Back acne scars, though usually hidden from view, are just as unsightly and embarrassing as facial acne scars. Like facial acne, back acne is primarily caused by the action of the male hormone testosterone on the skin's sebaceous glands.
Back acne is a problem to many young adults because of the big area of the body involved. It is not unusual for breakouts to extend also to the upper arms and chest.
Back acne scar treatment involves treating the acne condition itself and reducing, if not totally eliminating, the blemishes left behind. Following are some steps and procedures that we can take to get rid of those ugly back acne scars:
Basic skin hygiene
The back contains a lot of sweat glands. Although sweat does not directly cause acne, it can worsen an existing acne condition. Sweat breeds bacteria which can cause further inflammation and infection of pimples, setting the stage for those scars that remain long after acne is gone.
- Exfoliate your skin a couple of times a week with a body scrub, loofah, or a towel. This will eliminate dead skin cells and help clear up your skin. It will also prevent your pores from being blocked up causing further acne.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothes and fabrics that trap sweat and do not allow your skin to breathe. Instead, wear clothes made of light cotton or those newer, synthetic moisture-wicking spandex fabrics.
- Maintain a "back-friendly" environment by changing your sheets and bedding at regular intervals. Always take a shower and change shirts after a vigorous workout. Women should always wear a clean bra and top.
- Never pinch, squeeze, pop, or poke a pimple as it can lead to scarring.
- Many over-the-counter acne products contain sulfur or salicylic acid. These medications work at treating acne itself. All have exfoliant action which clears up the skin and eliminates mild back acne scars.
- You may also consider using creams and lotions for reducing acne scars. Some fade discolored scars by bleaching action. Those containing onion extract reportedly fade scars by regulating the formation of collagens.
Professional Methods of Skin Peeling
More potent methods of back acne scar treatment include any of the following: dermabrasion, laser treatment, or chemical peels. All are forms of more aggressive exfoliation used not just for back acne scars but also for dark spots and other types of scars as well. These treatments should be done by a competent professional dermatologist.
- Dermabrasion uses a small, sterilized electric sander or an instrument called dermatome, which is like an electric razor, to remove the surface of the skin by abrasion. The skin is anesthetized and frozen, and then the doctor uses the electric sander or dermatome to abrade away damaged tissue. This is effective for raised scars but not for sunken scars.
- Laser treatment involves CO2 or Er:YAG lasers. Both work by producing infrared beams that quickly heat and ablate (vaporize) damaged skin cells. CO2 laser is capable of penetrating more deeply into the skin than Er:YAG. Which one to use depends on the severity of your back acne scars.
- In chemical peeling, a high potency chemical, usually an acid, is applied to the skin. The procedure can improve small, depressed back acne scars. Repeated chemical peels may be done for deeper scars. Mild chemical peels use alphahydroxy acids (AHA) and betahydroxy acids. Stronger peels may use salicylic acid, phenols, or trichloroacetic acid (TCA).
Home remedies for back acne scars are non-invasive but take time to work, if at all. Some of the most commonly used remedies include:
- Vitamin E: this vitamin is reputed to minimize scarring. However, some studies show that it does not work and may even cause an allergic reaction.
- Aloe Vera: works as an anti-inflammatory agent and aids in the healing process
- Lemon: lemon is a natural bleach and is useful for fading dark acne scars
Given above are the best ways to treat back acne scars. There is no need to put up with those ugly blemishes. So pick a treatment and get your clear skin and your confidence back.