Back Acne: Tips for Clearer Summer Skin

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Medical aesthetician Jayme Bashian with Simply Post Aesthetic Spa Explains How to Treat and Prevent Body Acne

Jayme Bashian

Acne is the same wherever it appears. But acne on the back (“bacne”) can be particularly stubborn to eliminate and hard to prevent. As with acne on the face, back acne is most common in teens and young adults, in the years when the sebaceous glands are most active. “The sebaceous glands produce sebum, or oil,” says Jayme Bashian, director and lead medical aesthetician of Simply Posh Aesthetic Spa. “The characteristic pimples, blackheads and cysts of acne are caused by oil and dead skin clogging the pores and attracting bacteria that can cause an infection. Back acne is more difficult to treat and prevent than facial acne because the pores on the back are larger and become clogged more easily. It is also harder to keep the skin free of irritating fabrics and, especially in the summertime, long hair.”

“Back acne is a source of considerable embarrassment and self-consciousness, especially among young people,” says Ms. Bashian. “We can provide immediate relief with TheraClearTM, an FDA-approved acne treatment that combines a gentle vacuum with a painless broadband light. TheraClear treatments work on all skin types, on mild to moderate inflammatory acne, and on pustular acne. There is little to no downtime and patients can resume activities immediately.”

Ms. Bashian provide their top tips for treating and preventing breakouts of mild to moderate back acne. More severe cases may require the care of a dermatologist.

Tips for Clearing and Preventing Back Acne

  • Keep your back clean: Poor hygiene won't cause back acne but good hygiene will help prevent it and clear blemishes. Shower daily and especially right after exercise or any activity that generates perspiration. But don't overdo it: Don't clean the skin more than twice a day, don't scrub hard, don't use very hot water, and don't use harsh anti-bacterial soaps. Shower or bathe in warm water, using a gentle body wash or cleanser that is non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores; look for one with acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Exfoliate – gently – to remove pore-clogging dead skin cells no more than twice a week using a soft sponge and a mild scrub.
  • Keep clean fabric next to the skin: Always change into clean underwear and clothes before and after exercising, and put a clean towel on exercise machines and mats at the gym. Exercise increases circulation and generates heat, which causes increased production of sebum, and perspiration and bacteria will aggravate acne. Avoid synthetic fabrics; choose lightweight, loose-fitting clothes that allow the skin to breathe and perspiration to evaporate. Change bed linens twice a week to keep sloughed-off skin cells and oil away from your back.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure: Contrary to popular wisdom, the sun will not dry pimples or clear up acne. In fact, the sun damages cells and weakens the skin, making it more vulnerable to blemishes. And while perspiration cools the body and cleanses the skin of dirt, dead cells and excess oil, if those materials are left on the skin as perspiration dries, they will clog the pores and cause breakouts. Use facial sunscreen, which is formulated to avoid clogging pores, on any part of the body that is prone to breakouts; sunscreens intended for the body lack that protection.
  • Keep wet hair off your back: Conditioner and hair-styling products left on the hair are a frequent cause of blemishes on the back. After shampooing and conditioning in the shower, pull long hair forward and wash your back last to keep the residue of hair products off your back. Similarly, don't leave wet hair on your back after swimming. Don't use on your body a towel that has been used on your hair.
  • What about diet? Many people believe that certain foods – most notably, chocolates and fatty or oily foods – cause or exacerbate breakouts. While there is no scientific evidence that this is the case, Ms. Bashian suggests that you avoid any food that you think makes your acne worse. “A healthy, well-balanced diet is as good for your skin as it is for your overall well-being,” she says. “You shouldn't have to make major changes to your diet to clear up acne.”

“Back acne is troublesome, especially at this time of year,” says Ms.Bashian. “But there are many effective treatments that, along with good personal habits, can eliminate or reduce its occurrence. Everyone can enjoy the skin-baring joys of summer!”

TheraClear is a trademark of the Theravant Corporation.

Simply Posh Aesthetic Spa offers personal care to address a wide array of skin care concerns including skin rejuvenation, body contouring, cellulite reduction therapy, anti-aging, and laser hair removal. Simply Posh is under the medical guidance of Advanced Dermatology’s board-certified dermatologists, cosmetic, laser, and plastic surgeons.,

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Melissa Chefec
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