I HATE the back acne (backne) breakout i've had for too long. What really works best to get rid of back acne? Is the back acne treatment the same as for facial acne?
What's the Best Back Acne Treatment?
Doctor Answers (14)
Acne on the Back
Acne on the back can be difficult to treat with just topicals although most topical antibiotics and comedolytics (retinoids) do work for mild back acne. However, it is very difficult to consistently apply the medicine to the back and be weary as some topicals that contain benzoyl peroxide can bleach clothing and sheets.
Regarding backne, I would recommend seeing a dermatologist since over the counter medicine will typically not do the trick either. Prescriptions consisting of orals and topical antibiotics are often the most appropriate.
Treating acne on the back
Acne on the back is difficult to treat because of the problem of physically reaching the affected area. It's impossible to reach all of the affected areas to apply a cream or lotion. That is why I always choose cleansers first in treating back acne.
I like cleansers with glycolic or salicylic acid. These help unclog the pores by exfoliating the top layers of skin, releasing the oil and debris that is trapped in the pores and also decreasing the likelihood that new clogged pores will form. When these treatments aren't enough, it may be best to try an oral antibiotic.
It is also important to remember to shower soon after exercise. If you are sitting around in sweaty clothes after your workout, the pores are more likely to get clogged and trigger a breakout.
Best Back Acne Treatment
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Back acne and Facial acne Treatments
Back acne and facial acne treatments are generally similar, however, the “spreadibility” of treatments for your back may make some usual, facial options unavailable (try getting that tiny tube across your entire back). So we like foams and large pads that can easily reach this larger, difficult to reach area. Also, back acne makes me start thinking about systemic options, like oral antibiotics and isotretinoin, not just topical fixes.
Los Angeles Back Acne Treatment
Our office recommends chemical peels to exfoliate the back and reduce the likelihood of acne formation.
Raffy Karamanoukian MD FACS
Most back acne needs a pill - a systemic antibiotic - along with good topicals. We use a lot of lasers and light therapy now, including the Solta Isolaz and the Palomar (Cynosure) Acleara. Both are pulsed light treatments with vacuums to make the acne lesions respond faster. Blue light therapy can also be helpful.
Acleara procedure may help you
You may try Acleara treatments for your back acne. It combines a vacuum with pulses of specially-filtered light to help clear your pores and treat acne breakouts. The Acleara device is cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration to treat a wide range of acne in all skin types. You may immediately notice that your skin is drier, less oily, and feels fresher. Current acne breakouts usually will begin to clear up over the next two days. You may also combine it with topical salicylic acid peels and/or benzoyl peroxide lotion. Results are often satisfactory.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.