How I Treated My Back Acne

Updated on October 16, 2019
geek_princess profile image

Laura has a BSc in Adult nursing. She also has 17 years experience working in healthcare.

My Backstory (Pardon the Pun)

Throughout most of my youth, I suffered from severe acne on my face and back. My skin was forever red and angry and I was teased at school. However, I have learned a lot about skin health over the years, as a result of studying nursing at university and by working in healthcare. Some of this knowledge was also gained from experience and by evaluating research. I am not a Dermatologist, therefore I cannot promise you results. However, I hope some of this information will help you in some way.

Personal Hygiene

When growing up, I was made to believe that spots are caused by poor hygiene. For a self-conscious teenager, this was extremely disheartening since I would often face outbreaks, despite showering daily. Fortunately, this myth has been debunked in recent years (NHS, 2019) because bacteria is not the only cause of spots. However, the products you are using could be making your bacne worse.

Soap and Shower Gel

The type of cleanser you use may dictate the quality of skin cleansing. If a soap is too drying, it may cause the body to produce more oil to compensate; leading to more spots (Rosso et al., 2016). A cleanser that is too rich and creamy may also block the pores.

Body washes that claim to be 'non-comedogenic' are a good choice because these products will not clog the skin. Even some natural ingredients such as coconut oil and almond oil are known to block pores (Lees, 2013). Consequently, products claiming to be 'natural' are not necessarily the best choice for acne-prone skin.

Products containing salicylic acid are another good choice because this acid eats all the gunk inside your pores; preventing new spots from developing over time (Davis, 2018). Great for hard to reach areas your back, which are difficult to clean.

Laundry Products

Highly perfumed laundry products could potentially lead to skin irritation and exacerbation of acne if your skin is very sensitive (Jenkins, 2018). Whilst unscented detergent and fabric conditioner may not seem that appealing, you could give them a try if your back acne is severe. Please note that natural products can also cause skin irritation if you are allergic to them. For example, some essential oils can cause unwanted skin reactions for some people.

Hair Products

A nourishing, rich conditioner may do wonders for your mane, but some conditioners are highly perfumed and may contain ingredients that block pores. You could overcome this issue by rinsing your hair forward to minimise exposure with your back.

Serums and leave-in products are another consideration since silicones can cause breakouts in some people (Talakoub, 2016). This is especially problematic if you have long hair, since these products may transfer onto your back throughout the day. Once I switched to silicone-free hair products, this had a positive impact on my bacne.

Food and Drink

I was brought up on dairy, whilst growing up. As a self-proclaimed chocoholic, I admit that I consumed too much of it. When I overindulged, I noticed the pimples on my back getting worse. At the time, I blamed it on hormones. What I didn't realise, was that dairy can cause the human body to produce growth hormones, resulting in an increased production of skin sebum (Juhl et al., 2018). As you may know, too much sebum can be bad news for acne sufferers because it can cause pores to become blocked. When I reduced my dairy consumption, I noticed a dramatic difference in my skin. My bacne was not as angry or severe as before.

Recent evidence suggests that diet alone may not cause acne (NHS, 2019). However, there is evidence to suggest that milk may exacerbate it in some people (Dattner, 2016). Other evidence suggests that a diet high in refined carbohydrates may also make acne worse (Burris et al., 2017). This includes foods such as white bread, pasta and flour.

Regardless of the cause of your acne, a nutritious diet is proven to support skin healing (Singh et al., 2017). This is because the skin cells require nutrition to repair and regenerate itself. Consequently, this could determine how quickly your skin recovers from painful outbreaks.

Are You Eating a Balanced Diet?

See results


  • Burris, J., Rietkerk, W., Shikany, J.M. and Woolf, K. (2017) 'Differences in Dietary Glycemic Load and Hormones in New York City Adults with No and Moderate/Severe Acne', Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vol. 117, no. 9, pp. 1375-1383 [Online]. Available at (Accessed 05/10/2019)
  • Dattner, A. M. (2016) 'Cross-Reactive Inflammation to Milk as a Causal Factor in Acne',Journal of Human Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 1-5 [Online]. Available: (Accessed 05/10/2019)
  • Davis, S (2018) 'Acne: On the road to clear skin', SA Pharmacist's Assistant, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 31-32.
  • Jenkins (2018) Cracking the Acne Code to Clearer Skin: Skin Rejuvenation with Acne-X-Factor, Estalontech.
  • Juhl, C. R., Bergholdt, H., Miller, I. M., Jemec, G., Kanters, J. K., & Ellervik, C. (2018) 'Dairy Intake and Acne Vulgaris: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of 78,529 Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults', Nutrients, vol 10, no. 8, pp.1049
  • Lees, M. (2013) Skin Care: Beyond the Basics, 4th edn, New York, Cengage Learning.
  • NHS (2019) Acne [Online]. Available at (Accessed 05/10/2019)
  • Rosso, J.Q.D. and Zeichner, J. A. (2016) Advances in Acne Management, An Issue of Dermatologic Clinics, Pennsylvania, Elsevier.
  • Singh, S., Young, A. and McNaught, C.E. (2017) 'The physiology of wound healing', Surgery, vol. 35, no. 9, pp. 473-477 [Online]. Available at (Accessed 05/10/2019).
  • Talakoub, L. and Wesley, N.O.(2016) 'Smooth hair – an acne-causing epidemic', Dermatology News, vol. 1, no.1, pp. 1-4.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      16 months ago

      Do I have to get it professionally removed, if do will it hurt?

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Best solution to bacne, is to burn the ever lonivg shit out of your back!!! lay our face down in the hot sun untill your back is red as a lobster. Do this as much as possible in the summer, give it a few years of repeating and I can 100% garauntee you that it will be gone for the rest of yoour life.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)