Skin Experts Share Their Absolute Must-Dos To Get Rid Of Back Acne

It’s totally natural but easily prevented with the right methods.
Tender, slim female body, back on mirror reflection.
Maria Korneeva via Getty Images
Tender, slim female body, back on mirror reflection.

The weather’s heating up and with that, we’re saying hello to summery backless tops and dresses. But for some of us, sore back acne (or bac-ne!) can put a dampner on what you can and can’t wear comfortably.

According to Google Trends, searches for ‘Back Acne Causes’ have increased by a massive 5,000%, and searches for ‘How To Get Rid of Bacne’ are up by 120%, so if back acne is getting you down, you’re definitely not alone.

What causes back acne?

Back acne can really get you down, but there are some common reasons it can happen that you can try and avoid, says Julia Marinkovich, UK representative for bestselling Korean beauty brand, COSRX: “Back acne, also known as bacne, happens when sweat, oil, dead skin cells and bacteria get trapped in your skin’s pores. This can be a very common area for breakouts in the summer, as backpacks, sweaty shirts or sports equipment can create friction on your back and worsen the issue.”

How to treat it?

Julia suggests following the below steps:

  1. Don’t pop! Popping pimples can lead to hyperpigmentation and scarring. Also, it makes it more likely that you’ll lead more bacteria into your skin, causing more inflammation, making breakouts worse. If you’re feeling tempted to pop, use the COSRX Master Patch Intensive 36 (£14.00, Beauty Bay).”

  2. Wash right after exercise or excessive sweating. “Your sweat can dry over your pores, trapping dirt and dust which can leave spots. Use a product with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, as these ingredients are effective in treating both acne and folliculitis because of their bacteria-busting properties. Try the Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash (£39.00,”

  3. Unclog Pores With BHAs. “You can also combat your body breakouts with an acid acne treatment. Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) can help remove excess oils and exfoliate dead skin cells, so they don’t get trapped in your pores and follicles. Apply daily after you shower. Try the COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid (£25.99, Boots).”

  4. Use a gentle daily moisturiser. “It’s possible to have sensitive or dry skin and body acne, since most of these breakouts and pimples are caused by inflammation of the hair follicles, and not excess oil. So, you should continue to moisturise. Just ensure you stay away from heavy formulas that can run the risk of further blocking pores. Try Embryolisse’s Hydra Crème Light (£19.99, Look Fantastic).”

  5. Combat dark spots with glycolic acid. “Glycolic acid fights acne by helping the skin shed dead skin cells and excess oil that clog pores. This can be layered with your BHA post shower. It also has the added benefit of brightening dark spots which are likely to develop after breakouts go away. Try the COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid, (£21.95, Beauty Bay).”

  6. Try loose-fitting clothes. “Not only will you feel cooler in flowing fabrics such as cotton, but form-fitting clothes can cause friction against your skin but also trap sweat and oil, making them more likely to block follicles.”

  7. Adapt your diet. “Research has shown that foods high in fat, sugar, and dairy ingredients can raise the risk of adult acne. If you’re experiencing regular breakouts, try to avoid foods such as milk chocolate, chips, and fizzy drinks.”

  8. If at-home solutions, and lifestyle changes aren’t working, get an appointment with your GP. “They may prescribe a medical topical treatment, or oral antibiotics.”

Whatever happens, bacne is totally natural and can happen to all of us. Don’t let it put you off enjoying your summer to the full!