Attain clearer skin on your back, shoulders and chest.
Clinically proven and effective back acne treatments backed by science.
What Causes Back Acne?
There are many factors that contribute to what causes back acne. Genetics, hormones and stress are just a few. Occlusion due to clothing that clogs up the pores often worsens the condition.
Environmental heat and humidity increases the amount of sweat and sebum produced, further exacerbating the condition.
Back acne is driven by hormones and it is more common in young adolescent males. Hormonal imbalances in females with a condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome often present with acne as well.
HOW DR.NG TREATS BACK ACNE
As a clinician with more than 15 years of experience, Dr Ng. understands the impact of how acne can affect an individual. Acne knows no boundaries, afflicting a wide range of age groups and affecting both genders for varying lengths of time. Dr. Ng provides a patient-centric approach that is backed by the latest scientific evidence as well as his own wealth of experience to create a care plan for the best acne treatment that is unique to your skin type. Early intervention can help prevent acne scars, restore your skin and confidence.
Why do I get Back Acne?
Where is one of the first areas to produce sweat during a workout? The back of course! Back acne is common as the oil glands are larger and more concentrated over these areas.
Bacne, Back acne or Truncal Acne is a common form of acne that affects the back, shoulders and chest. It is seen in up to 50% of individuals that come to the clinic with facial acne.
Bacne tends to be more common in young males, individuals with severe acne and hormonal acne. Left untreated, back acne can progress to cystic acne, red marks, blemishes (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), keloids and permanent scars.
Truncal skin is more vulnerable to oil, sweat, friction and occlusion than facial skin. What causes back acne from one person can greatly differ from another. Therefore, it is important to try to uncover what may trigger your acne in the first place.
What does Back Acne look like?
The appearance of back acne can range from comedomes to inflammatory papules, pustules, nodules and cysts on the back and chest.
The most frequent areas affected are the upper back, chest and lower back. Shoulder and upper arm involvement can occur in some cases. Scarring, especially hypertrophic and keloid scarring often accompanies back acne.
The severity of back acne is dependent on certain factors that include:
- Area affected
- Number of inflammatory papules and pustules
- Presence of cysts and nodules
- Scarring: Atrophic & Keloid scars
- Impact of quality of life
3 Ways to Get Rid of Back Acne
- Washout after a Workout. A sweat soaked shirt that blocks and clogs the pores is a common culprit of acne. We advise washing immediately after a workout and changing into fresh breathable cotton attire.
- No Excuses Just because you Can’t See It. We frequently ignore our backs until someone points it out to us. We advise washing the back with a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid based wash to remove skin debris and keep skin healthy.
- Eat Healthy. A well-balanced diet that is low in sugar content and dairy products may lead to an improvement in your acne.
benefits of treating bacne
Active acne that is deeply rooted within the skin can be painful and cause significant distress.
Left untreated, acne can progressively get worse with increasing inflammation and scarring.
Bacne is associated with atrophic acne scars and often keloid scars. Dr. Ng. believes that prevention of potential scarring is paramount in any acne treatment plan.
Clearer and healthier skin is associated with better sense of well-being, improved mental health and enhanced quality of life.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a common complication of acne. It is always better to prevent PIH rather than to treat it.
Live the life you deserve whether in the social or professional setting. Many patients put off wearing clothes they love due to bacne but effective treatment can thankfully take care of that.
What Treatment Options are there for Back Acne?
First, we need to uncover the factors that relate to what causes back acne. The treatment of back acne depends on the severity of your acne, your medical history, allergies, skin type and skin sensitivity. Often, combining treatments are more effective at targeting the different processes of acne to give an optimum outcome.
- Topical Acne Creams
Prescription Acne creams containing a combination of a retinoid and benzoyl peroxide have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-comedomal properties to provide a multi-prong approach to acne. Azelaic acid 20% cream used twice daily resulted in significant improvement after 12 weeks of back acne treatment. Topical acne treatments would be suitable for mild to moderate truncal acne.
Trifarotene cream, a fourth-generation retinoid is safe and effective for acne on the back, chest, shoulders and fast. Improvement can be seen in as little as 2 weeks while having good tolerability and minimal side effects.
- Oral Antibiotics
Antibiotics are a mainstay of treatment for moderate to severe inflammatory back acne vulgaris, and work by reducing bacterial load and inflammation. Antibiotics have proven to be safe and effective in many studies to treat acne. A course of treatment may last at least 3-4 months. However, there is an increasing trend of antibiotic-resistant acne worldwide.
- Oral Retinoids
Oral retinoids is a Vitamin A derived medication that works extremely well in acne and are currently the most effective treatment for severe recalcitrant acne. It reduces oil secretion by 90% within 6 weeks of treatment, reduces whiteheads and blackheads by 90% within 3 months and has an anti-inflammatory effect.
A consultation is necessary to discuss about the side effects, suitability and precautions before starting oral retinoids.
- Hormonal Therapies
Oral contraceptive pills and oral spironolactone for females work by suppressing the effect of androgen on the sebaceous glands and have benefited individuals who may be not suitable for other therapies.
- Anti-inflammatory Injections
If you develop a painful acne cyst on your back, the anti-inflammatory injection treatment can rapidly improve your symptoms in 1-2 days.
Bacne keloid scarring can also be treated with anti-inflammatory injections, spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart to reduce the scar thickness and volume.
How can I improve my acne scars?
Acne scarring is an unfortunate consequence of acne. It often results from acne that has been left untreated and resultant damage done to the dermal layer of the skin. Severe forms of acne such as cystic acne have a much higher risk of scarring.
There are many forms of Acne Scars, and Acne scar revision will depend on the type or types of acne scar you have.
Our clinic uses various techniques including chemical resurfacing, subcision, lasers, surgery and fillers to resurface and correct acne scarring.
schedule a consultation for back acne treatment in singapore
We treat a range of acne and acne scars at both our clinics in Woodlands and Kovan. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, so that Dr. Ng can develop a personalized treatment approach for resolving your skin concerns and helping you to achieve long-term improvements in the health and appearance of your skin.
- Lee JW, Yoo KH, Park KY, Han TY, Li K, Seo SJ, et al. Effectiveness of Conventional, Low-dose and Intermittent Oral Isotretinoin in the Treatment of Acne: A Randomized, Controlled Comparative study. Br J Dermatol. 2010 Nov 29.
- Collier CN, Harper JC, Cafardi JA, Cantrell WC, Wang W, Foster KW, et al. The prevalence of acne in adults 20 years and older. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 Jan. 58(1):56-9.
- Woo YR, Kim HS. Truncal Acne: An Overview. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2022 Jun 24;11(13):3660.