BACNE – the dreaded word. Acne isn’t a nice thing and I’ve been really really lucky enough to never have it on my face. Sure I get spots from time to time, but that’s more about my laziness when it comes to brush washing, monthly hormones and my tendency to pick and squeeze than anything that has more of a serious effect. One of the things I have struggled with, however, is acne on my back. Or bacne as it is also known. I recently had another flare up, so thought I’d share my top tips on how to prevent it and how to get rid of it once it is there.
What causes Bacne?
First things first, how does this skin condition flare up? Well there are a number of reasons. It could be that you changed your shampoo or conditioner, you haven’t been rinsing your back after washing, you’ve been sweating more, or even that your hair is now long and hanging down your back.
Essentially, the pores on your back are bigger than those on your face and therefore more susceptible to getting clogged up by products. And for me, I’ve found that the skin on my back is really sensitive. I have to be careful if I change up my haircare products and I never use body wash on my back because it will undoubtedly lead to a breakout.
The other major cause of bacne is the one that got me this time. Sweat! Of course. The more exercise you do, the more you sweat and if you don’t shower immediately after exercise, this sweat sits on the skin and gradually builds up.
Bacne and Exercise
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t shower after exercise – I’m not a sweaty hog. But I would quite often exercise before bed, and nine times out of ten, I shower in the morning. So I would take off my gym gear, get into my PJs and hit the hay without washing myself off because I figured I would do that in the morning. BIG MISTAKE!
My back started to get itchy, red bumps on it, particularly focused around my bra line and also spreading further down my back and between my shoulder blades. They were raised and sore, particularly where they rubbed with my clothes, and I couldn’t stop touching my back, which probably just transferred loads more bacteria and dirt on to them but ARGH so difficult to stop.
It might seem obvious now, but hindsight is a wonderful thing. It took me a while to piece together the exercise, sweat and spots equation. Silly me.
Personally, I think half the battle is working out what is causing your bacne outbreak. But here are a few ideas you might want to try switching up to see if it helps.
- Change your shampoo and conditioner
- Make sure you rinse your back clear of any conditioner after a shower
- Don’t use scented or chemical products on your back
- Change to non-bio washing powder
- Wear cotton tops
- Wash clothes that touch your skin after only one or two wears
- Wash your sports bras after only one or two wears
There are also a range of products out there that can help treat your skin when you’ve got a breakout on your back. Now we all know that salicylic acid is the BOMB when it comes to unblocking pores and generally helping clear up your skin so it’s good to look out for products that have that in. While I was doing my online research I came across Neutrogena’s Body Clear body wash on Amazon – the reviews look great, but it’s not cheap (£8.95 + delivery) and it contains microbeads. I’m not a fan of putting those things in the water system so decided to head to Boots and see what I could find on the shelves instead.
That’s where I came across this bad boy.
Garnier Pure Active Deep Pore Wash is designed for the face, but the description on the back sounded like something I really needed for my back. It contains 2% salicylic acid, which is the perfect amount to treat breakouts without drying out the skin. Not only does it treat the spots that are there, it also prevents them from occurring and helps reduce marks that are left behind from the ones that have already gone down. All of this and it’s only £4.39!!
OK, OK so it doesn’t smell the greatest and it won’t win any prizes for sitting pretty on your bathroom shelf. But it works and when you’re suffering from bacne you really just want something that works. And do you remember me saying it’s only £4.39?!
Have you ever suffered with bacne? Do you have any tips to get rid of it?