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Bacne Causes and Treatment: How to "Cure" Back Acne?

Medically reviewed by Jezreel Esguerra, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Tracey Romero · Updated Feb 16, 2023

Bacne Causes and Treatment: How to "Cure" Back Acne?

Pimples and blackheads can appear anywhere on your body, including your back. Keep reading to learn more about bacne causes and treatment. 

What Causes Back Acne?

Back acne can be caused by the same things that cause facial acne. Some examples of what causes facial and back acne are excess dead skin cells, overactive oil glands, etc.

A typical pimple develops when dead skin cells and oil get trapped in a pore, causing a blockage. The blockage often becomes a blackhead. If bacteria get into the blackhead, it can become an inflamed pimple.

Our backs have sebaceous glands like our faces. The sebaceous glands create sebum. The pores on our backs can get easily clogged with excess sebum along with dead skin cells, causing back acne.

Excess Oil Production

As stated earlier, excess sebum can clog pores and cause acne. Even if you are an adult, hormones (especially when the hormone levels rise) cause excess sebum production. 

Acne Mechanica

Some sports equipment, clothes, etc. can cause bacne. Pressure or rubbing on the skin, along with sweat and/or heat, irritate and inflame pores. If this happens, it can cause acne mechanica.


Sweat is not a direct cause of acne. However, you often have more bacteria on your body after you exercise and sweat could potentially worsen your acne. 

Do Certain Foods Cause Bacne?

When we look at bacne causes and treatment, many people state that certain foods like fast food can trigger acne. However, some dermatologists say that there is very little proof of that.

However, other dermatologists may argue that some carbohydrates like potato chips could increase blood sugar levels, potentially triggering acne.

How Do I Treat Back Acne?

Ideally, you should speak to a dermatologist to find out the exact bacne causes and treatment for you, especially if you have severe bacne. However, you may try to treat mild bacne at home.

Over-the-Counter Treatment

Some pharmacies offer treatment that you can get without a prescription. For instance, benzoyl peroxide could kill acne-causing bacteria, especially if you use it daily.

There are different strengths available for benzoyl peroxide foaming washes. It would be best to ask a doctor which strength is best for you. But 5.3% benzoyl peroxide may work for most people.

Many people may also use a retinoid while using a benzoyl peroxide foaming wash. A retinoid, or adapalene, 0.1% gel, could aid in unclogging your pores, potentially enhancing the results from the benzoyl peroxide wash.

How Can I Prevent Back Acne?


Many people agree that we ought to cleanse our face 1-2 times a day, and the same goes for our bodies. Our bodies will get dirty throughout the day, so be sure to shower.

Ideally, it would be best to shower right after you exercise, when you have excess sweat. Remember to avoid vigorously scrubbing your skin.

Check your products

Some products can be too harsh for you and irritate your skin. If you notice that a particular soap causes your acne to flare up, it may be best to throw it out and get a gentler product. 

Do not pick acne

Picking and popping acne can make your acne worse. It can lead to more flare-ups because popping acne can irritate your skin further. Plus, it could also lead to scarring.

Avoid the sun

Applying sun protection on your back when you go to the beach, swimming, etc. could also help prevent bacne. Sun exposure can make your skin more sensitive.

Additionally, sun exposure can increase redness and inflammation, and make your healing acne marks become darker. 

Change your bedsheets

Changing out of sweaty or dirty clothes is a good way to prevent bacne, but you should not forget about your bed. Your bed can harbor lots of bacteria and dead skin cells, which can irritate your skin.

Ideally, you should change your bedsheets at least once every 1-2 weeks. If possible, try to opt for a skin-friendly and fragrance-free detergent when you wash your bedsheets.

Avoid friction

As stated earlier, friction on the skin (especially with sweat and/or heat) can cause acne mechanica. You can try to avoid friction by avoiding the following. 

  • Very snug collars
  • Tight-fitting clothing
  • Wearing heavy backpacks
  • Athletic gear or pads
  • Purse straps

Key Takeaways

Bacne can be easy to treat once you learn the exact causes and preventive tips listed above. Talk to your dermatologists for proper diagnosis and treatment. 

Learn about Acne here. 


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Jezreel Esguerra, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Tracey Romero · Updated Feb 16, 2023

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