Back acne Q&A with a dermatologist: skin care tips

why i happy friday welcome back to the

Q&A so today i'm going to be addressing

all of your questions about back knee or

back acne or breakouts on the back the

topic that I get a decent number of

questions about and this time of year I

seem to be getting even more questions

about it as maybe the humidity in your

area increases and you know you're

you're working out maybe outdoors and

sweating more you're dealing with maybe

potentially some potentially some

exacerbations of breakouts on your back

if you're new here welcome my name is

Andrea I'm a dermatologist I still

vandalizing the dermatologist blogs as

well as I sit down skincare Q&A is

similar to this and skincare routines I

encourage you to stick around so bacne

you're asking on the backs incredibly

common it's all can be present both men

and women it's often noted to be

worsened after sweating or when wearing

exercise clothing that's that's


and it can be very itchy similar to

bacne likewise individuals can also

develop but nee hoor acne on the rear

any of you you may have observed that

when you have a flare of acne on the

back eventually it might go away and so

it's not surprising to me that I get

questions well what sort of washes and

bathing kinds of things should I be

doing to help my back acne breakouts and

you know potentially acne on other

locations on the body what kind of

things can I do to help those go away

faster mild cases of acne on the back

and trunk are those that are most likely

with a few conservative skincare

measures available in your drugstore

those are the cases that are you know

most likely to be able to go away on

their own as you may have experienced

particularly cases where you may have

developed the acne recently you don't

really have much acne year-round and you

can identify clearly this is related to

recent sweat or working out as far as

the nature of the acne and the

composition is the ask me it's

oftentimes a mixture of way

and blackheads also what we call and

dermatology open and closed comedone

these cases tend to be mild however if

you will have asked however individuals

who have acne on the back that is

characterized by deep-seated and painful

and or painful nodules these are the

cases that most often will not go away

on their own and I would encourage you

to seek evaluation and management from a

dermatologist for potentially

prescription medications to help control

those conditions so what sort of things

are there in the drugstore to help get

rid of a breakout a little bit faster

and help control breakouts down the road

so the good news is that studies have

demonstrated that using some simple

over-the-counter phones and washes can

help clear up miles or even moderate

cases of acne on the back when used in

conjunction with an acne friendly

skincare routine so what is the

ingredient to list form so a great

drugstore find is a benzoyl peroxide

containing emollient foam body wash

benzoyl peroxide in these washes not

only helps kill some of the bacteria on

the skin that contribute to acne in

these areas but it can also help to

break up some of the acne lesions and

get them under control faster

furthermore when used consistently on a

daily basis these acne washes containing

benzoyl peroxide can cut down on the

number of little breakouts that you get

on the back and other areas of the body

so I is benzoyl peroxide containing

washes myself to control breakouts on

the body related to working out and

sweating and many people ask me well how

effective is benzoyl peroxide when just

put on the body and then wash off does

it have to sit on the skin to do

anything and I was that even working so

benzoyl peroxide and wash form can and

does in fact help to clear the lesions

of acne without necessitating it being

left on the skin for a prolonged period

of time

specifically studies show that you can

get good results from a benzoyl peroxide

containing wash if you leave it on the

affected area of the back for example

for a duration ranging from two to

minutes prior to rinsing it off letting

the benzoyl peroxide containing wash sit

on your skin for two to five minutes has

the following advantages advantage

number one is it allows the benzoyl

peroxide ingredient to penetrate the

skin effectively and concentrate in the

oil-bearing glands of the skin skin on

the back is much thicker than the skin

on the face so letting it sit on there

for that amount of time ensures good

penetration into the skin the second

advantage if you have ever used benzoyl

peroxide containing products before you

are probably familiar with the fact that

if this ingredient comes in contact with

fabrics or washcloths for example it

will bleach the fabrics it does not

however bleach your skin so don't worry

about that

the effect is only on fabrics by using

it in a wash form left on the skin for a

few minutes in the shower this sort of

eliminates that potential concern of

ruining your linens fabrics and pajamas

so the next question that I get with

regards to benzoyl peroxide and acne

containing washes for backing is what is

the most effective percentage strength

of benzoyl peroxide that I should be

looking for in an acne wash and that's a

great question because you'll find over

the counter benzoyl peroxide containing

washes in a variety of percent strength

so the benzoyl peroxide and for acne on

