You may be one of the lucky people who only have to deal with acne for a short period of time. Let’s say you got some zits in your teenage years when changes in hormonal balances are often to blame, but now that you’re in your 20s or 30s, they’re a thing of the past. Well, if that’s you, then lucky girl! But if you’re like many of us, you’re still dealing with it — and not just on your face, but on areas of your body you now hate to expose, due to those ugly blemishes. I’m not judging — I’m right there with you. I admit it. Hi, my name is Zoe, and I have back-ne.
Back acne! For @#$(*& sake! And I’m in my late 30s!
Look, I’m not making light of this problem. When you have back acne, you will experience pain, itching, and discomfort on an area of your body that is difficult to reach, and it can make wearing certain items of clothing embarrassing. Men who suffer from back acne will often go out of their way to never be seen without their shirt on, avoiding the swimming pool or beach at all costs. But what is this affliction, and what the heck can you do about it?
What Is Back Acne?
Back acne is generally considered to be a Grade II or Grade III form of acne, which means that it is not the direct cause of adolescence like normal teen acne is. Instead, it is usually caused by several different issues, including diet, activity, allergies and sensitivity to fibers or chemicals.
One of the biggest problems with back acne is that it is very difficult to treat both in terms of applying topical treatments and in keeping the area clean. This is a naturally sweaty part of the body, particularly among young men or active people, and so preventing outbreaks is often a struggle.
Fine, But How Can I Treat It?
Unlike facial acne, which can be treated with a topical product such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, it is significantly more difficult to apply topical treatments to large areas of the back. When you consider that clothing is constantly covering this area of the body, it needs to be treated in a different way than facial acne. Rather than using a typical facial wash and applying an acne treatment, most people with severe acne will instead use a body wash that contains salicylic acid, being careful to treat the entire affected area at least twice a day during a shower.
If you’re using a body wash with an acne treatment in it, remember to apply it and leave it on for a few minutes in the shower before rinsing to allow the salicylic acid to do its thing.
How Is This Different From Facial Acne?
One other reason why back acne can become so severe is because many people who suffer from it do not realize the actual severity of the outbreaks, and may not realize that they are doing more damage to the skin by not treating the area. Also, the skin of the back is particularly prone to scarring, especially when it is exposed to the sun. So, if you’ve got back-ne, you’ve gotta keep your shirt on not because of modesty, but rather to protect this sensitive skin from the sun’s rays.
Back acne also has a tendency to quickly become Grade 3 or Grade 4 acne, which can easily become infected and may require more significant types of treatments such as oral medications or clinical therapies.
What About Natural Remedies?
There is a lot to be gained by trying natural remedies, in part because they are much easier on your entire system than chemical agents. One of the reasons why people suffer from acne in the first place is because of allergies or intolerance to environmental toxins, chemicals, or even particular foods. By using natural remedies and treatments, you may be able to remove some of these toxins from your system and allow your skin to properly heal.
Stay tuned for more on this topic — I’m finding some pretty exciting things in the area of natural acne treatments that I want to share with you all in the coming weeks.
Will A Change in Diet Reduce Back Acne?
One of the easiest ways to treat back pain or any type of acne is simply to make changes to the diet, particularly when it comes to highly processed foods or foods that are prone to increasing particular hormones in the body. Acne that occurs on the back can often be the direct result of excessive oil production which can be reduced by eliminating processed foods, excessively fatty foods, and many animal-based products.
A diet that is natural, organic, and full of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes will help to flush out the skin’s pores and help balance your hormones so that oil and debris will not build up and create acne pustules.
What Other Lifestyle Changes Can Help Your Case Of Acne?
If back acne has become a severe problem for you, then it is certainly worth visiting your dermatologist who may have additional advice on how to treat this problem. But, if there is one change in your lifestyle that you can make right now that may help to reduce the severity of your acne, it would be to increase your water intake. Recent studies show that the majority of Americans are actually permanently dehydrated, in part because of their overconsumption of sodas, caffeinated drinks, and alcohol. (Guilty on that one, myself! Where’s my wine??)
Now, I mean REALLY increase your water intake. You should be drinking at least eight 8-oz glasses of filtered water each day. At least! If you can chug down a whole gallon, even better, and your skin will thank you for it, I promise. You will start to get a glow from the inside out. Just be aware that for the first week or so that you’re flooding your system with water, you will be pushing out toxins through your skin, so you may think your acne is getting worse before it gets better. But stay with it — it you commit to this one thing, you will see some significant improvements in the texture and clarity of the skin all over your body. (You might even drop a few pounds in the process. Staying hydrated really helps curb your hunger!)
By learning to eat better, drinking more water, and using natural acne remedies that will protect and not irritate your skin, you may very well be able to eliminate your back acne very quickly. Good luck, my girlies!