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Remedies for Acne on Back

Remedies for Acne on Back Remedies for Acne on Back Remedies for Acne on Back

Back acne can be particularly annoying because it's so hard to reach and may rub against clothing or straps. Unfortunately, the back is one of the oilier parts of the body, and the skin there is prone to acne, so treatment is necessary. Remedies for back acne vary, depending on the type and severity of the outbreaks.


Keeping your skin clean is the first step in treating acne, but just as with acne on the face, don't overdo it. Shower once or twice a day and wash your skin with a gentle cleanser targeted toward oily, acne-prone skin--try a cleanser containing salicylic acid. Avoid scrubbing, which can aggravate acne, and be gentle when drying your back as well. Pat the skin dry rather than rubbing aggressively with a towel.

Topical Treatments

Topical treatments are usually a good first step in taking care of acne. Over-the-counter products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid are common acne remedies. Benzoyl peroxide can bleach clothing, so wear an old shirt after applying it to the back, warns the American Academy of Dermatology. Since the skin on the back is thicker than that on the face, the acne on your back may be more resistant. If this is the case, your dermatologist may prescribe something stronger, such as Retin-A.

Oral Remedies

If your back acne is not responding well to topical treatments, a dermatologist may prescribe an oral treatment. Oral antibiotics, which work by killing bacteria and reducing inflammation, may be used in addition to or instead of topical treatments. Isotretinoin, also known as Accutane, may be prescribed in cases of severe inflammatory acne that doesn't respond to other treatment. Isotretinoin can cause birth defects, so women in the United States must take a pregnancy test before it will be prescribed, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. Oral contraceptives are often an effective remedy for acne in women.

Reduced Friction

Acne mechanica, a common form of acne on the back, is caused by heat, covered skin and constant friction on the skin. It's often found in soldiers carrying heavy backpacks or weapons in humid zones, or athletes wearing shoulder pads or straps. Wearing a cotton T-shirt under a uniform not only reduces friction but absorbs excess perspiration. Shower immediately after activity and wash any clothing or straps that rub on the skin.

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