the back and trunk se have shown that

benzoyl peroxide containing washes with

5.3% benzoyl peroxide are very effective

at controlling the inflammatory lesions

of acne on the trunk but with far fewer

side-effects with dryness irritation

peeling itching related to excessive

irritation that is a side effect of

higher percentage strengths of the

benzoyl peroxide such as what is found

in 10% benzoyl peroxide containing

washes however if you find that five

point three percent benzoyl peroxide is

not quite cutting it you might try going

up to ten percent in a foaming wash and

if you expand the description box below

I will list on some my personal favorite

benzoyl peroxide containing washes but

one wash that I use on my body is pen

axial this is 10

percent benzoyl peroxide and I find that

this is very effective at keeping me

from ever having breakouts on my body

and controls it quite well

this is 10% and doesn't irritate my skin

when used in the shower as I've

described many of you comment in the

comment section that you found my videos

by out looking for tips on different and

I have a variety of videos on starting

different and tips for different as well

as frequently asked questions with

regards to different so I encourage you

to check those out I'll include them in

the description box so different is a

medication over-the-counter which is the

brand name for a dazzling 0.1% it is a

retinoid that previously in the united

states was available only by

prescription but now you can purchase

over-the-counter and i'm sure you're

hearing all the commercials here on

youtube for gasoline is now in pro a

scent which is great and is another

option for for you guys looking for

adapting or different so many of you ask

you will can this be used on the back

for back acne and the answer is yes

using this on its own or alongside a

benzoyl peroxide containing acne wash

like pond axle can help unclog pores on

the back help control oil production in

the skin of the back and also allows the

benzoyl peroxide containing washes to

work a little bit more effectively and

so what's the best way to apply

different or adapt aligned to back acne

and how do i even get it back there well

the best way is to apply it after the

shower to dry moisturized skin you only

need a small amount and it can be

applied to the back quite readily using

a special applicator for putting lotion

on the back i will include this in the

description i will include a link below

for a back lotion applicator that can

help in getting the best that can assist

you in

getting the adapting to the the target

site on your back but you only need a

small amount to the back in the evening

following a shower and this can help you

the benzoyl peroxide watch that you used

in the shower work a little more

effectively you can try using it on its

own or in conjunction with benzoyl

peroxide when you're working out or in a

hot environment where you're prone to

sweating select cotton fabrics or sweat

wicking dry sit fabrics when you're

working out so as to reduce the amount

of sweat that stays on the skin as so as

to wick sweat away from the body and cut

down on the amount of it just sitting

there on the skin make sure you wash

your workout clothing immediately after

working out and don't hang out in your

workout clothes just take them off right

away and get them into the washing

machine or into the wash expeditiously

as you can also I recommend that after

working out you shower immediately and

that you just don't hang out in your own

sweat that can contribute to breakouts

of acne because with time this kind of

creates an environment that's very

friendly for the little bacteria on your

skin to kind of get a little bit too

comfortable and contribute to those

braids ow so take a shower right away

and get out of the gym clothes and get

them into the wash expeditiously and if

you are working out however if you're

working out somewhere where you can't

get into a shower quickly just make sure

you change into dry clothes and prior to

putting on the dry clothes just take a

damp washcloth and lightly wipe off the

sweat from your back I will recommend

just a plain washcloth with a little bit

of tap water on it rather than a

cleansing white because wipes contain

ingredients that like preservatives and

things that can potentially be

irritating when left on the skin they're

okay to use they're okay to try they

don't bother you there's no reason to

stop using them but a washcloth to

simply remove the sweat with water is

really all you need you don't need a

fancy cosmetic wipe to take sweat off

likewise you don't need a special

micellar water to cleanse the bag prior

to showering just wipe it off just wipe

off the sweat with a washcloth it

doesn't have to be fancy a lot of people

ask me about back scrubbers to unclog

pores and I actually caution you against

that avoid the temptation to scrub the

skin I've mentioned this in many of my

other videos but when you scrub the skin

and attempt to exfoliate the skin or

unclog pores really all this does is

agitate the stratum corneum and the

natural skin barrier and in doing so

makes the skin uneven and susceptible to

losing water and as it starts losing

water and your body senses an impairment

in the skin barrier inflammation comes

into the skin and guess who is a key

driver of acne inflammation okay so now

