How can You Prevent Back Acne

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Causes of Back Acne

Acne vulgaris, or common acne, is an inflammatory reaction occurring in the pilosebaceous units, or PSUs. A PSU includes the hair follicle with a fine hair, the attached sebaceous gland and sebum it produces and the pore. The sebaceous gland produces sebum, an oil, to moisturize and protect the skin. When the pore, the opening to the skin's surface, becomes blocked, sebum cannot exit the follicle and begins to collect. The strength of sebum output, in addition to this collection, causes damage to the cells lining the canal. The body's immune response to this injury causes the inflammation and redness that is commonly associated with the zit.

Contrary to popular thought, the first and foremost cause of acne is the damage caused by sebum to the follicular canals (and not bacteria). Having unstable hormone levels is the principle reason for increased sebum and force of output.

Although not the main cause of acne, bacteria do participate in the manifestation of acne. The acne-causing bacterium, P. acnes, is found naturally in the skin. It is when the follicle is ruptured that bacterium, along with sebum and dead skin cells, pours into the dermis, causing infection.

Other lesser contributing factors are those that cause the clogging of pores. Sebum (especially sebum that has hardened due to the body's deficit in essential fatty acids) and excess skin cells are the major offenders.

Additional contributors to acne specifically found on the back include tight clothing and not showering after activities causing sweat. Both create an environment conducive to bacteria growth and contribute to oil buildup.

Back Acne Prevention

Now that you are aware of the causes of acne, you can better prevent back acne.

You can't control your genetics and puberty but there are ways to get sebum production under control. Stress causes hormone imbalances which indirectly signal the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. Finding a stress reduction method that works for you is most important, however, some include exercising, meditation or yoga, deep breathing exercises, and simple improvement of one's time management skills.

By increasing your consumption of essential fatty acids, you can easily avoid the pore-blocking hardening of sebum. This is most easily done by eating Omega-3 rich foods or supplements of fish, cod liver or flax seed. Additionally, you can decrease the probability of pores getting blocked with exfoliating scrubs or your normal body wash and a loofah sponge.

Lastly, by regularly cleansing the back, you can manage the amount of P. acnes bacteria living in your skin. Always shower after exercising and wear loose clothing that breathes well.

Back Acne Treatment

If you already have it, you can clear up back acne by following a regimen similar to that for acne of the face:

Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are typical over-the-counter products utilized to get rid of back acne. Both these ingredients dry the skin of the oil found superficially and can be the cause of further irritation. Unfortunately, benzoyl peroxide has been discovered to damage the skin by releasing free radicals.

Doctor prescribed retinoids activate the retinoid receptors, which in turn can minimize the appearance of fine lines, shrink pore size and decrease sebaceous gland activity and size. These products also cause drying of the skin and sensitivity to the sun. Isotretinoin, a retinoid known by the brand name Accutane, is often the last step for severe acne on the back.

Prescription antibiotics can be administered either topically or orally to manage bacteria levels. Additionally, they reduce the amount of irritating chemicals produced by white blood cells in the immune response. Some side effects include nausea, sun sensitivity, skin discoloration and also vaginal yeast infections in women.

To clear back acne, especially severe bacne, you should see your general practitioner or dermatologist. Even though you are better equipped to choose a bacne treatment after reading this article, we have only provided a general overview on the types of treatment available; by visiting your dermatologist, he or she will carefully review your symptoms, family history, skin type, etc. to best recommend a treatment for you.

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