As if regular ol’ on-the-face acne wasn’t headache enough, the prospect of it popping up on your back can be downright traumatic – especially when the season of swimsuits and backless dresses is finally upon us. But a few lifestyle changes can keep below-the-nape blemishes in check.
Bacne isn’t all that different from the sort that erupts up on the face. It’s caused by the same combination of oil production, sticky skin cells around your follicles, and P. acnes bacteria on the skin.
The obvious culprit is sweaty gym clothing. Tight-fitting workout garb is a recipe for disaster. The fabrics aren’t as breathable as run-of-the-mill cotton, they rub up against skin, and they’re usually drenched in perspiration. Mix all that together with dirt, oils and bacteria, and that’s a surefire recipe for a breakout.
A less-obvious transgressor is friction. That could mean a backpack worn on a sweltering day, or simply spending a lot of time in a car with one’s back pressed up against a leather seat. Additionally, make sure to keep hair styling products away from your back and neck area, and always run water over your back after rinsing out shampoo or conditioners. Foods with high glycemic indexes – think sugars and starches – and stress-induced hormonal surges also contribute to breakouts.
To combat bacne, make sure to shower immediately after working out or any activity that causes you to sweat. A body wash containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid is optimal and able to cover large swathes of skin. Let the wash sit on the skin for 30 seconds before washing it off because it needs time to work on the skin. A handled back scrubber can helps you exfoliate pore-clogging skin cells and gets the body wash to hard-to-reach places.
Add on topical treatments like zit-zapping back sprays or blemish control wipes. And for the really stubborn blemishes, consider an in-office bacne peel or a backcial – basically a facial for your body.