One of the most common conditions in the US is acne, causing anxiety and low self- esteem among a significant percentage of the population. While it has been generally associated with teens and adolescents, it actually affects even older age groups. The outbreak of blackheads, whiteheads is not limited to the face alone, but can affect the back, neck and the chest. Acne on the back, known as bacne is cause for embarrassment and often prevents the affected from wearing certain types of clothing or partaking in outdoor events. Much has been written about treatment options for acne, however, it is important to know how to get rid of bacne as this equally affects individuals.
What is bacne and how to get rid of bacne?
Before we look at how to get rid of bacne it is necessary to learn all about bacne. Acne on the back is characterised by oily skin, scars, and pimples that are filled with yellowish pus. Additionally, individuals may also experience whiteheads and red spots from bacne. Individuals at higher risk of getting bacne are those who have more oil producing glands, which end up getting triggered by hormonal imbalances. The severity of bacne may differ from person to person and depends on the underlying causes. For instance, it could be just a few spots on the back for certain individuals, while for others it could be a large cluster that affects a large area on the back. Hiding/masking large clusters of bacne is nearly impossible and the only option is to fully cover the area with clothing, which could also end up aggravating the condition further. The possibility of dark spot forming in the place of occurrence cannot be ruled out and it is therefore necessary to get the right kind of treatment for the condition. Treatment options include topical applications and medications, with a large share of OTC formulations being effectively used for managing the condition. It is important to continue use of topical medications for a short period after the acne has resolved, in order to prevent further breakouts. However, it is best to seek and follow the advice of dermatologists for managing the condition.
What causes bacne and how to get rid of bacne?
As we start looking at how to get rid of bacne let us take a look at the causes of bacne. A spike in certain hormone levels in the blood result in an increase in the production of oil. When this occurs simultaneously with the clogging of the follicles, acne/bacne forms on the skin. The dead skin cells that are unable to be cleared from the surface, end up blocking the follicles, and this combined action causes build-up of oil and in the formation of blackheads or whiteheads that are commonly associated with acne breakout. The bacteria Propionibacterium acnes is present in every single human being and this bacteria does not typically pose any problems to individuals, as it continues to exist on the skin. However, when excessive oil buildup occurs on the skin, this presents the ideal condition for the bacteria to multiply. As a consequence, the skin erupts in inflammation along with the formation of spots that are reddish in hue. Additionally, in a percentage of the eruptions, some of the formations could be filled with pus that is yellowish on color.
One of the most common perceptions about bacne is that it is attributed to certain food products. However, there is no conclusive evidence that links bacne to specific food products. For instance, individuals are known to squarely blame chocolates and fast-food products for acne breakout. However, it is incorrect to lay the blame on these products. There are certain triggers that can be attributed to acne and it is pertinent to note that this has got to do with the blood sugar levels. For instance, a spike in blood sugar levels could possibly be conducive for bacne. Therefore it is not entirely correct to identify chocolates or fast food as the reason for bacne, but food products that result in an increase in blood sugar levels.
Top tips for prevention of bacne
As we start looking at how to get rid of bacne it is necessary to have a clearer understanding of how to prevent bacne. This is important as the failure to take preventive measures can result in a flare up of the condition even after it has been resolved. Apparel that is tight fitting in nature are not to be worn as this will continue to clog the pores and aggravate the condition. Wear clothing made of material that is “breathable”, which will facilitate movement of air. This will also prevent sweating, and the clogging of the pores. While working out ensure that the sweatshirts and sweatpants are of the right materials and loose fitting. The cleansers used after a workout or any strenuous activity needs to be gentle and mild in nature. It should not aggravate the condition or irritate the skin. Remember to thoroughly wash the affected area and pat it dry, to cleanse the pores and the skin.
The application of the cleansers needs to be performed gently. Ensure that the cleanser is applied with the fingertips, in a manner that the nails do not end up scratching or rubbing the affected area. Do not use excessive pressure while cleaning the back and do not try to scrub too hard. Till the condition is fully resolved, it is necessary to fully avoid tanning, and ensure that the affected area is not exposed to the sun. The eruptions in the skin are not to be squeezed, pricked, or popped as this could result in possible scarring in addition to the risk of aggravating/spreading the affected area. While the conditions of bacne and acne on the face are similar and attributed to bacteria and the clogging of pores, the methods of treating are not exactly the same. Here are top tips on how to get rid of bacne.
