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6 Most Effective Treatments for Back Acne

Published: October 8, 2021


Acne is a very common skin disease but is often confused with standard-issue breakouts. Acne vulgaris refers to the chronic yet common skin condition in which hair follicles become blocked with sweat, grime, sebum, and dead skin. Pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, and pustules are a result of the skin condition known as acne.

Acne vulgaris happens to many people at various points throughout life. Dermatological studies have linked it to everything from excess sebum production to stress and a lack of sleep. Root causes vary as to treatments of acne and body acne.

Acne and lingering acne scars can take their toll on one’s mental health. Our skin is one of the first things people see and, for so many of us, we want to put a blemish free face and body out in the world. Stress, sadness, and anxiety can occur after prolonged battles with this pesky and painful skin disease.

Back acne is just one instance of body acne and can be fickle in its own right. We take great care in selecting skin care products that cleanse, tone, and moisturize our faces, mitigating wrinkles, reducing redness, and delivering heavy doses of hydration. However, when it comes to the body, any old wash seems to do just fine. When dealing with back acne, the first place to start is in the shower. Here’s what to know about this irritating skin disorder.

woman looking outside of the window from the back


Back acne can take up residents on our shoulders, scapula, and lower back seemingly overnight. Clogged pores produce zits, pimples, and the like creating painful bumps and dashing all hopes of clear skin. While a host of factors may be to blame, here are the most common causes. 

Hair care products

After conditioning, we let our hair soak up the moisture for a number of minutes. This allows for the hair follicles along the back to absorb conditioner - which is a supple, rich product that can easily clog pores.


While it’s extremely valuable to work out, exercise prompts sweating which can increase the likelihood of back acne. Tight clothing may also reduce the ability for sweat to evaporate

Poor skin cell turnover

The back is hard to reach on a daily basis. Even with a loofah or extended scrub brush, this area doesn’t see as much cell turnover as other areas of the body. Dead skin cell buildup is common.  


Allergies. Food or product allergies can cause bouts of bacne.

Puberty and hormones

Like facial acne and chest acne, back acne can be triggered by puberty and hormonal fluctuations. Sebaceous glands kick into overdrive, spurring excess oil production. 


Steroids or corticosteroid medication increase the likelihood of all types of body acne, including the kind that crops up on the back.

a close up of a woman's back skin
a close up of a woman's back and back skin


Back acne exhibits the same symptoms as other forms of acne, including cystic, facial, and chest acne. 


Pores collect dirt and dead skin cells but don’t rise above the skin’s surface.


Also known as closed comedones, whiteheads are closed versions of blackheads, which causes pus to build up as the body fights bacteria trapped within.


These large bumps form underneath the skin and feel solid to the touch. They can be one of the most painful symptoms of acne.


A type of nodule, cysts are painful and feel squishy to the touch. Most often they are filled with pus. 


Pink or red raised bumps can either be filled with pus (pustules) or not (papules).

a shot of a skincare product that can be applied to fight back acne


Start troubleshooting the underlying cause. Visit the dermatologist or an experienced esthetician for help in identifying what might be causing your back acne. Once the root cause has been determined, you can start implementing practices and tips for combating breakouts on the body. 

Be consistent with your skin care routine

Wash regularly with gentle products and incorporate an exfoliator - either mechanical or chemical. Take great care to scrub after hard workouts, spending time outdoors, or post-sunscreen application. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide cleansers may be a good option for a short while to combat serious acne, but consult with a dermatologist, first.

Keep conditioned hair off of the back during your shower

Use a hair clip, shower cap, or scrunchie to keep conditioned hair off of the back until it’s completely clean.

Tea tree oil

As a spot treatment, tea tree oil can be very effective when paired with acne-targeting cleansers like glycolic acid cleansers and foaming washes.

Use non-comedogenic lotion

For dryness, steer clear of oily, conventional lotions. There are plenty over-the-counter, oil-free options, but to really make sure bacne stays at bay, choose high-quality moisturizers.

Use body wash products that fight back acne

Body Active Shower Scrub. After a good workout, use this shower scrub made with black rice and green tea leaves to nourish and clean the skin. Its refreshing, light scent invigorates the senses while its natural particles oxidize and exfoliate the skin.

Water Soul Eco Shower Gel. This biodegradable formula is gentle on the skin and the environment yet effectively cleanse the back of dirt and grime. Natural surfactants create a pleasing foamy texture while magnolia bark extract and vitamin E replenish the skin with moisture.

Use a spot corrector if necessary

Do you have a big event just around the corner and your backless sundress is showing off some pesky acne blemishes? Use a spot corrector to diminish the appearance of acne-related breakouts, fast.

Our Active Pureness Corrector is made with glycolic and Mandelic acid, this topical spot corrector dries out localized blemishes and promotes cell turnover.


Back acne can be banished for good with a few tweaks in your skincare regimen and lifestyle routine. [ comfort zone ]’s body products implement powerful, effective ingredients that are nature-based and sustainably sourced. They work with your skin’s natural defenses and protect its overall integrity, leaving it strong and fortified to fight whatever the world throws its way. 


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