Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While most people are familiar with acne that appears on the face, acne can also develop on other parts of the body, including the back. Back acne is a type of acne that occurs on the back and shoulders, and it can be just as frustrating and uncomfortable as facial acne.
Back acne can range from small, red bumps to large, painful cysts. Like facial acne, back acne is caused by an overproduction of oil and a build-up of dead skin cells that clog hair follicles. When these follicles become clogged, bacteria can grow, leading to inflammation and the development of acne.
Back acne can happen for several reasons, including:
1. Hormonal changes: Hormonal fluctuations, particularly during puberty, can lead to an overproduction of oil, which can clog hair follicles and cause acne.
2. Genetics: Some people are more prone to acne due to their genetics.
3. Sweating: Excessive sweating, particularly during physical activity, can contribute to back acne by creating a moist environment that is conducive to bacterial growth.
4. Clothing: Tight-fitting clothing, backpacks, and sports equipment that rub against the back can cause irritation and contribute to the development of acne.
Back acne can affect anyone, but it is more common in people who:
1. Are going through puberty: Hormonal changes during puberty can cause an overproduction of oil and an increased risk of acne.
2. Have a family history of acne: Genetics can play a role in the development of acne.
3. Engage in physical activities: Sweat and friction from sports equipment and tight-fitting clothing can contribute to back acne.
4. Live in hot and humid climates: Hot and humid climates can promote sweating, which can contribute to back acne. As such, just by living in Singapore is a possible risk factor in itself.
The appearance of back acne can be minimized with the following tips:
1. Cleanse your skin regularly: Wash your back with a gentle cleanser to remove excess oil, sweat, and dead skin cells. Use warm, not hot, water, and avoid scrubbing your skin, which can irritate it and make acne worse.
2. Avoid tight-fitting clothing: Wear loose-fitting clothing made from breathable fabrics like cotton. Avoid wearing tight-fitting backpacks and sports equipment that can rub against your skin and cause irritation.
3. Use non-comedogenic products: Use products that are labelled as “non-comedogenic,” meaning they won’t clog pores.
4. Don’t pick or pop pimples: Picking or popping pimples can make acne worse and lead to scarring.
However, sometimes such measures will not help. At The Clifford Clinic, we recommend a course of creams, laser and chemical peels that can help with the condition.
Creams can come in various brands and formulations. There are usually several key ingredients involved in the treatment of back acne.
Benzoyl peroxide is a popular topical medication that is used to treat mild to moderate acne. It works by killing the bacteria that cause acne and reducing inflammation. It is available in gels, creams, and washes.
Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that is commonly used for acne treatment in Singapore. It works by exfoliating the skin, unclogging the pores, and reducing inflammation. Salicylic acid is available in various concentrations. It is available in gels, creams, and washes. Salicylic acid is a gentle medication that is well-tolerated by most people.
Retinoids are a class of medications that are derived from vitamin A. They are used to treat acne by reducing the production of oil, unclogging the pores, and reducing inflammation. Retinoids are available in different strengths, ranging from mild to strong. They are available in gels, creams, and foams. Retinoids can cause skin irritation, dryness, and also sensitivity to sunlight,
Antibiotics are commonly used to treat moderate to severe acne. They work by killing the bacteria that cause acne and reducing inflammation. Antibiotics can be taken orally or applied topically. Oral antibiotics, such as doxycycline are usually prescribed for a period of several weeks to several months. Topical antibiotics, such as clindamycin and erythromycin, are available in gels and creams.
Back acne can be treated with various topical medications. The type of medication or cream that is best for an individual depends on the severity of the acne, skin type, and other factors. Lasers can further enhance the overall improvement of back acne.
Long pulse laser therapy can be an effective treatment for back acne for several reasons. Here are some of the ways it can help:
1. Reducing Inflammation: Long pulse laser therapy can reduce inflammation in the skin by targeting the sebaceous glands that produce oil. When the sebaceous glands are overactive, they can produce too much oil, leading to clogged pores and acne. By targeting these glands, long pulse laser therapy can reduce oil production and inflammation in the skin.
2. Minimizing Bacteria: Long pulse laser therapy can also inhibit the bacteria that cause acne. The laser targets the bacteria in the pores prevents them from causing further damage to the skin.
3. Promoting Collagen Production: Long pulse laser therapy can also promote the production of collagen, a protein that is essential for healthy skin. Collagen helps to repair damaged skin and reduce the appearance of acne scars.
Most people describe the sensation during the treatment as a mild warming or prickling sensation. After the treatment, the skin may be slightly red and sensitive, but this usually subsides within a few hours. Most people can return to their regular activities immediately after the treatment.
The number of long pulse laser treatments needed to treat back acne depends on the severity of the condition. Most people require several treatments spaced out over several weeks to see significant improvement in their acne. However, some people may see improvement after just one or two treatments.
It’s important to note that long pulse laser therapy is not a one-time solution for back acne. It can help to reduce the severity of acne, but it’s essential to continue with a proper skincare routine and avoid the factors that contribute to acne, such as tight-fitting clothing and sweating.
Q-switch laser is also a popular option in the treatment of back acne. Specifically, Q-switch can help to lighten the dark marks that are typically left behind after the recovery of the acne. The dark marks are called PIH (Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation). PIH is not acne, but rather pigmentation marks that are created as part of the healing process. Q-switch can help lighten the marks significantly over time.
Chemical peels are a type of skin treatment that involve the application of a chemical solution to the skin. The solution causes the skin to exfoliate and peel off, revealing new, smoother skin underneath. Chemical peels can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including back acne. Here are some of the ways that chemical peels can benefit those with back acne:
1. Reducing Inflammation: Chemical peels can help to reduce inflammation in the skin by removing the top layer of dead skin cells. Inflammation is a key factor in the development of acne, so reducing inflammation can help to prevent further breakouts.
2. Unclogging Pores: Chemical peels can also help to unclog pores by removing excess oil and dead skin cells. Clogged pores are a leading cause of acne, so unclogging them can help to prevent breakouts.
3. Exfoliating the Skin: Chemical peels can help to exfoliate the skin, removing the top layer of dead skin cells and revealing new, smoother skin underneath. This can help to improve the appearance of acne scars and other blemishes.
There are several types of chemical peels that can be used to treat back acne. Some of the more commonly used chemical peels include salicylic acid, glycolic acid as well as lactic acid peel. During a chemical peel treatment for back acne, a chemical solution is applied to the skin. The solution is left on the skin for a specific amount of time, depending on the type of peel used and the severity of the acne. The solution is then neutralized, and the skin is cleansed.
Most people describe the sensation during the treatment as a mild burning or stinging sensation. After the treatment, the skin may be slightly red and sensitive, but this usually subsides in a few hours time. A once-a-month chemical peel is recommended for improvement as well as maintenance.
At The Clifford Clinic, we host various solutions to address your back acne concerns. Drop by The Clifford Clinic to enquire more!