What Causes Backne and How to Rid Yourself of It
By Jay Campbell
February 9th, 2017
Having acne on your back and shoulders is a confidence killer. Even the most conditioned lifter at your gym will avoid tank tops if he’s embarrassed to showcase his pock marked neck and shoulder line. Many TRT using men may be hiding a secret skincare affliction under their shirt. It can be kept from the general public, but it’s hard to conceal it in the bedroom or at the beach.
To banish “bacne”, you need to first understand its various causes. Here are three of the things that conspire behind your back, each of them a likely candidate for big breakouts. Pay attention, make adjustments to your hygiene routiune, and soon you’ll be free and clear.
Acne—of all kinds—is often genetic. If you have oily or acne-prone skin on your face, you may have it on your back and shoulders, too. Similarly, everyone’s body reacts differently to certain foods.
How to minimize breakouts:
If you’re naturally acne-prone, you have to be very proactive with your skincare regimen—more than everyone else. Try showering with mild water (not burning hot!) twice daily. Use non-comedogenic soaps and body cleansers (meaning, they are engineered to keep your pores unclogged). You can stick to some of the name brands, like Dove Men+Care’s Clean Comfort bodywash. Also, speak with a dermatologist or dietician about the foods you eat, to pinpoint which ones might be best avoided.
Here are the ones you control entirely. It’s up to you to keep your back clean.
Eating sugar and drinking anything with phosphoric and carbonic acid in it isn’t going to be optimal. Minimize if not radically reduce your sugar consumption. Most foods play into the “genetics” category, and affect people differently (dairy is one such example). But high sugar intake will almost always contribute to a breakout, as will dehydration. You have to consistently drink a lot of water. Many men are chronically dehydrated from consuming soda and coffee.
3) Hygiene It’s important to wear clean shirts every day. Wash your bed sheets once every week, or sleep with a clean t-shirt every night if you prefer to wash your sheets less frequently. (But really, wash them frequently.) You need to shower daily—and immediately following a workout—to keep pores unclogged. Shower morning and night with mild water if you’re naturally oily. If you shave or wax your back, treat it with a witch-hazel aftershave to disinfect the pores. (Also, be sure you’re using a clean razor.) Then, let everything breathe (in other words, go shirtless, if you can) for a few hours afterwards. Prevent sweat from getting in the pores as they close, and you stand much better odds of keeping your skin healthy. I also love Jojoba oil to use as a conditioning treatment pre and post shave. It drastically softens and moisturizes the skin throughout the day.
There’s a reason many of us using Testosterone get acne on our backs: Their body has to get rid of excess testosterone through the skin. This isn’t to say that guys who have higher natural levels of testosterone will get bacne more often. Instead, it means that when your body experiences periodic spikes—which happens naturally to all of us—you’re more prone to a single breakout.
Since breakouts will inevitably happen, your goal should be to lessen their effects when they pop up. Develop a healthy, sustainable skincare routine, adjust your shower temp (not too hot, not too cold) so that you can rid your skin of excess sebum (the result of testosterone being excreted through your pores). I like to use Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub with a long handled brush to target hard to reach areas of my back. A loved one can also use a warm hand towel/cloth to also apply the scrub. It has exfoliators and salicylic acid in the formulation and feels good on your skin. I also find it’s mild and won’t overly dry out your skin. Do this twice daily if you are using TRT and always shower immediately after working out when possible (good hygiene is always key). If you have severe hormonal acne, a dermatologist can prescribe more intense topical treatments and quite possibly accutane.