicle, resulting in the development of papules or pustules on the skin. When they develop on the back, it isn't uncommon for the sufferer to develop nodules or cysts, which are essentially larger versions of papules and pustules, respectively.
While dead skin and excess oil are the main contributing factors to back acne, this skin condition can be exacerbated by tight-fitting clothing. This is largely due to the fact that tight clothing not only catches dead skin and excess oil next to the skin, but it also traps a great deal of heat and moisture, according to the Mayo Clinic. The combination of these factors can clog the pores and irritate the skin, prompting the formation and exacerbation of back acne.
Much like facial acne, back acne can respond favorably to self-care measures. The Mayo Clinic recommends twice-daily washing of the back with a gentle cleanser, followed by the application of an over-the-counter medicated cream. Medicated creams containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid work well for this condition. You should also pay attention to the detergents used for washing your clothes. Avoid those containing harsh chemicals and fragrances, as they may irritate the skin.
If self-care fails to improve the condition of your back, you may need to seek medical intervention. Most doctors will prescribe a topical treatment containing prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, antibiotics or retinoids, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Follow your dermatologist's recommendations, but creams are typically applied once a day for best results.
If you're prone to back acne, you can take further steps to prevent nodules or cysts from forming. The most obvious method is to avoid wearing tightly fitting clothing. You should also make sure to wash all clothing after each wear, especially after sweating.
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