Back Acne

Written by Serena Berger
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Cystic acne, or nodulocystic acne, is the most severe form of acne. If you have cystic acne, both pustules and red bumps are present, and it's likely that you have scars--not just after your acne is gone, but while you are still suffering from the condition, as well. You can get cystic acne anywhere, but the back is a particularly common location for this painful condition.

The Back Requires Unique Attention

The skin on the back is much tougher than skin on your face and it has thousands of sebaceous glands which are constantly producing oil. Back acne can get particularly bad because sweat has a tendency to form on and run down your back. Add to that the fact that many people wear clothing which keeps the back from airing out and carry bags like backpacks which are constantly causing irritating friction and grinding in pollutants, and it's sad but no surprise that eruptions of cystic acne on the back are so prevalent.

It's actually harder to treat serious back acne than it is to treat facial acne because you are denied some of the most powerful possibilities. Chemical peels or dermabrasion can be very effective on the face, but they have a lengthy recovery process which results from removing an entire layer of skin. The skin needs to be exposed in order to heal after one of these procedures, and it would be nearly impossible to undergo the recovery process if your entire back could not come into contact with clothing, bandages, or any surfaces around you for weeks.

It's also hard to implement other treatments because you can't see and generally can't reach your back. Cleansing is crucial, however, so get a liquid cleanser that's designed to treat acne, and apply it (gently!) with a cleansing pouf on a handle. You can use benzoyl peroxide to dry out the skin, and you may want to try a product with alpha hydroxy acids, too. Don't wear cotton when you can avoid it--it may seem like a kind fabric because it's soft, but it absorbs sweat and holds it against your body, which ultimately does more harm than good.


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