Although acne is very commonly noticed on the face, it can appear anywhere on the body that has oil-secreting hair follicles and glands. The most affected areas after the face are the back, shoulders and chest.
If you suffer with acne on your back, sometimes referred to as “bacne”, the chances are your acne would be diagnosed as moderate to severe. 60% of acne sufferers have back acne, which can be particularly irritating and troublesome because it is harder for you to personally treat with topical treatments compared to acne on the face and chest.
Whiteheads - Sometimes referred to as ‘closed comedones’, whiteheads develop when a plugged follicle stays closed and underneath your skin, and a small white bump is formed.
When a plugged follicle on the surface of your skin is open, it forms a blackhead instead of a white bump, and is also referred to as an ‘open comedone’. A common misconception is that the blackish tip in the blackhead is dirt inside the follice; it is actually due to a reaction between the sebum and the hair.
Cysts are larger than whiteheads or blackheads and are pus-filled acne lesions. Cysts can be incredibly painful and can sometimes scar the skin.
Papules are acne lesions that appear on the skin as small pink bumps. Papules are known to sometimes be tender to the touch.
Also referred to as a ‘pimple’, a pustule is a white or yellow pus-filled papule with a reddened base.
Nodules are acne lesions that have developed deep below the skin’s surface. Nodules can often be hard and painful.
When acne starts to heal, it will form like a reddish spot with a defined shape; this is called macule. Macules are very common during the ‘acne healing process’, but it your skin may appear puffy and inflamed.
Similarly to the face, the back has many glands or hair follicles that secrete an oily substance called sebum; these are known as ‘sebaceous glands’. Sebum builds up in the hair follicles, and along with bacteria and dead skin cells can clog up the glands, resulting in the formation of acne.
Environmental factors are also a possible cause of ‘bacne’, as they can contribute to (or trigger) a condition called ‘acne mechanica’. Acne mechanica occurs on areas of the body where the skin is more sensitive and susceptible to aggravation by friction, pressure or heat (such as the back). High humidity and pollution are also said to be factors in the causes of back acne; this is because they can provide the ideal conditions for clogged pores and acne breakouts.
Hereditary reasons can also be a contributing factor that causes back acne. If one (or both) of your biological parents suffered with acne, then you are in a much greater risk category for developing the causes and triggers that create the overproduction of sebum, and therefore lead to clogged hair follicles, which can result in ‘acne breakouts’.
It is important to seek advice from a medical professional to determine how best to treat your acne, but below are some of the common treatments used:
Natural Treatments for Back Acne
Some people find that gentle exfoliation can help to treat acne, but make sure you don’t scrub too hard and use an abrasive sponge.
Salt water can also be a natural treatment that can soothe acne lesions.
Zinc can be taken orally as part of your daily vitamins, or you can apply zinc directly to the acne; you can buy lotions or gels over the counter that contain zinc and should usually be applied twice daily.
Various prescriptions and antibiotics may be recommended by your doctor to treat your back acne.
Chemical peels can be an effective treatment for acne, but make sure these are administered by a well qualified and trained professional.
Cleansers that contain salicylic or glycolic acid can help to unclog the pores by exfoliating the top layers of your skin.
Although all types of acne will benefit from TheraClear treatment, the main types of acne that the TheraClear laser will target are the following, which are all common types of ‘Bacne’:
With TheraClear’s vacuum and blue light technology, the revolutionary treatment kills bacteria and suppresses the oil glands. TheraClear is the leading technology for treating acne.
Many patients that are treated with the TheraClear Acne System find that they can continue their home routines and other treatments as recommended by their doctor, practitioner or dermatologist. Although TheraClear is not usually combined with Accutane, it is often used in conjunction with other prescription medications.