What Causes Back Acne? 5 Reasons and Solutions

Who likes pimples? Nobody! Unfortunately, it’s possible to have acne almost anywhere you have skin. That includes your back. It’s already tough to treat face spots, so you may be curious as to why you suddenly have pimples on your back — and how you can get rid of them.

Take a look to see what causes back acne so that you can fix it.

How Do Pimples Form?

It’s smart to understand the science behind acne. The body produces an oil called sebum that’s connected to the hair follicles. Its purpose is to keep the skin moisturized. That can become too much of a good thing when dead skin cells combine with extra sebum.

As a result, you get buildup in your pores. A swollen hair follicle creates whitehead pimples. If your pores get exposed to air, you’ll see blackhead pimples. There are also other types. For instance, you may notice small red bumps called papules, which form when your comedones become inflamed.

You can be predisposed to acne due to different factors. These circumstances include your genetics, age, hormones and more. You may also experience pimples because of your hygiene or eating habits. In any case, you’ll want to take a closer look at your lifestyle to determine the cause.

Here are five reasons why you might get back acne.

1. You Don’t Shower After Exercising

Do you shower immediately after exercising? If not, you’re letting sweat and grime sit on your back — and that’s a surefire way to create acne. Be sure to shower as soon as possible after you finish your workout to prevent pimples. 

It’s necessary to wash your gym clothes frequently, too. If you let everything sit between sessions, you’re effectively putting that dirt back on your body.

2. You’re Using Products With Oil

A shower can be a great way to keep your back clean. That said, it’ll only be useful when you use specific shampoos and washes. You may inadvertently cause your acne by using products that contain oils and other pore-clogging elements. Look for labels with “non-comedogenic” to ensure you’re not plugging up your pores.

It’s also essential to employ helpful showering techniques. If you have long hair, you should thoroughly rinse after washing. Be sure to wash your body as the last step. This effort will ensure you don’t have any residue on your back when you get out of the shower.

A similar idea applies to sunscreen. Don’t use anything that could exacerbate your skin problems. It’s important to use sunscreen, but you need to ensure it’s a good product for acne-prone skin.

3. You Wear Tight Clothes When Active

You should try wearing loose clothing when you’re active. This switch will allow your back to breathe rather than trap sweat or grime against your back. A sports bra or mesh shirt may seem like good options for wicking away moisture, but you’re better off with looser materials.

If you like working out shirtless, you should avoid dirty gym equipment. Those machines can transfer bacteria to your back as you’re using them. Stick to running or weights when you’re not wearing a shirt to keep your skin clear.

4. You Carry a Backpack or Purse

Your backpack or purse may be causing your back acne. The friction created by them can lead to inflamed skin, otherwise known as acne mechanica. That scenario can get even worse when you’re sweating because it’s hot outside. The combination of friction and sweat leads to seemingly instant pimples.

Keep your clothes loose, as mentioned previously. If you have to take a backpack, you should pack lightly to avoid too much friction. You may also want to switch to a purse with a handle so that you avoid shoulder breakouts.

5. You Eat Dairy and Carbohydrates Too Often

Your diet can play a significant role in how your skin looks. It’s possible that you’re eating too much dairy or carbohydrates — and as a result, your acne has gotten worse. These types of foods raise blood sugar quickly, which in turn causes pimples.

Take a look at what you usually consume for each meal. Can you swap out a few items for fresh fruits and vegetables? You may find success in eliminating something like dairy milk for a week to see whether your skin improves.

Use This Information to Treat Your Back Acne

What causes back acne? There are a lot of factors that contribute to skin issues on your back. Understanding the root cause will help you treat your concerns better. Be sure to talk to a dermatologist if you have any questions about your acne.