Blackheads on the back are not only unsightly, but can become irritated if a shirt or backpack rubs the area. Like blackheads on any part of the body, successful treatment relies on careful hygiene and a daily routine. Unlike other parts of the body, blackheads on the back can be treated aggressively due to thick skin in that area. Wearing a lightweight shirt is also useful during blackhead treatments to protect against an increased risk of sun damage that is the side affect of many acne remedies.
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Wash your back with a body wash that contains salicylic acid. Salicylic acid promotes rapid cell turnover and clears excess oil production. Do not scrub your back when using salicylic acid, because manual exfoliation could cause skin redness while using this product.
Apply a topical, over-the-counter acne medication that contains benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide encourages rapid skin turnover and kills surface bacteria that can cause acne on the back. According to the Acne Resource Center, 10 percent benzoyl peroxide cream can be used on the back due to the thickness of the skin in that area.
Ask for a retinoid-based prescription cream from your dermatologist or family doctor. These creams contain an acid derived from vitamin A and can be applied onto your back to eliminate blackheads.
Discuss the possibility of taking isotretinoin with your doctor if your blackheads are accompanied by cystic acne. Commonly known as Accutane, isotretinoin can clear up most acne. However, the Mayo Clinic reports that there are risks when taking oral retinoids, such as an increased risk of suicide, depression and birth defects.
Ask your dermatologist about extracting stubborn blackheads. While blackhead extraction is not recommended for self treatment due to the risk of infection or scarring, a trained dermatologist can minimize these risks and remove some blackheads immediately.