Let’s Talk Bacne

When compared to facial acne, there are more external factors to consider when trying to get rid of back acne. Bacne, refers to acne that, *spoiler alert*, develops on the back— and may appear as bumps, whiteheads, or blackheads. It’s more common than you might think.

Because the skin is thicker on the back than the face, so topical medications may not penetrate as well. And things like friction from clothing and backpacks, sweat buildup from workouts, and excess oil production during hot weather also impact getting and healing bacne. 

There are several types of acne that can become a series regular on your back. Our Back Facial Treatment is designed to address them all:

  • White heads - pores clogged with excess oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells
  • Blackheads - whiteheads that have oxidized and turn a dark color
  • Papules - aka: Pimples
  • Pustules - contain a yellow- or white-ish fluid
  • Nodules - deeper, firmer bumps located underneath the skin
  • Cysts - larger, more painful lumps underneath the skin caused by deep-seated inflammation
  • Fungal acne - clusters of pimples that are itchy

Learning what causes back acne and getting to the bottom of what might be triggering your particular brand of back breakouts, you’ll be better equipped to keep bacne at bay. 

What is bacne?

In general, what causes back acne to form is a combination of excess oil, dead skin cells, and acne-causing bacteria that clogs pores and leads to inflammation. Like facial acne, genetics and hormones can play a role in who’s more prone to back acne.

Another factor that can contribute to back blemishes is a yeast (malassezia) that’s a natural part of the skin’s microbiome, but when there’s an overgrowth, it can lead to an infection of the hair follicles that can easily be mistaken for run-of-the-mill pimples.


What triggers back acne?

Two of the biggest players that determine how prone you are to bacne are genetics and hormones. Also… 

Fluctuating hormone levels can be a contributing factor to bacne, too. Because there’s a mid-cycle rise in progesterone/androgens that stimulates the production of sebum, 7 to 10 days before the onset of menstrual bleeding is a common time for flare-ups.

You might also notice bacne flareups during other hormonal changes like after pregnancy, and during peri- and menopause. Hormone-related conditions, such as PCOS, can also spur bacne thanks to the intense hormonal shifts it can cause.

Stress also can affect bacne as the body produces more androgens in response to stress, which peer pressures oil glands to kick into high gear.

Climate and/or exercise... When sweat sits on the skin for an extended period of time, it can lead to clogged pores. Tight athletic clothing causing friction as you exercise doesn’t help matters.

An uptick in back acne can also be a side effect of certain medications, including drugs that contain corticosteroids, testosterone, or lithium.

And diet can effect bacne as well. Foods with a high glycemic index (white bread, white potatoes, pastries, white rice, milkshakes) may be prominent acne triggers, as well as dairy products can be a major contributor to acne development— face and back.


How can you prevent back acne?
  • Stay on top of sweat. Keeping acne-prone skin clean and dry is critical for managing breakouts, especially during hot and muggy weather. 
  • Wash your hair first Hair products containing oil can lead to excess oil being transferred to the back and lead to clogged pores. Washing your body after your hair is important in order to remove any oily residue left behind from shampoos and conditioners.
  • Gently exfoliate your skin. Gentle physical exfoliation, twice a week, with a Sasawashi Cloth helps keep pores free of impurities and push new, healthy skin cells to the surface. The key is to be gentle, because excessive exfoliation can overly strip the skin of oil (sebum), triggering more to be produced.
  • Don’t forget to moisturize. Since excessive dryness can trigger the body to produce more oil (and ultimately keep the bacne cycle going), moisturizing regularly is a must. The moisturizer you slather on should be non-comedogenic meaning won’t clog pores like, Monastery Aloe Hyaluronic Moisturize Boost
  • Wear sunscreen.The sun can lead to the darkening of blemishes, causing them to last longer, and make sure you protect it with a broad spectrum sunscreen like Zoca Broad Spectrum SPF 36.
  • Wash your bedding and towels regularly. Residue from hair and skin products can end up on pillowcases, sheets, and towels and eventually transfer to the back, leading to acne.
  • Avoid pimple popping. As tempting as it might be, popping and picking back breakouts can increase inflammation and risk of infection, not to mention prolong healing time and potentially lead to discoloration and scarring. 
  • Pause on Athlesiure. Opting for loose-fitting clothing made of sweat-wicking fabric or cotton to avoid sweat accumulating next to your skin. It’s also important to change out of sweaty workout clothes as soon as possible and wash them after every use.
  • Post-workout prowess After exercise, shower if you can and use a mild, oil-free cleanser to remove bacteria and sweat, we suggest Marie Veronique Treatment Cleanser. Plus pat rather than rub your skin to avoid further irritation.
  • Consider your diet If you suspect your diet might be part of the problem, eating less high-glycemic and more low-glycemic foods (green vegetables, most fruits, chickpeas, lentils, bran breakfast cereals) may also help protect you from more bacne flare-ups.

Identifying the types of back acne you’re dealing with and what’s potentially triggering your breakouts (hormones, stress, diet, or all of the above), is the beginning of your acne-free journey. Our Targeted Skincare Services are designed to help identify your condition but also to get you on the road to healing.

Boketto Back Facial Treatment includes:

  • Cleanse
  • Skin Analysis
  • Exfoliating &/or Active Masque
  • Extractions (as needed)
  • 30 mins LED Light Therapy w/Hand & Feet Treatment
  • Calming Masque
  • Hot Towel & Toning Mist
  • Massage with Oil

And when paired with a series of LED Light sessions between treatments, in around 6-8 weeks you'll start seeing serious results, with complete clearing potentially taking up to 3-4 months. Our esthetician will help you decide the best course of action to achieve your goal.