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The Essential Guide for Treating Bacne

That pesky acne sure does get around. Yes, you’ve done it all: you eat right, you sleep right, you work out. But you still find clogged powers and bumps on your back, even if acne was on the back of your mind. How can you get rid of it? Read on for Tropika Club’s very own Essential Guide for Treating Bacne.

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The Causes of Back Acne

Just like the pimples you get from your face, excess sebum is often the leading cause of bacne. Sebum is produced in the glands of your hair follicles, and it moves up from there to moisturise your skin and hair.

Over time, sebum and dead skin cells build up on your skin, blocking your skin pores and trapping bacteria on your skin. That’s how you get your pimples (not that everyone is a fan) because your body detects that as a foreign substance. So your body triggers inflammation when that happens as a defence.

This happens anywhere on your body where there’s hair. So that’s why you can get acne on your chest, thighs, and yes, that includes your back.

Bacne could be caused by the natural hormonal imbalance in your body as well. Pimples could appear when there’s an excess of androgen in your body, whatever gender you are. For women, bacne could also occur when you’re pregnant, starting your menstrual cycle, or if you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

Acne Mechanica

No, this is not some ill-conceived Netflix show. This is just another possible explanation behind your bacne. Acne Mechanica simply means acne that’s caused by the friction of materials against our skin. That’s also how you get buttne (don’t even get us started).

It could be your compression tights, sports bra, backpack, chairs, gym equipment. Those things rub against our backs, clogging our pores with sweat and debris.


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Acne Mechanica could be further exacerbated with movement and running. Plus, the slick, breathable gym clothes you wear are usually nonabsorbent. That impedes your body’s existing exfoliations process, letting the sweat, dead skin, and other foreign materials to continue clogging your pores.

Not only that, the sweat from your workouts alters the pH levels of your skin. That could cause further inflammation on your back too.

Bye Bye Bacne – Five Easy Tips for Treating Bacne

As annoying as they are, thankfully treating back acne doesn’t require a degree in dermatology. Simple changes to your routines could do wonders

1. Switch Up Your Diet

We look a good packet of Calbee chips as much as the next person. But, our parents have always been right about eating more greens. Leafy vegetables can help battle inflammation, along with fish and tomatoes.

Alas, we may have to re-consider our love for carbs. Foods with a low-glycemic index could aid in your acne recovery. Omega 3s are a great ally too, so maybe add walnuts, avocado, and salmon on your basket in your next trip to the supermarket.

2. Clean Up Your Act

Personal hygiene matters a lot when it comes to fighting bacne. If you’re a gym rat, always, always wash your towels and workout clothes regularly. And don’t continue wearing them or wear them again after your workouts, even if it’s just a 30-minute HIIT session. Your workout clothes are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, after all. And by not wearing your gym clothes again, you prevent the sweat from the clothes to clog up your pores.

After you work out, take a shower. If you’re in a hurry, get wipes with salicylic acid or glycolic acid to keep your pores clear. Another alternative is the body spray to reach those awkward angles behind your back. There are body sprays could contain salicylic acid and glycolic acid too.


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Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that exfoliates the skin and clears clogged pores. For glycolic acid, it’s an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that can dissolve the outermost layers of dead skin cells, and blurs acne marks.

One of the more effective acne-fighting ingredients you can consider for your wipes and body spray is lactic acid. Also an AHA, it does wonder in keeping your skin smooth and preventing spots from forming.

3. Rethink Your Body Wash

You should get a body wash with the three aforementioned active ingredients to help combat your back acne. And before you shower, get a thorough scrub to further aid your skin’s exfoliation process and unclog pores.

Some dermatologists recommend getting a product with benzoyl peroxide to treat body acne, which could come as a foaming wash. If you have mild body acne or moderate acne on your back, a product with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide should work. If its’ not working, talk to your preferred dermatologist if a 10% benzoyl peroxide foaming wash will work for you.

You should note that benzoyl peroxide can bleach your fabrics. So make sure you plan your outfit post-shower.

If a shower and a switch in your body wash isn’t cutting it, get prescription creams or acne treatments from your preferred dermatologist. They’re best suited to check if you have any pre-existing skin diseases or skin conditions.

4. Review Your Skin care Products

Not all moisturisers are created equal, especially when it comes to bacne. Ditch oily creams and thick foams, and look for non-comedogenic products and hypoallergenic products.

Products with non-comedogenic labels mean that they won’t clog your pores. Meanwhile, hypoallergenic means that it’s less likely to cause an allergic reaction on your skin. So, there’s a lesser chance of affecting your current skin condition.


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Another alternative you can consider is tea tree oil. This doesn’t come from the normal teas that you drink. Tea tree oil comes from the plant  Melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree native to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. The Aborigines of Australia has been using tea tree oil as a traditional cure for coughs and colds, as well as to heal the skin.

Some studies suggest tea tree oil can treat acne since it has some anti-bacterial effects. Today, there are plenty of lotions, creams, and cleansers with tea tree oil in them.

Last but not least, sunscreen plays an extra role when you’re always out in the sun, especially when you have sensitive skin. So, avoid greasy sunscreens that could further clog your pores, and stick with lighter, oil-free sunscreens as you soak up the sun.

5. Never, Never Pick on Your Bacne

Dr Pimple Popper is overrated anyways. If you squeeze, pick, or scratch your spots, you might be inviting infection and scarring on your back. So apply benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid topical medication to your back acne instead. Those can help kill the bacteria that causes acne.

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A curious wanderlust at heart, Benedict is always out to explore the world around him, and share his discoveries.