Bacne (or back acne) refers to whiteheads, blackheads and cysts on the back, which can occur in both men and women—though it’s more common in men. As with acne on your face, bacne is caused by hormonal changes; excess oil production and bacteria; excess dead skin cells that clog pores; and also excessive sweating and tight clothing.

How can we get rid of bacne?

  1. Topical antibiotics: Wash your back daily with a salicylic-based body wash or gel that helps exfoliate dead skin and isn’t too drying (salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliator). You could also try a body wash or gel that contains benzoyl peroxide, which kills acne-causing bacteria.
  2. Avoid wearing tight workout clothing like spandex that can irritate the skin and lead to breakouts. Wear loose, breathable fabrics that are designed to whisk sweat away from your skin.
  3. Always shower right after exercising, or use portable salicylic or glycolic acid pads in case you’re unable to.
  4. Use a physical exfoliator or scrub that contains little exfoliating beads once or twice a week, or get prescription strength oral or topical antibiotics from your dermatologist.
  5. Always apply sunscreen. Choose an oil-free sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and apply to your back. Don’t use acne-fighting soaps and lotions, since they can leave your skin more vulnerable to sunburn.