Bance-banishing the blemishes on your back

Dr Zara Kassam, PhD

Have you banished backless dresses because of  ‘Bacne’? Dr Zara Kassam PhD looks at ways to help you clear you back of spots so you can strut your stuff. 

Backless outfits are a must these days — but if your back is covered in spots they may not be your first clothing choice. The back like the face and chest that has a hefty amount of oil glands and the combination of surface sweat, dirt, and oils can accumulate in the pores, clogging them and leading to those inflamed pesky spots known as ‘bacne’.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to prevent spots from erupting.

To banish “bacne”, we must understand its various causes that conspire behind your back to cause it and how minor changes to your hygiene regimen and even diet can help clear it up.


What causes bacne

Bacne is triggered when the sebaceous glands, known as hair follicles, become blocked. In acne, the glands begin to produce too much sebum. The excess sebum mixes with dead skin cells and both substances form a blockage in the follicle. If the plugged follicle is close to the surface of the skin, it bulges outwards, creating a whitehead. Alternatively, the plugged follicle can be open to the skin, creating a blackhead. Normally harmless bacteria that live on the skin can then contaminate and infect the plugged follicles, causing papules, pustules, nodules or cysts.

There are many contributing factors that cause a flare up in, the most important being your genetics.  Acne is a very common trait in families it is likely if your parents had acne, it’s likely that you’ll also develop it.

The teenage years is when bance usually strikes, triggered by an increase in testosterone which occurs during puberty. The sebaceous glands are particularly sensitive to hormones. It’s thought that increased levels of testosterone cause the glands to produce much more sebum than the skin needs resulting in acne.



What can you do about bacne? 

There are a host of other things you can do to clear your bacne.

1. Exfoliate:
Possibly the most important thing you can do is exfoliate. Whether you use a body scrub, a loofa, or a back brush, it’s an important step in removing the dead skin and bacteria that clogs your pores that creates bacne. Exfoliate regularly but gently—remember you are not trying to remove your skin all together!

Examples of good exfoliators are:

-Dr Nick Lowe’s Acclenz Pore Refining Facial Polish

2. A good cleanser:

In the battle to clear up acne it is essential to use products with acne fighting ingredients, however, if an antibacterial wash isn’t cutting the mustard, cleansers or lotions with Alpha Hydroxy Acids such as Salicylic Acid or Glycolic Acid are commonly used to treat acne and may yield better results without drying the skin out.

Some examples include:

-NeoStrata Smooth Surface Daily Peel Pads

These pads are easy to use – simply wipe them over the affected area.

-Exuviance Clarifying Facial Cleanser

This cleanser is an antibacterial, anti-aging cleanser with Polyhydroxy Acid Gluconolactone which is ideal for oily/acne-prone skin. It gently removes surface oils without stripping the skin and leaving it dry.

pimple-graphic, bacne-journal-harley-street-emporium

3. Work from the inside out:

Diet is another possible contributor to bacne.  The jury is still out as to how much of a role it plays but evidence is suggesting a poor diet with lots of sugary foods could make acne worse as it prompts an inflammatory response.  Evidence is also starting to show that eating relatively low-glycemic diet – that is one with less simple sugars like pasta, rice and sweets – and swapping them for fruits and vegetables and foods that are rich in omega-3 fats, like oily fish, can make a difference.

4. Lifestyle

  • Getting plenty of  regular exercise regularly can help but always shower after exercising so the sweat doesn’t block the pores and make the bacne worse.
  • Drink plenty of water – it’s important to keep your skin well hydrated as it help maintain the skin barrier function making it less susceptible to mirco damage that bacteria can happily make their home.
  • Wash you clothes, sheets and towels regularly. Bacteria can build up in these and make it harder to get on top of you bacne.


If your bacne is unresponsive to at-home treatments and over the counter medicated products, visit a doctor.

It is essential to get early intervention as it could help prevent scarring.

The procedures that we use on our faces can also be successfully applied to that back such as try microdermabrasion,  glycolic acid chemical peels or LED light treatments. You doctor or dermatologist should be able to suggest the best approach for you.


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