you've got a setup where you've got skin

where you've got sweat sitting on the

skin hanging out the bacteria are

getting comfy you're trying to scrub

scrub scrub the immune system of getting

in there like stop doing that stop doing

that all of a sudden you got a flare of

acne on your back so don't scrub just

gently wipe off to sweat with a

washcloth or ideally immediately get

into the shower and avoid the temptation

to scrub scrub the back or peeled back

likewise avoid a loofah or a buff pause

another tip is to avoid anything that

rubs the back particularly after you've

just finished working out or sweating

like a heavy backpack for example try

and stick to a gym bag that you carry as

a tote rather than one that goes on your

back because anything that the back of

the skin of the back or rubbed up

against really creates frictional forces

that cause your immune system and say

hey what's going on and just kind of be

an itis for for flaring your

back acne and then probably one of the

hardest things is to avoid the

temptation to pick acne wounds on the

back it can be very difficult when there

is a lesion on your skin or a sensation

in the skin the the the desire to pick

at it and to squeeze it even if you're

not really intentionally doing it it can

be quite problematic and while it may

seem like you're alleviating the problem

by squeezing the pimple and all reality

all you are doing is causing more

inflammation and horror in the skin and

then also concerning is the risk for for

scarring with uh squeezing or

manipulating with skin like that so get

on your hands don't pick or squeeze or

extract or anything like that then

another tip if you're going or in a

bathing suit make sure you're wearing a

broad-spectrum sunscreen on the bag

don't be concerned that applying

sunscreen is going to clog your pores or

worsen acne it's actually the opposite

in a lack of sun protection really is

going to drive more inflammation into

your skin because ultraviolet light is

disruptive to the immune system in the

skin and can cause the lesions of acne

to persist and be more persistent and be

more inflammatory so do protect your

skin I will list down below some

sunscreens that should not break you out

or worsen acne but I can never predict

that 100% but good sunscreens to look

for I encourage you to check out my

sunscreen QA but to just summarize look

for ones that are SPF 30 to 50 those

containing zinc and/or titanium dioxide

exclusively or at least likely to be

irritating to you they do go on with

that thick white film to be aware of

that chemical sunscreens are also fine

to use those containing here in the

United States things like Ava benzene

and oxybenzone are very very safe should

not for cause pores or not thought to be


our acne inducing and if you tolerate

them they are also acceptable sunscreens

just make sure you put them on 20

minutes before going outdoors to allow

them to perform an adequate protective

film and so as far as the cleansing of

your your towels and washcloths and

pillowcases make sure you're keeping

those clean don't reuse washcloths just

wash them every time and wash your

pillowcases on a regular basis and your

sheets as bacterial can hang out on on

these surfaces and continue to flare

your back and body acne also I will

point out that fabric softeners have

been shown to to flare acne and some

individuals so avoid using fabric

softener and all of your towels you may

find that that helps some of your back

and body acne another question that I

get a fair amount about is the softness

of the water and can connect contribute

to acne on the back and it absolutely

can that has actually been demonstrated

in areas with hard water that it can

affect some of the composition of the

oil and lead to to clogging of the

course so that is you pay attention and

you can try it you know like a water

softener for example or you can try

cleansing the area with a spring water

for example as a potential if you find

that to be the case an additional thing

to know is that bar soaps can sometimes

cause the worsening of acne on the body

because they contain additives to help

the soap go into solid form and those

additives can can sometimes be

problematic and so avoid bar soaps on

the body and once they're specifically

labeled as intended for acne I generally

avoid bar soaps on the body all right

guys I know back knee and butt knee and

chest knee and all these other knees are

incredibly frustrating things to deal

with I really hope this video was

helpful to you guys are the tips I hope

you find useful again if you have acne

on the back to the painful characterized

by juice

beep cystic nodules acne that persists

despite conservative measures I really

really encourage you to seek evaluation

and management by a health care provider

and or dermatologists specifically for

the management of this problem as

oftentimes acne requires more than one

treatment and medication it's

individualized and there's not a

one-size-fits-all management plan so you

know don't try and DIY this yourself too

much you can get into trouble and you

know just set the stage for scarring and

more resistant acne so anyways those are

all my tips and answers to your

questions if you enjoyed this video give

it a thumbs up I encourage you to

subscribe if you're new and as always

don't forget sunscreen and subscribe

I'll talk to you guys in my next Q&A