Last updated on November 28th, 2017 at 05:31 pm
What is the meaning of pimples on my back? What causes them? Who is prone to this zits, and what are their treatments?
Back pimples can show up in various forms including blackheads, whiteheads, and pustules or in severe forms such as nodules and cysts. This is a skin problem that can affect males and females, teens and adults. Go through this discussion to get all the information.
Back pimple or what is usually referred to as back acne or bacne is a result of overactive body oils glands, excess dead skin cells and a bacterial infection in hair follicles.
Usually, body oil (sebum) and dead skin cells become trapped in your follicles or the pores leading to clogging. The clog becomes whiteheads and blackheads and cam grow to pimples when infected by bacteria due to inflammation (caused by bacteria)
Here are some of the things that can trigger back pimple formation:
Oil producing glands can be overstimulated by hormonal fluctuations in your body. During puberty, pregnancy and periods, some individuals normally experience a surge in the level of androgen hormone.
This sex hormone usually influences sebaceous gland to secrete more sebum. Therefore, the resulting increased production sebum and dead skin cells clog the follicle and attract bacterial infection. The presence of bacteria in the follicles will make the surrounding tissue to become inflamed forming a pimple.
Some people will experience such hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, periods and menopause. Some other factors that can influence hormonal fluctuations include birth control medication as well as genetics.
Therefore, if someone had a back acne in your family then you are also likely to develop it. (If pimply skin runs in your family, don’t be surprised if you get it, too) [Goodhousekeeping.com]
In case you have hormonal ones, see a doctor to prescribe the best hormonal acne treatment.
Sweat resulting from exercise or overexertion can mix with body oils and toxins on your skin. This can influence the pores to be blocked triggering pimple formation. Factors such as tight or unbreathable clothing can just make the condition to be worse. So to get rid of sweat and toxins on your skin surface, make sure you always shower after sweating and you take regular baths. This will open pores.
You can as well try out exfoliating products to cleanse, hydrate, exfoliate and soothe the inflamed skin. This will keep away acne.
3. Acne mechanica
This is a type of acne triggered by irritations. It is a result of something rubbing against your back. Some of the factors that can lead to such irritations include:
- Shoulder Straps
Pimples on the back can easily form when the above factors combine with tight and unbreathable cloths.
4. Are eating the right food for good skin?
Proper diet will improve your skin. Consumption of too much dairy products and refined carbohydrate can lead to back acne breakout. The two can increase the amount of body insulin hence triggering skin inflammation. This can influence breakouts.
Again, processed food can be another trigger for bacne. Taking good foods rich in omega-3 (found in sardines and anchovies) can help in reducing breakouts since they limit the production of sebum
Medical experts claim, stress hormones can aggravate acne anywhere on your body. Stress triggers the release of hormones like glucocorticoids and adrenal androgen that could worsen breakouts.
Lisa A. Garner, MD, FAAD, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical center illustrates that, when one already has acne, exposure to stressful situations will trigger acne will flare up. Therefore, this means that stress does not lead to the direct formation of acne but can worsen breakouts
Some studies have even indicated that acne is more common among students during exams, a time when they are under much pressure.
6. Skin care products
It is also possible that the skin care products you use can block your skin pores. Conditioner, sunscreens, body cream and massage oils can potentially clog your skin pores making your vulnerable to zits on back. So make sure you opt for skin care products labeled ‘non-comedogenic’-they will not block your pores.
7. Too much sun
Exposure to the sun for a longer period can increase the rate of body oils production leading to pores blockage. Therefore, you should choose a good sunscreen that will not clog your pores.
Spray-on sunscreen dissolved in alcohol form can be very effective than many plant oils. Alcohol will evaporate leaving behind a skin protection. UV rays from the sun can also cause skin cancer so you must be careful!
8. Other cause
Below are 15 medical conditions that can trigger acne or pimple-like bumps on your back:
- Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS)
- Molluscum contagiosum
- Tinea versicolor
- Viral exanthema
- Tuberous sclerosis
- contact dermatitis
- Insect Bites
- Cherry Angiomas
Types of bacne
There are different types that can form on your back depending on the depth of hair follicle blockage and the nature of bacterial infection in the follicles. So, below are the types of acne breakouts that can occur on the back:
- Whiteheads– they are also known as closed comedone. They form when clogged follicles stay shut below your skin surface. They are considered mild forms.
