Acne on the back may be the result of inflammation of the sebaceous glands due to overproduction of sebum. Alternatively, flare-ups can be caused by covered skin, heat and repetitive friction against your back. According to WomensHealth.gov, "acne in young women may be linked to hormone changes, such as the menstrual cycle." If the skin on your back is looking lackluster due to back acne, you can restore it to its former radiant glow with over-the-counter medications or treatments prescribed by your doctor.
Wash your back with a mild soap every day. Most women wash their faces regularly at least twice a day, yet actually getting the back soapy in the shower can be easy to forget. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends gently scrubbing the area twice a day with warm water and soap.
Avoid using lotions and sunscreens that contain oil. Oils can clog pores and trigger acne. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreens and lotions that are oil-free and noncomedogenic, meaning they won't clog pores.
Rub toner on your back, using a cotton ball, each night. Toners can remove dirt and other impurities from the skin, helping to prevent acne. Use an alcohol-free toner. The American Academy of Dermatology advises that alcohol-based toners can dry out the skin.
Consider booking a back facial at a salon or day spa. The Dorit Baxter spa in New York uses hot compresses and steam to open up the pores, along with a clay mask to remove excess oil that triggers acne. Back facials can also involve extractions to unclog pores that could become large pimples.
Book an appointment with a dermatologist if your back acne persists. If the acne is severe or persistent your dermatologist may recommend a prescription treatment such as oral contraceptives or antibiotics.