So you can wear that low-cut dress with confidence.
Acne is the bane of many people’s lives. Whether it’s on the face or the body, living with constant breakouts and inflammation on your skin is not only unsightly, but can also be painful and downright embarrassing once you’ve graduated from puberty to fully-fledged adulthood.
However, adult acne is more common than you might think, especially for women. According to the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 12 to 22 per cent of adult women suffer from acne, compared to only three per cent of adult men. Certain acne products and home remedies may improve breakouts, but many people struggle to get rid of acne altogether.
According to cosmetic acupuncturist Dr Vivian Tam, “some people are more prone to acne than others”. Genetics play a role as well as skin type. “Dry skin can easily become congested and bumpy,” explains Dr Tam, due to dead skin cells clogging up pores.
While pesky pimple breakouts on the back, also referred to as ‘bacne’, sadly can’t be completely cured, they can definitely be dramatically improved with certain lifestyle changes and topical treatments. It all begins with understanding the root of your flare-ups…
Back acne is usually linked to hormonal imbalances
Acne specialist and founder of Fresh Faced Skin Care, Erica Suppa, says “there are lots of variables that may attribute to back acne, many of which I have found to be internal in nature.”
Breakouts happen when our sebaceous glands produce too much oil, which, combined with dead skin cells and dirt, clogs our pores. This oil production is heavily influenced by our hormones, which in turn may be imbalanced “because of our menstrual cycle, pregnancy, birth control, age, or an undiagnosed condition, such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS),” explains Suppa.
This is why many women experience a few breakouts around the time they get their periods, or during stressful situations, as stress affects the production of certain hormones and therefore also the stimulation of our oil glands.
Rebalancing your hormones under the supervision of a doctor is your best bet at reducing back acne, and may be as easy as making dietary changes, or as involved as using regular hormonal creams until your body has reached a more balanced homeostasis. There are also a few simple changes you can make every day to improve the skin on your back externally.
Keeping your skin clean helps to prevent bacne
While the production of oil in your glands is regulated internally, you can help prevent your pores from becoming further clogged by keeping your skin free from sweat and dirt.
A common mistake many people make is delaying having a shower after a workout. If you’ve worked up a sweat and your back feels moist, wearing your sweaty sports bra and T-shirt for a while after your gym sesh can clog the pores on your back as the sweat mixes with dead skin cells, causing congestion.
Taking off sweaty clothes and having a shower as soon as possible after exercising should be on top of your priority list if you suffer from back acne. While in the shower, use a gentle exfoliator on your back to get rid of dead skin cells and keep pores clean.
Avoid product residue on your back
Another reason for your back acne may be product residue from your shampoo or conditioner clogging your pores. Try washing your hair over the bathtub or sink in order to keep product residue off your back. If you don’t have a tub, try rinsing your hair while leaning sidewards, so the water doesn’t run down your back.
Foregoing fabric softener and changing to a hypoallergenic washing detergent may also help improve bacne, as the product residue on your clothes can lead to inflammation on the skin on your back. Washing your clothes regularly is just as important, especially those you wear more than once, such as your pyjamas.
Incorporate retinol into your skincare regime
While keeping skin clean is crucial to preventing pimples on your back, applying anti-inflammatory products that include retinol can help treat bacne further. Retinol works by regulating skin cell turnover, and helps break up loose, dead skin cells, which keeps them from clogging up your pores and turning into pimples.
You can get skincare products containing low doses of retinol over the counter, but if all else fails, or your condition is more severe, talk to a dermatologist, who can prescribe stronger topical treatments and medication to clear your skin, so you can rock that backless dress with confidence.
Featured image via tumblr.com.
Nadine is a beauty writer who's always on the hunt for the perfect nude lipstick and the best Instagram filter. She has a weakness for handbags and never says no to a cup of strong coffee. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.