Dealing with back acne
My struggles with back acne started when I was 16. It started with just a few little pimples on my lower back, and over the course of a few weeks, it turned into cystic acne all over, with my middle upper back and shoulder blades getting the most of it. I had no clue what I had done to cause this problem; I was doing the same stuff, using the same products...but I did realize that I had been sweating more due to feeble attempts to exercise after school. Soon after, I stopped exercising for a while, but the acne continued to get worse, and it couldn't have come at a worse time. The weather was just starting to warm up and people were beginning to wear tank tops and go shopping for swimsuits. I had always been confident with wearing tank tops and swim suits, but after my back acne began to pop up, I wasn't so sure anymore. It took me years to figure out how to control it, and I still struggle with it every now and then with a pimple popping up here and there. But I've gone back to being confident and carefree...for the most part! Here's what I did to help get rid of my back acne:
1) Get that hair conditioner away from your back
Getting hair conditioner on my back while in the shower definitely wasn't the leading cause of my acne issues, but I did find that once I began tying up my hair after conditioning it, and rinsing it out later, my acne seemed to be less red and painful. Conditioner can clog pores, especially if you have long hair that cascades down almost your whole back. While rinsing the conditioner out, I also tried to keep the product from washing down my back. So bottom line: eliminate as much contact as possible between your back and your hair conditioner.
2) Wear loose clothing
This doesn't mean you have to throw out all your tighter shirts and sweaters, and it doesn't mean that you can't wear them at all. I for one, tend to wear tighter fitting clothing and definitely didn't want to give that up for the sake of my back. So I tried to wear looser clothing if I was lounging around at home where I wouldn't care what I wore around the house. So I guess you could say I didn't follow this guideline closely, but others have told me this helped get rid of their back acne problems.
3) Find a body wash and/or treatment
It took me forever to find the right back acne treatment for me. I experimented with the Lush Ocean Salt face and body scrub, with little success, then I tried dousing my back in tea tree oil every night (and let me tell you, that scent is strong and somewhat repulsive if you use too much). I experimented with the Proactiv Deep Cleansing wash, and had zero success, and I do mean absolutely NONE. So what finally worked for me? The Body Shop Tea Tree Body Wash. It didn't smell as strong as the pure tea tree oil and the product itself lasts forever, I probably have to buy one every year and a half since I use it specifically for my back. I then follow up with the Clean and Clear Advantage Spot Treatment for targeted treatment.
I learned to exfoliate about twice a week with my Clarisonic Mia, and it really does help to unclog my pores and allow products to work better. But don't exfoliate every day, because that'll end up irritating your skin even more, especially if your skin seems to have become a haven for acne to thrive in.
Moisturizing with a noncomedogenic body lotion did wonders for my back acne. I started using the Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion about 3 years ago, and I haven't gone back since . This product has oatmeal complexes that nourish and soothe the skin, which helps a lot when your acne is red and painful. Notice how I said noncomedogenic, which basically means it won't clog your pores. This is extremely important, for inferred reasons. I would suggest staying away from scented lotions, even if they say noncomedogenic, because the fragrance can irritate your already sensitive skin.
6) Be patient
You're not going to get overnight results, and you're not going to see amazing results in a 2 or 3 days, unless you opt for a back facial, which I have heard is extremely painful. Healing your skin takes time, especially if it's skin on your back, which is thicker and takes more time to allow products to work than the skin on your face. Don't stress out about it, and if you find a new product you want to try, try it for a month or so before discarding it if it isn't working.
Having back acne can be stressful and frustrating. It made me more insecure than I should have been but always remember, that you are probably your own worst critic. Nothing is as bad as it may seem, and something like back acne isn't permanent. It'll take a little time for your skin to get back to that smooth, clear surface you remember it once was, but once it does, it'll be one of the best feelings ever.