How to Treat & Prevent Bacne & Buttne
As if breakouts on our faces aren’t enough, so many of us are also plagued by acne
on our backs and bottoms (fondly referred to as “bacne” and “buttne”, respectively).
Acne can occur anywhere on your body where you have hair follicles and oil
secreting glands, not just on your face. Accumulation of dead skin cells or buildup
from products like lotions and body washes can clog these glands and pores.
When the pore becomes clogged, bacteria get trapped, causing acne to form. The
face, chest, back and bottom are the prime acne areas (and if you have acne on
your face, you’re also more likely to have it on your back or bottom). Hormonal
imbalances may also contribute to the formation of body acne, which is why if
you’re experiencing severe breakouts, it’s best to visit your dermatologist to rule out
other possible health problems.
If your back and bottom acne is mild to moderate, consider trying these at-home
remedies. Like with acne on your face, your approach to treating the acne on your
back and bottom should be multifaceted and should also include adopting habits
that help prevent breakouts from happening in the first place.
To help clear up and prevent acne on your back and bottom, check out these 11
expert tips below.
Shower Regularly & Use The Right Cleanser
First, make sure that you are showering regularly, and if you have oily skin, you
need to shower daily. Also, after a workout, resist the urge to hang out in your
workout clothes and instead hop straight into the shower to wash off the sweat and
bacteria on your skin.
When showering, use a body cleanser that contains an acne-fighting ingredient like
benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid that will work to treat your acne while preventing
Exfoliating two to three times per week when you shower will help reduce the
buildup of dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Gently exfoliate
using an acne-fighting body scrub like one containing salicylic acid. For extra
benefit, you can wear exfoliating gloves when doing this, just be sure your gloves,
loofahs, sponges are nice and clean so you’re not spreading bacteria as you go.
Use a Body Brush
Sometimes we fail to properly cleanse our back in particular because it has lots of
hard to reach areas. So when cleansing or exfoliating your back, use a soft body
brush with a long handle or use another device designed to help you cleanse hard
to reach areas. Be mindful to scrub gently; scrubbing too hard can cause further
irritation and breakouts.
After showering, gently towel off and then apply a gel or cream containing benzoyl
peroxide or sulfur to help treat the acne. Keep in mind that benzoyl peroxide and
other acne treatments can permanently bleach or stain fabrics so it’s best to let the
treatment dry completely for 10 minutes or so and then to sleep in loose-fitting
If your breakouts are on areas of your skin where you cannot reach, opt for a spray
skin treatment—Neutrogena and a few other acne brands have products on the
It goes without saying, but avoid any and all scratching, picking or prodding of
breakouts on your back and bottom (and your face, too). Picking at acne can easily
cause scarring and can introduce new bacteria to the area, making the whole
situation even worse.
Avoid Textured Fabric
Having lace or textured fabrics directly pressed up against the skin on your back and
bottom can cause friction against the skin, and lead to irritation and acne breakouts.
So think twice before you wear a thong, go commando, or wear rough fabrics up
against your skin. Opt for soft, smooth cotton fabrics to provide a protective barrier
between your skin and clothing.
Avoid Certain Body Lotions
If you’re prone to body acne, be mindful of the lotion you’re applying when you get
out of the shower. For most people, you don’t even need to be applying lotion to
your back or bottom. If you have dry or rough skin and do want to apply lotion to
these areas, look for a non-comedogenic or water-based body lotion.
Avoid Fabric Softener & Choose the Right Laundry Detergent
For many, fragrances and other chemicals can react with sensitive skin and cause
breakouts. If you’ve recently started breaking out after trying a new detergent, it
might be to blame. Opt for fragrance-free, unscented detergents and use dryer balls
in lieu of fabric softener. This will help prevent a layer of chemicals from sticking to
and irritating your skin throughout the day.
Wash Your Sheets
Once you’ve got the right type of laundry detergent, wash your sheets with it at
least once a week. Even when they look spotless, your sheets are actually harboring
bacteria, skin cells and other germy microorganisms that are just waiting to stake
claim on your skin while you’re sleeping.
Don’t overlook the effect a healthy diet can have on your skin’s health. Eating certain
foods can help clear up your skin and give it a healthier, prettier tone. Read here for
what to eat to improve your skin.
Reducing Acne Scars
After getting a breakout under control, you’re often left with the unsightly telltale
scars acne can leave behind. And back and bottom acne tend to scar worse than
acne on other parts of your body.
Acne can cause different types of scarring, which require different types of treatment. Read here for tips to help fade and smooth different types of acne scars.
In addition to the treatment and prevention tips above, if your back or bottom
acne is more severe, your dermatologist may recommend prescription oral and/
or topical medications or laser and cosmetic procedures that target the skin’s oil
glands to reduce the acne.
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