Meanwhile, fluctuating hormone levels can be a contributing factor to bacne flare-ups. “The most common pattern is that the outbreak occurs 7 to 10 days before onset [menstrual] bleeding and diminishes with the onset of bleeding,” Hadley King, MD9, clinical instructor of dermatology at the Weill College of Medicine at Cornell University in New York, tells SELF. This is because there is a mid-cycle increase in progesterone that stimulates sebum production. Androgen hormones (often referred to as “male” hormones) like testosterone also stimulate sebum production during this time. Potential results? Oily skin, clogged pores and a new wave of acneten.

You may also notice bacne flare-ups during other hormonal changes (think during or after pregnancy or during perimenopause and menopause). Hormone-related conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, can also predispose patients to the dramatic hormonal changes it can cause.

The way your specific genetic and hormonal makeup interacts with other aspects of your lifestyle adds an extra layer of potential causes for back acne. For example, if stress is a constant problem for you, this could be one of the reasons why bacne is too – the body produces more androgens in response to stress, this puts pressure on the oil glands operating in high gears.7.

Excessive sweating is another common precursor to bacne — for example, from working or living in a warm climate. “When sweat stays on the skin for a long time, it can lead to clogging of the pores,” says Dr. Add to the mix tight sportswear that causes friction when you exercise (and traps heat and sweat on your skin in the process), and you’ve got the perfect acne storm.4.

Raised back acne can also be a side effect of certain medications, including those containing corticosteroids, testosterone or lithium, according to the Mayo Clinic.

While research is still unclear on this topic, it’s likely that your milia may also have something to do with some aspect of your diet. Studies show that foods with a high glycemic index (white bread, white potatoes, cakes, white rice, milkshakes) can be prominent acne triggers. “This could be due to a spike in blood sugar and how this affects our insulin and other hormone levels,” says Dr. “Milk and dairy products can promote insulin secretion and hormone production, such as IGF-1,” she adds.11, is known to be a major contributor to the development of acnetwelfth. ”

How many types of acne are there?

There are several types of acne that can become a regular series on your back. And it helps if you understand the type you have so that you can better treat your acne. Read on to learn how to recognize each type of bacne you may encounter.


Also known as cystic acne, whiteheads strike when a pore becomes clogged with excess oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells. “Just like on other areas of the body, whiteheads appear on the back as closed pores with raised white or skin-colored points.13, ”Deanne Robinson, MD14, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, tells SELF.


Like whiteheads, blackheads (or open comedones) are the result of clogged pores. But unlike whiteheads, “there is an opening that allows oil and dead skin cells trapped in the pore to be exposed to air, causing the buildup to oxidize and turn dark.13,” said Dr. Garshick. (Dr. Robinson says: Both whiteheads and blackheads are non-inflammatory forms of acne, which means you may not know they’re even on your back unless someone else sees them.)


This is what most people call a pimple. “Milella occurs when excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria get trapped deeper into the skin and lead to inflammation (redness and swelling),” says Jacquelyn Sink, MD15, a board-certified dermatologist at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, Illinois, tells SELF. “They manifest as small, firm bumps13. Depending on your skin color, papules can be red, brown, or other colors.


These bumps look like papules, but are larger and contain a yellow or white fluid. “A pustule usually appears as a bump that may have a pus-filled bump in the middle,” says Dr. “These are not only present in acne but also in many forms of folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicles).13. ”


A severe form of inflammatory acne, nodular acne is deeper, harder bumps located beneath the skin. “Nodules can be skin-colored or red, depending on how inflamed they are, and can be associated with pain to the touch,” says Dr. Garshick. They tend to be larger than papules and pustules and need to be treated by a dermatologist to prevent lasting scarring.13.


Cystic acne consists of larger, more painful lumps beneath the skin caused by deep inflammation. Because they’re filled with pus, cysts tend to be softer than nodules and can be associated with redness or inflammation, Dr. They may be watery or crusty and may cause scarring as they heal.


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