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 (15)
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.
... depends on how bad acne is- lotions or tablets, read more-
I will simplify treatments by suggesting 1. Topical 2. Oral 3. Topical and oral medication.
OK, if you have mid acne you can try Benzoyl Peroxide 5% - trick is to leave on for 90 seconds before washing off. Another compounded solution is 5%-8% Sal acid in ethanol.
Looking at option 3 you can combine these lotions with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.
Last resort (or first choice if you acne is scarring) is Accutane (ISOTRETINOIN). For Bacne, you will require a longer treatment period, possibly up to 14-18 months.
I hope this helps you....
Dr Davin S. Lim
Cosmetic and Laser Dermatologist
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Our office recommends chemical peels to exfoliate the back and reduce the likelihood of acne formation.
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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.
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.