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It’s estimated back acne affects more than half of acne sufferers.

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While facial acne usually gets most of the attention, we all know pimples can crop up practically anywhere on the body — including the chest, arms, temples, breasts and the back.
Back acne — also known as ‘bacne’ — is a particularly frequent type of body acne, which can appear in numerous places on the back but often around the upper back and shoulders. Yep, it’s pretty darn frustrating, however, it’s also very common — it’s estimated back acne affects more than half of acne sufferers [1].
Dealing with a bout of back acne, or been experiencing it long-term and just plain sick of it? It’s time to say bye-bye to bacne. For. Good.

What is back acne?

You might’ve already guessed from the name, but back acne is acne that appears anywhere on the back. It might be on your upper back and shoulders, at the base of your neck, around where your bra strap or backpack sits, or further down towards your middle or lower back.
Back acne can affect almost anyone but is most often experienced by boys and men, starting around puberty. It also appears in varying degrees. It could crop up as just a few spots around your shoulders, or it may appear as deeper pimples that cover almost the entire back.

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What are the different types of acne that can occur on the back?

There’s no single type of acne that crops up on the back; instead, back acne can surface as any – or a mix – of the following:

  • Whiteheads: Small white bumps.
  • Blackheads: Tiny black dots, which are actually oxidised sebum and not dirt — contrary to popular belief!
  • Papules: Little bumps across the skin that don’t have defined centres.
  • Nodules and cysts: Deeper forms of acne whereby bumps are larger and often painful.

You might also experience acne scarring if pimples don’t heal properly. While acne scarring can be a little challenging to get rid of, the good news is you can still work to fade it, even if it’s on your back. Here are our tips on how to treat acne scarring.

Is it normal to have back acne?

Back acne is easily one of the most common types of acne. While facial pimples are typically experienced by almost anyone with acne, it’s estimated that back acne impacts over half of acne sufferers.
And, while it can be really, really frustrating dealing with back acne, you might find some comfort in knowing that it’s pretty prevalent.

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What causes acne on the back?

TWhy does back acne happen? As with your face, your back has numerous glands that secrete an oily substance known as sebum. This substance helps protect and moisturise your skin.
The problem, though, is that sometimes your body produces just a little too much of the stuff. When sebum (along with dirt, dead skin cells, sweat and bacteria) gets stuck in your pores[2] and accumulates, it can lead to acne.
Back acne in particular is caused by a bunch of different things, including:

  1. Sweating: When sweat gets trapped in the pores on your back, it can easily clog them. This is often the case among people who play sports or work out a lot.
  2. Friction: If clothing or other items like backpacks rub against the skin — particularly sweaty skin — it can make acne worse.
  3. Genetics: Family history plays a big part in whether or not back acne develops.
  4. Hormones: Hormonal changes often lead to acne on various parts of the body, particularly in times of significant change such as puberty, being on your period and pregnancy.
  5. Stress: Hormonal changes often lead to acne on various parts of the body, particularly in times of significant change such as puberty, being on your period and pregnancy.

You might also experience acne scarring if pimples don’t heal properly. While acne scarring can be a little challenging to get rid of, the good news is you can still work to fade it, even if it’s on your back. Here are our tips on how to treat acne scarring.

How to get rid of back pimples

OK, now that we’ve covered the what, why and how of back acne, it’s time to cut to the good stuff: how to get rid of the acne.
Eliminating acne from your back may not be as straightforward as targeting your face — simply because it can be really darn hard to see what you’re doing back there — but it’s definitely not impossible.
There are several different ways to address back acne, ranging from at-home solutions to prescription treatments. And, the best part is, you won’t be required to bend your body into all sorts of funky shapes trying to reach a pesky pimple in the centre of your back.

Use an exfoliating cleanser

Unfortunately, your usual shower gel might not cut it in the fight against back acne. Instead, a cleanser with acne-busting ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide is a better choice, particularly if you’re only experiencing mild back acne.
Both ingredients are very effective when trying to treat acne. Salicylic acid is beneficial because it exfoliates the skin, meaning it can help dissolve the dead skin cells that lead to clogged pores [3]. The result is improved skin texture and pores that appear smaller.
Benzoyl peroxide is another skincare superhero that’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and able to dissolve keratin, AKA the protein that plugs your pores and prevents them from draining.
Luckily, these kinds of ingredients are very easily purchased over the counter. You can usually find them in all kinds of OTC acne treatments, including body washes and cleansers. Our Salicylic Acid Foaming Wash is a great one that contains a bunch of powerful ingredients to combat acne and work to unclog pores. Plus, it can be used on all parts of the body.

Go for a prescription body acne treatment

If you’ve got moderate or deeper, more severe forms of acne on your back, a prescription body acne treatment may be the way to go. It can be topical or oral, but regardless of the type of treatment you choose, each is very effective at beating back acne.
You can chat to your doctor about your options if you’d like to take the prescription route, particularly if you’ve got severe acne that needs a more aggressive plan of attack. They may refer you to a dermatologist for an assessment.
Alternatively, for mild to moderate back acne, Software’s prescription acne treatment is a stellar option. Our solutions are developed by dermatologists and draw on several different medical-grade ingredients designed to fight acne, plus each treatment is tailored to meet your skin’s unique needs.

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FAQ Question 1

Software’s Acne Kit addresses acne at all stages to fight breakouts, balance sebum, and repair your skin barrier for a clearer complexion.
Designed to target acne from all angles, the topical and oral treatments in the acne set feature Software’s distinct dermatologist-approved formulas that work to gently slough acne-prone skin, whilst calming ingredients repair the skin’s layers and protect precious cells from acne aggravators.
A complete clearing kit for acne-prone skin, the Breakout Bundle promises visibly clearer, healthier skin after the first use.

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