Acne can appear on the face, chest, scalp, and back – the latter is often referred to as milia. In particular, Bacne occurs due to friction from clothing combined with dead skin cells, bacteria, and sebum (oil) that can “inflame pores” and lead to breakouts, says dermatologist Howard Sobel, MD, explains – it doesn’t help the clothes. covering a “dense collection” of sweat glands on the back.
MOVE FORWARD The best bacne treatment
While milia looks similar to acne on the face, back acne tends to be more “severe” than acne, says dermatologist Imran Aslam, MD, board-certified dermatologist. acne on face. Since the skin on the back is usually thicker than the skin on the face, the pores and hair follicles are also larger, so a blockage can lead to inflammation and possibly infection more quickly and easily. Because of the similarities between back acne and facial acne, board-certified dermatologist Gretchen Frieling, MD, recommends using the following two acne ingredients:
- Salicylic Acid: This unclogs pores, prevents product build-up, and dissolves oil — in our guide to blackheads treatments, dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD, instructs we how to use it.
- Benzoyl peroxide: This “kills” P.acne, an acne-causing bacteria, says board-certified dermatologist Debora Jaliman, MD.
Best bacne products
Bacne products are available at Shopping readers’ favorite retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc. To help you narrow down the top-rated skin care products, we’ve rounded up five popular picks. Experts recommend, from shower gel to facial cleanser.
Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash
Sobel recommended this “really gentle” cleanser as it hydrates, exfoliates and calms “inflamed skin”. In our guide to preventing razor burn, board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MD, also recommends showering with this body wash before shaving. Dove claims the pH-balanced shower gel is gentle enough for everyday use, and the bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic. It received an average rating of 4.7 stars from more than 2,220 reviews on Amazon.
CeraVe Body Wash with Salicylic Acid
Jaliman emphasizes that this non-comedogenic shower gel is made from a combination of salicylic acid and moisturizing ceramides. It’s also paraben and fragrance free, gentle enough for those with sensitive skin. This CeraVe product boasts an average 4.5-star rating from over 12,200 Amazon reviews.
Neutrogena Body Clear Shower Gel
Jaliman also recommends this “wonderful” shower gel because it contains anti-acne agents salicylic acid and “very gently” Vera. Neutrogena claims their shower gel is dermatologist tested and doesn’t leave behind any potential residue. It received an average rating of 4.1 stars from more than 500 reviews on Target. The brand also makes a pink grapefruit-inspired acne shower gel that’s paired with vitamin C.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
Sobel calls this a “great” option for those dealing with irritated or sensitive skin because it combines moisturizing ingredients like glycerin and sunflower seed oil. Despite its thick consistency, Cetaphil claims this body cream is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t cause breakouts. The brand also claims their moisturizer is dermatologist tested and hypoallergenic. Cetaphil’s Moisturizing Creams boasts an average rating of 4.2 stars from over 11,710 reviews on Target.
Panoxyl Acne Foaming Cleanser
To help treat body acne, Aslam recommends rinsing your back with this cleanser. Panoxyl cleaners are made with benzoyl peroxide, which helps reduce levels of acne-causing bacteria. It was also recently featured in our guide to the best acne cleansers, where it received recommendations from two other doctors. Panoxyl’s cleanser boasts an average rating of 4.6 stars from over 15,100 reviews on Amazon.
Is squeezing acne on the back harmful?
You shouldn’t pop a pimple anywhere on your body or on your face because it can lead to an increased risk of infection by pushing bacteria deeper into the skin, Aslam warns. In addition, squeezing acne can cause more acne or acne scars.
If you still want body breakouts, you can check out a page from our guide to teen acne and opt for acne treatments like Differin Gel or acne patches like Hero Cosmetics The famous Invisible Mighty Patch. You can also make an appointment with your local board-certified dermatologist and have them evaluate your acne and they can decide if you should pop it.
Bacne mythology, debunked
We asked a dermatologist to clarify a few common misconceptions about bacne.
- The sun will not cure bacne, Aslam said. In fact, sun exposure can make your skin more damaged and more prone to breakouts. In addition to wearing sunscreen, you can wear UPF clothing and hats and stay out of the sun when its rays are strongest: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- All soaps are not created equal And you shouldn’t just choose any product to treat acne, because “some can be excessively drying and irritating to the skin,” says Aslam. It is best to use detergents made with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to fight bacne and follow up with a lightweight lotion made with moisturizing ingredients like ceramides and glycerin to help restore moisture.
- Bacne will not clear itself – like all anti-acne skincare routines, you’ll likely see results within two months of starting a new product. Most people exposed to bacne respond well to over-the-counter products, but when they have a “deep case of inflammation” in their back, they “usually warrant systemic therapies such as oral antibiotics or isotretinoin,” Aslam said.
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ADJUSTED (September 29, 2021, 5:40 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misrepresented the medical expertise of Gretchen Frieling, MD. She’s a dermatologist, not a dermatologist.