- Blackheads– also called open comedone. They form when clogs are exposed to the hair and are oxidized to turn black. They are humble type of acne which does not usually itch
- Papules – They appear as little round and pink bumps on the skin and can sometimes be delicate.
- Pustules – They are filled with pus and have a red base and part of severe acne types
- Nodules–These just large pustules that form deep in the skin. They can be very painful and pus-filled
- Cysts-These is when one has serious breakouts that indicate severe conditions. They are very painful and pus-filled. They usually leave behind pimples scars that can be permanent.
- Blisters-These are bigger sore filled with pus. They form due to serious skin break out. They usually leave behind acne scars.
Here are the most effective cure for back acne:
1. Over the counter acne treatment
Fortunately, mild or less serious body pimples respond quite well to over the counter medications and daily skin care products. Most of the medications help in getting rid of dead skin cells, speeding up cell turnover, exfoliating the skin and limiting the number of pore blockages. Commonly applied over the counter treatments include the use of the following products:
- Salicylic acid
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Alpha hydroxy acid
The ingredients above are suitable for making best acne treatment products such as cream, soaps, lotions, among others.
Because the above medications are applied directly to your skin, they have some side effects such as irritation, skin peeling, and skin dryness. In such cases, stop the application and consult your doctor.
2. Prescribed Topical and Oral Treatment
When you have moderate to severe symptoms, you seek help from a dermatologist or doctor. In such cases, topical and oral medications are always prescribed. Your doctor is likely to prescribe:
- Retin A
- Oral antibiotics
- Accutane (Isotretinoin)
Antibiotics for treating acne especially oral antibiotics should not use by pregnant mothers since they can trigger serious side effects. Accutane on the other side is a severe cases and therefore used to cure more severe forms of pimples. Actually, it is used when other forms of medical procedures have failed. It is among the best adult acne treatments.
3. Laser treatment
Acne laser treatment is safer and effective method to cure acne, scars and back acne with minimal side effects. The pulses emitted from the laser penetrate deep into the skin and shrink the sebaceous glands. This will lead to a reduction in the amount of sebum being produced and hence limited risk of pore blockage. This is what qualifies this procedure as simply the best acne scars treatment.
4. Blue-U light therapy
This wonderful therapy involves the application of high-intensity fluorescent blue light on the affected skin to kill Propionibacterium. Actually, this type of bacteria causes inflammation and can potentially spread acne to the surrounding tissues
Back pimples can also be treated using simple homemade acne treatments. Many of the natural products have antibacterial and antifungal properties that make them suitable for clearing acne.
Some of them such as aloe vera and egg whites form the best scrubs. These home products also make your skin supple and clear any debris. Below are some of the homemade acne treatments commonly used:
- Sea Salt Remedy
- Oatmeal Bath
- Baking Soda
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Lemon Juice
- Tea Tree Oil
- Aloe Vera
Although there are no surefire measures to prevent the formation, there are various simple and appropriate procedures to impede breakouts. These are self-care measures that you can observe on daily basis to limit breakouts. Try the following:.
- Go for loose-fitting and breathable clothing made of natural fabric such as cotton. This will reduce sweating accumulation and hair follicles irritation
- Always take bath after sweating. This will help you get rid of excess body oils as well as skin debris before they clog your pores. Use medicated soaps to wash your body.
- Avoid using certain OTC medications such as corticosteroids since such medications trigger acne. Only use them when prescribed by your doctor.
- Watch on your body care products, oil-based skin care products clogs the pores. You should, therefore, apply body washes and lotions fashioned for acne-prone skin. Make sure that the products you use on your skin are labeled non-comedogenic implying that they don’t block the pores.
- You can use over the counter Benzoyl peroxide during shower. It will help in deep cleansing your skin and hinder bacterial growth.
- Watch again, on your diet. Avoid too much dairy products as much as you can. Visit your nutritionist to help you come up with proper diet if at all you are doubtful.
In conclusion, pimples on the back can occur alongside symptoms, that vary from mild to moderate to severe. Right diagnosis is very important. See your doctor if remedies and OTC products do not get rid of this problem.
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