How I Accidentally Treated My Back Acne, (Bacne) after Years of Suffering. Clear Skin and Improved Confidence.
Backstory (No Pun Intended)
Throughout most of my teenage/adult life, I have suffered from Acne on my face and also on my back, (also referred to as 'Bacne'). My skin was so bad, it would look forever red and angry all over - not great for self confidence.
I just wish I had the knowledge then, that I know now. Through years of trial and error, I finally feel in control of my skin.
Although I am not a Dermatologist, I am hoping that some of my experiences will help others. I don't doubt there are specialists who really know their stuff but in all honesty, I feel like they have let me down over the years. That is probably why you have stumbled upon my page too, right?
I can't promise you results. However, it might give you some inspiration to find a cure for your Bacne.
I get really annoyed when people blame 'Bacne' on bad hygiene and bad hygiene alone. I shower daily but I still suffered from the worst pimples.
That aside, I do believe it is important to keep bad bacteria under control. If you use a washcloth, change it every time you wash and also change your clothes daily.
Whilst it is true that your back gets hot and sweaty, (and a potential breeding ground for bacteria), I can personally say that it made little difference how often I cleansed my skin. In fact, the biggest problem for me, was the type of cleanser I was using.
Soap and Shower Gel
You know those really cheap, creamy shower soaps; the type full of moisturisers? They have a tendency to block my pores like crazy. Washing your skin with these kinds of products, can really make your skin problem worse. You would be much better using a body wash containing Salicylic Acid, like Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash. Salicylic Acid basically eats all the gunk, which blocks your pores and it prevents new spots from developing over time.
If you want to choose the very best products for your skin, you will need to do some research and avoid products containing 'comedogenic' ingredients. These are basically ingredients which are proven to clog up the pores and make acne worse. You would be surprised just how many skin products and cleansers contain these ingredients, so watch out! They could be making your skin problem worse.
Another thing that makes my 'Bacne' worse, is the use of hair conditioners. I try to use them extremely sparingly now but it is difficult to resist sometimes, especially if you have long hair, like me.
Why shouldn't you smother your hair with thick, creamy conditioner? Because it will make direct contact with your back and block your pores. It wasn't until I had run out of my favourite hair conditioner, that my back acne started to clear up.
Even if you don't have long hair, what products are you using in the shower or bath? Your skin might be reacting to one of your personal hygiene products.
If you have long hair, you might want to go easy on hair serums and other hair products. Most hair care manufacturers seem to have a love for adding Silicone into their formulations, (the magic ingredient used to make the hair look shiny).
Now, I know there is a big debate whether Silicone actually exacerbates acne but from my experience, it definitely upsets my skin. Everybody is different and responds to skin care ingredients in different ways. In the very least, try going without your hair serum for a week, to see if it has a positive effect on your 'Bacne'.
The Biggest Cause of My 'Bacne' Was an Underlying Allergy to Dairy
If you have read some of my other articles, you will know that I recently encountered Eczema for the first time in my life. It was completely unexplained. Doctors had no clue what was going on so I turned to self help methods to heal my body.
I was at wits end, so I decided to do a raw fruit and vegetable detox to try to cleanse my body of toxins. I won't go into this in great detail, because I have wrote other articles detailing my experiences, but when I started to introduce normal foods into my diet, my skin flared up beyond recognition. Big boils started to appear all over my back and my eyes swelled up. I soon discovered that I had developed an allergy to Dairy and Lemons.
As a self proclaimed chocoholic, this was not good news. However, when I cut Dairy and Lemons out from my diet, my 'Bacne' just vanished. Could I have been allergic to Dairy all this time, without even knowing it? I believe that 'Bacne', was my body's way of telling me that it was unhappy.
I am not saying that you should detox because that is your personal choice. However, it might be a good idea to get allergy tested, just in case. If you are allergic to the food you eat, you could be doing your body a lot of harm.
Do You Suffer from Any Known Food Allergies?
The Basic Steps to Prevent 'Bacne':
Find out if you have a food allergy that is causing your skin to become spotty. You might have had an underlying allergy without even realising. Dairy is often a culprit but everybody is different.
Keep your skin clean with non - comedogenic (non pore blocking) soap or shower gel.
Always use a clean wash cloth every time you wash
Avoid using too much hair conditioner. If your hair is long, wear your hair in a ponytail to prevent it touching your skin.
If your hair is long, avoid hair serums and lots of hair products
Change your clothes daily, (including bras) because they harbour germs.
'Bacne' Caused by Hormones
If you have tried everything mentioned above and you are still having problems with your skin, it might be worth visiting your GP to get your hormones levels checked - I had this done as a kid because they thought I might have had a condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Turns out that I didn't but better be safe than sorry, right?
The Doctor may even refer you to a skin specialist, if you haven't seen one already. GPs and Dermatologists often prescribe Acne Medication to those who need it, although that is your own, personal choice.
The way I look at it, if you can solve a problem by making a few changes to your diet or personal care regime, you don't need to rely on prescription drugs to 'mask' the symptoms.
Issues with hormones however, are more complex and it really needs the help of a qualified professional.