#1 How to get rid of bacne with topical applications
Topical applications for treating bacne are effective enough and are often the first line of treatment for managing bacne. This is especially true when the condition is either mild or moderate. When the condition is extreme, and covers a very large area, the treatment methodology differs. Typical over the counter topical formulations contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. The topical applications are available in different concentrations – 2.5%, 4% and 5%. The best method of application is to use the product on the affected area and the surrounding areas as well. This is known to help resolve the condition better, and visible differences can be fully seen by the end of 6 weeks or two months.
#2 How to get rid of bacne with specialist skin procedures
Individuals who suffer from bacne that is severe in nature can also look at dermatological skin procedures performed by specialists. For instance, laser therapies and light therapies are possible procedures that are typically used for managing the condition. Other dermatological interventions include chemical peels These methods help to clear the blackheads and the papules that form as a result of the outbreak. Similarly, other procedures include drainage and extraction that is typically reserved for treating bacne that is severe and large. In certain instances, medication or other methods may not resolve or result in resolving large cysts. It may then be necessary to look at drainage and extraction for helping treat the large cysts. However, scarring is an outcome from these two procedures – drainage and extraction. It may then be necessary to either look at other procedures to handle the scars, or to use cosmetics to mask the scarring.
#3 How to get rid of bacne with oral medications
The second most common method of treating bacne/acne is the use of oral medication. Various oral formulations are presently used for managing bacne. This includes antibiotics that help kill bacteria and bring down the inflammation associated with the condition. However, oral antibiotics need to be taken alongside topical medications, and is typically part of a combination treatment regimen. Depending on the severity of the condition and the affected area, it may be necessary to take oral antibiotics anywhere between two months to six months.
Among oral medications used for treating bacne, off-label uses of birth control pills and medications that have an impact on hormones are also sometimes used. However, this needs to be taken with extreme care as it involves a disruption in other actions that are triggered by the hormones. For instance, birth control pills are known to reduced the amount of oil produced in the body, while also affecting ovulation. It is therefore to be taken only after due consideration. Typically, effects of the medications are experienced around three months after commencement.
#4 Treatment of recalcitrant bacne with oral retinoid derivative
Retinoid derivative of Vitamin A is another oral medication used for treating severe acne that is known as recalcitrant acne. This refers to the condition wherein bacne does not resolve with other methods. The mechanism of action of Isotretinoin is powerful and is known to have long term impact – with results lasting for as long as two years. However, it is known to have side effects on pregnant women and therefore poses a risk to babies in wombs. The medication is strictly not to be used on women who are planning pregnancy, and this prescription medication is always recommended only after certain laboratory diagnostics are completed. During the course of the medication, the individual needs to be monitored periodically by the treating doctor to ensure that undesirable side effects have not manifested.
#5 How to get rid of bacne with additional measures and remedies
In addition to the above options, it is necessary to adopt certain changes and methods for better outcomes. For instance, it is necessary to incorporate dietary changes. Certain food products are known to help curb inflammation – vegetables that are leafy and green, tomatoes and fish. Inclusion of these products in the diet will help to control the amount of inflammation, which will in turn prevent and help bring faster outcomes to treatment options. Similarly, food products that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids are considered as a good addition. This effectively brings down the blood sugar levels, and as outlined earlier, higher blood sugar levels are conducive for bacne. By cutting down on food products that increase blood sugar levels and by increasing intake of Omega 3 fatty acids, it is possible to help manage bacne better.
#6 Tips to remember while following different treatments for bacne
When following tips on how to get rid of bacne, it is necessary to follow certain precautions or additional measures. Certain medications are known to cause dry skin. For instance, Isotretinoin, the retinoid derivative of Vitamin A is known to cause dry skin. As a result the area around the lips may end up feeling extremely dry. It is recommended to therefore use a lip moisturizer when on isotretinoin. Since the medication may deplete oil levels, there could be some discomfort in the joints.
Hygiene is an important aspect when treating bacne. It is therefore necessary to maintain the highest standards of hygiene, and prevent conditions that are conducive for bacteria to thrive. Wash all towels and clothing frequently, and use the right kind of clothing material, preferably antimicrobial fabric or materials that wick away the moisture.
Avoid tight fitting clothes that irritate the skin. Studies have revealed that wearing tight yoga pants are a major cause for the outbreak of skin conditions. This is because yoga sessions typically last longer than usual workouts and the longer your skin is soaked in sweat and wrapped in tight fitting clothes, the greater is the chance of worsening skin conditions including acne. Clothes used for workouts are often re-used multiple times without washing and this adds to the condition.
Individuals suffering from severe bacne are advised to seek medical assistance from expert dermatologists. A trained dermatologist may use a combination of prescription oral antibiotics, topical applications, hormone therapy and skin procedures to treat acne. This will help manage the condition better with lesser possibility of scarring.