Dermatologist Dr. Allison Britt Kimmins, MD with Advanced Dermatology PC, Offers Tips on How to Put Back Acne Behind You

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Bye, Bye ‘Bacne’: Breaking Up with Back Acne Breakouts.

Dr. Allison Britt Kimmins

From wearing a tank top or strapless dress to feeling fully relaxed in moments of intimacy, the pimples that pop up on a person’s back can be disruptive and distressing.

Bacne. We know it’s there – even if the pimples don’t stare back at us when we face the mirror. “Acne may not be on our face, but it can still interfere with our quality of life,” notes dermatologist Dr. Allison Britt Kimmins with Advanced Dermatology PC. “From wearing a tank top or strapless dress to feeling fully relaxed in moments of intimacy, the pimples that pop up on a person’s back can be disruptive and distressing.”

Acne is this country’s number-one skin problem, affecting adults as well as teens: The American Academy of Dermatology reports that as many as 50 million of us deal with the condition, with pimples occurring as a result of genes, hormones, lifestyle, and environment.

Acne can form if our pores get clogged with the skin oil sebum and dead skin cells. Add in the skin bacteria P. acnes, and pimples typically become more severe.

“With ‘bacne,’” explains Dr. Britt Kimmins, “the conditions that lead to acne can be exacerbated by lifestyle and environment. Fortunately, there are a number of choices and products that can help people steer clear of back breakouts.”

With that in mind, Dr. Britt Kimmins offers the following suggestions.

6 Tips to Keep Your Back Acne-Free

1. Shower your back with TLC too: “Banishing ‘bacne’ means giving our back the same consideration we give to our face,” explains Dr. Britt Kimmins. “Wash with a gentle non-comedogenic cleanser twice a day using a soft wash cloth. Try to avoid using reusable back scrubbers as they can harbor bacteria. A product with salicylic acid can exfoliate to help keep pores unclogged. Just like with our face, overwashing and scrubbing are no-nos. That means staying away from abrasive back scrubbers. After washing, drying gently is also important: no back-and-forth towel rubs, as this increases irritation. Instead, use the towel to gently blot your back dry. Finally, it’s important to moisturize so that we don’t end up with dry skin, which is a signal to increase sebum production, potentially causing more acne. Using an oil-free gel moisturizer can be a good choice.”

2. Keep your workout clothes fit too! “Exercise habits can play a big role in our ability to keep ‘bacne’ at bay,’ advises Dr. Britt Kimmins. “We want to wear workout clothes that fit well: they shouldn’t be too tight or rub against our backs. This avoids irritation that can contribute to acne. Also, the material of our workout wear should minimize moisture build-up that might contribute to clogged pores. Finally, it’s important to wash our gear after each use to remove oil, sweat, and debris. This also minimizes the chance of clogged pores.”

3. Sweaty? Hit the shower asap! “Whether from a workout or the weather,” notes Dr. Britt Kimmins, “we should try to get our back sweat-free as soon as we can to prevent the clogged pores that can contribute to pimples. For on-the-go cleansing, consider cleansing towelettes.”

4. OTC products can help: “To reduce the presence of p. acnes bacteria,” says Dr. Britt Kimmins, “benzoyl peroxide can be used for widespread application, as treating the overall area around any breakout is important. If you’re using it in a wash, let it penetrate for two to five minutes before rinsing. If applying as a leave on product, remember that benzoyl peroxide can bleach fabrics that are not white so be careful not to wear colored clothes. Applying the retinoid adapalene after showering can make treatment more effective. A lotion applicator can help with reaching the back, but change the pads regularly to avoid an overgrowth of bacteria.”

5. Beware of hair! “We want to keep our back free from irritants,” notes Dr. Britt Kimmins. “This includes the hair care products that we lather with and use for styling. Remember to carefully check that products are non-comedogenic and oil free.”

6. Sugar may feed ‘bacne’: “Research,” states Dr. Britt Kimmins, “indicates that high-glycemic foods, like sweets, white rice, pasta, potatoes, dairy products and bread, can contribute to acne-related inflammation and sebum. Being mindful of our food choices can support pimple-free skin.” ”

“Front-row treatment,” concludes Dr. Britt Kimmins, “can put our worries of ‘bacne’ into the rear-view mirror.”

Bio: Allison Britt Kimmins, MD, MPH, is board-certified in dermatology.

Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York, New Jersey & PA) is one of the leading dermatology centers in the nation, offering highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology as well as plastic surgery and state-of-the-art medical technologies.

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