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The face isn’t the only place where acne can appear. It can affect any body part that has oil-secreting glands or hair follicles, including your back, chest, and shoulders. Back acne, or also known as “Bacne” can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but there are things you can do to clear it up.

This article focuses on the information you need to know about back acne removal, which includes medical treatments like acne scar removal treatments and other methods that you can perform at home.

How is back acne formed?

Your back, like your face, has many sebaceous glands which secrete sebum. It is the result of an accumulation of dead skin cells and oil within the pores in the skin, combined with an overgrowth of a common skin bacteria, Cutibacterium acnes, which triggers an inflammatory response,

It is found that acne on the back and shoulders is commonly associated with sports activities that causes increased sweating and friction from athletic gear and clothing. A clogged follicle eventually forms an acne lesion.


There are different types of back acne.

  • Whiteheads aka Closed Comedones: Whiteheads develop when a plugged follicle stays closed and underneath your skin, forming a white bump.
  • Blackheads aka Open Comedones – black-tip appearance of blackheads is due to a reaction between sebum and the air, not because dirt has filled your follicle.
  • Papules – lesions that appear as small pink bumps on your skin, and are sometimes tender, are called papules. This type of acne doesn’t contain pus and forms when a clogged follicle becomes inflamed.
  • Pustules – these lesions also result from inflammation in a clogged hair follicle. A buildup of white blood cells causes the pustule to fill with pus.
  • Nodules – this type of acne develops deep below the surface of your skin, where it hardens and forms a large, painful nodule. The deeper location of the lesion causes tissue damage, resulting in an inflammatory response.
  • Cysts – larger, pus-filled acne lesions that also form when bacteria becomes trapped in a hair follicle. With cystic acne, the infection extends deeper into the skin, resulting in a painful lump that can cause a permanent scar.


How to prevent back acne? 

Here are recommended steps to reduce your chances of developing these back acne outbreak.

1.Avoid Certain Medications 

Some drugs, including androgens (male hormones) and lithium, are known to increase your chances of developing acne. If you happen to be taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor about possible alternative treatments.

2.Limit Your Use of Oil-Based Skin-Care Products 

Avoid using skin-care products with oil, including moisturizers and cosmetics, on your back. These can lead to back acne flare-ups. Always opt for products with noncomedogenic label, which does not clog pores.

 3.Eliminate Pressure on Your Back

Frequent usage of backpacks, sports gear, and back braces will result in increased sweating and friction on your back and is found to increase the risk of back acne. If possible, choose a backpack that’s lightweight and fits properly to minimize friction and irritation.

For sports equipment (like shoulder pads) that puts pressure on your back, don’t wear the item for longer than you need to, or wear a clean cotton T-shirt underneath to reduce prolonged pressure and friction.

4.Wear Clean Clothes 

Dirty clothes can harbour sweat, oil, and dirt, further irritating the skin and contributing to the development of acne. Always wear loose clothing during exercise, and to quickly take a shower after an exercise.


1.Over-the-Counter Treatment / Body Wash 

For mild back acne, over-the-counter acne creams and gels containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid, and sulfur can help get rid of blemishes and prevent new breakouts.

Body wash with acne-fighting ingredients will also help to control the outbreak. These medicated body cleanser that contain ingredients such as salicylic acid can unclog your skin pores and help with the inflammation.

2.Always Shower Immediately After Your Workout 

Heat and humidity encourage bacterial growth, so shower immediately after a workout. If you can’t shower immediately, use an oil-free cleansing wipe to remove as much sweat and dirt from your body as possible, and then change your clothes. (6)

3.Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can darken acne, triggering scars on your back and body. Always wear sunscreen and reapply as directed. This not only improves acne, it can help protect your skin from sun damage and skin cancer.

4.Wash Your Bedsheets 

Change or wash your sheets once or twice a week, especially if you’re a back sleeper. This removes bacteria and dead skin cells from bedding, which can clog your pores and prolong back acne.

5.See a Dermatologist / Aesthetic Doctor 

If self-care measures don’t improve back acne, make an appointment with a dermatologist or an aesthetic doctor who is board-certified.

At M-Aesthetic Clinic, Dr Ho Rui Ming the Medical Director is experienced in dealing with Acne and Acne Scars problems and has successfully helped his patients to overcome it. Before starting any treatment Dr Ho will evaluate your back, determine whether you have acne or other skin conditions, and then suggest a customised treatment plan.

Back acne removal treatment might include prescription creams, antibiotics, oral acne medication, and even laser therapy or steroid injections, depending on the severity of back acne.



Acne in general is frustrating, hence acting fast and having the knowledge in dealing with it will help. The proper skin-care routine can help reduce breakouts on your back, resulting in clearer, healthier-looking skin. If you are looking to remove acne Scars, we also have a full range of Acne Scar Removal Treatments that can treat all kinds of Acne Scars.

Enquire within to find out more.


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M-Aesthetic Clinic

Novena Medical Center,
#11-07/08, 10 Sinaran Drive
Singapore 307506

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