Bacne: Causes, treatments and prevention of back breakouts


Feeling self-conscious about your backne? With these dos and don’ts you can banish back breakouts and enjoy the last summer days on the beach and in the pool without worrying about your backne. 

Why does it happen? 

Common causes of back breakouts include: 

  • Hormones: Androgens, a type of hormone that increases during puberty, causes oil glands to enlarge and produce more oil (sebum), which in turn causes more breakouts.
  • Sweat: Bacteria and oil clog up our pores and lead to the development of breakouts. If you have an oily skin type, you may be more prone to developing breakouts.
  • Genetics: Some people may simply be more genetically prone to developing breakouts. If chronic acne (painful, cystic acne) runs in your family, you are likely to have it too. 

Dos and don’ts to reduce back breakouts: 

Don’t sit in sweaty clothes: After a workout, or even just on a hot, humid day, don’t make a habit of sitting around in sweat-laden clothes. When you sweat, all the bacteria on your skin (the good and the bad), drips off of your skin and onto your clothes. 

Do keep cool: Try to wear fabrics that are cool and breathable, such as cotton or linen, especially during summer. Change your clothes and hop in the shower right after every sweat session. If you can’t take a full-on shower, at least use a cleansing wipe across your back as best you can, then change into clean, dry clothes. 

Do invest in cleaning tools: If you’re not flexible enough to reach your entire back in the shower, invest in a wash brush with a long arm and use it to cleanse those impossible-to-reach areas on your back. Aim to replace your wash cloth or tool of choice every month, otherwise you risk a build-up of bacteria that will only make matters worse. 

Don’t use harsh products: Your skin is already feeling sensitive, so stick with a mild, fragrance-free cleanser. TIP: We love dermalogica’s Clarifying Body Spray, which you can apply after the shower or post-workout. The blemish-fighting body spray acts fast on those hard-to-reach areas to help clear clogged pores and minimise future body breakouts. Exfoliating Salicylic Acid helps to remove dead skin cells, while soothing Witch Hazel, Tea Tree Oil and Moroccan Argan Oil balance oil and reduce redness. 


For more skin tips, visit dermalogica.