Back Acne Treatment

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. Acne typically appears at puberty and affects most people until it resolves itself around the age of 20. For some individuals, however, acne can persist into adulthood. The severity of acne can vary from a few small spots to large clusters of acne pustules. If acne is left untreated, it may cause dark spots and permanent scars. While acne is most common on the face, it can also occur on the back, commonly referred to as back acne or 'bacne.'

Get the help you need to treat back acne with the assistance of a dermatologist with Gainesville Dermatology Aesthetic Center. We offer a complete range of skin care services designed to help patients look and feel their best. Contact us today to schedule a dermatologist appointment and to learn more about our available treatments.

What Is Back Acne?

Like facial skin, skin on the back has numerous sebaceous glands that secrete sebum, an oily substance naturally found in the skin. People who are prone to acne have oil-producing glands that are particularly sensitive to certain hormones. Back acne is a skin condition that affects the pores. Pores have a hair follicle and sebaceous (oil) gland at the bottom and an opening at the top of the pore. Sebum flows from below up to the skin's surface to provide moisture to the skin. As it flows up to the surface, it carries with it dead skin cells and debris out of the pore. When oil, dead skin cells, and other debris become trapped in the pore, it forms a plug, clogging the pore. The trapped bacteria leads to inflammation.

What Causes Back Acne?

Back acne commonly arises from buildup in the pores of excess sebum, bacteria, and dead skin cells, causing redness, inflammation, and blemishes — similar to facial acne but on the back. The upper back contains more oil glands than other areas of the body, making it a prime target for acne to arise. Oily skin, blackheads, whiteheads, red spots, yellow pus-filled pimples, and acne scars are all characteristic of acne on the back. Acne on the back can also be triggered by hormonal changes, which is why teenagers commonly experience it, and why patients may notice that acne arises during their menstrual cycle or pregnancy. What's more, daily habits like clothing choices and diet may also play a role. Back acne can affect anyone, regardless of age or skin type.

Types Of Back Acne

There are two main back acne types: non-inflammatory and inflammatory acne.

Non-Inflammatory Acne

The first type of back acne is non-inflammatory, characterized by blackheads and whiteheads. Blackheads are clogged pores that remain open on the skin's surface. The medical term for blackheads is open comedones. Whiteheads, also referred to as closed comedones, are clogged pores that remain closed at the skin's surface.

Inflammatory Acne

Back acne may also be inflammatory. This type of acne includes pimples, nodules, and cysts. Pimples are raised, tender, red or pink bumps. When they don't contain pus, they are called papules. When they contain pus and have a white tip, they are pustules. Nodules are large, solid, painful bumps under the skin. Cysts are pus-filled nodules that are soft to the touch.

How To Get Rid Of Back Acne

Several treatment options are available, including topical creams, acne laser treatments, oral medications, and skin treatments, to help patients get rid of acne located on the back. For more information about our skin care services, contact our office today.

Topical Creams

Topical acne creams are among the most common types of back acne treatment products. Most of these treatments involve applying topical medications directly to the skin. These are typically the first choice for treating mild-to-moderate acne. A range of products are available, including prescription products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Patients should apply the medication to the whole affected part of the back, not just the spots, usually once or more per day. The type of treatment may result in clear skin within 1–2 months or more.

Acne Laser Treatment

Lasers for acne and other types of light therapy can reduce the levels of acne on the skin and help reduce the appearance of acne scars and other vascular imperfections. Fraxel® is a revolutionary laser skin resurfacing treatment that permanently blasts away imperfections, including acne scars and pigmentation issues, from the skin without side effects. Treatments with the VBeam® Laser, a pulsed-dye laser (PDL) or vascular laser, can help improve the appearance of superficial pigmentation discoloration, such as photodamage, hyperpigmentation, and acne scars.

Oral Medication

A dermatologist with our practice may prescribe oral medications to patients with severe acne, including cysts and nodules on the back. Treatment with oral medication may include antibiotics to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation. Antibiotics may be prescribed in conjunction with a topical medication. Birth control pills and other medications that affect hormones may be prescribed to reduce the amount of oil the skin produces. For more information about your options for treating acne with oral medications, contact our office.

Skin Procedures

Our dermatologists may recommend patients receive a chemical peel to treat blackheads and papules. Acne drainage and extraction may be recommended in order to remove large acne cysts that do not respond to medications and other forms of acne treatment. Depending on the severity of a patient's back acne, their dermatologist may suggest steroid injections. Our skin care specialists may likewise recommend other types of treatments or suggest a customized treatment plan tailored to the patient's specific needs for treating acne and acne scars.

How To Prevent Back Acne

In some cases, acne may not be completely preventable, but there are a number of different tips, including the following, which may help you prevent the occurrence and severity of back acne. For more information about how to best reduce the risk of acne breakouts, schedule a consultation with Gainesville Dermatology Aesthetic Center.

  • Wash your skin after sweating
  • Don't use products that irritate your skin
  • Avoid scrubbing areas affected by acne
  • Do not pop, pick, or squeeze spots, as this may lead to acne spreading and scarring
  • Stay out of the sun and avoid tanning beds, as sun-damaged skin is more prone to acne
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing, especially during exercise
  • Consult our dermatologist about using the right skin care products for your skin's needs
  • Wash your bedding and sheets once or twice each week
  • See a board-certified dermatologist for treatment

Back Skin Treatments

In addition to back acne treatments, our dermatologists and skin care professionals offer several additional skin treatments targeted at improving the health and appearance of the skin on the back. We offer back hair removal and electrolysis; tattoo removal; and CoolSculpting®, among other skin care services and procedures. To learn more about our skin care services for the back, body, and face, contact our office.