If you’ve been taking care of yourself by eating right and hitting the gym, the last thing you would want to see is acne sprouting up on your back. You’re supposed to be feeling good, so why does it feel like you are being punished for trying to get fit and healthy?
The skin on your face can be prone to acne—this means pimples, blackheads and whiteheads—and so too can the skin on your back. Acne forms mainly in specific areas rich in sebaceous glands. This means your scalp, face, chest and back are all prime spots for acne to form.
When you’re exercising and working out, you’re likely going to be sweating. When that is happening, it’s also likely that your back is clad in tight clothes. This alone is one of the contributing factors for the development of back acne. With the increasing popularity of full-body compression tights that fit like a second skin, the situation can become a lot worse.
All your sweat and dirt from your workout will get trapped beneath your tight-fitting gym attire, which will end up clogging your pores, thus acne will form. What’s worse, all the constant movements while exercising produces friction against your clothes, which can aggravate skin irritation and lead to even more inflammation.
Not Just For Teens
Back acne—colloquially known as bacne—is a fairly common condition. Many people believe that acne is only prevalent during the teenage years, but that is actually a myth—in fact, acne can affect any age group, including infants and adults well past puberty.
For adults, certain medicines, such as steroids and anti-epileptic medications, may also induce acne. If you’re male, the risk may be higher thanks to the male sex hormone androgen, which enlarges the oil glands and increases the production of sebum. Sebum is essentially the oil your body produces to keep your skin hydrated, but in excess, it can get trapped in your pores and become acne.
Speaking of hormones, hormonal imbalances are one other contributing factor that leads to bacne. Factors like stress, sickness, travel, irregular sleeping patterns, and female menstruation cycles can all alter your regular hormonal cycle, thus potentially leading to acne breakouts.
Keeping Bacne At Bay
Just like how most skin experts would advise against picking at the bumps on your face, you should not touch or aggravate the bumps on your back. If you were to try and pop your pimples, not only would it cause more irritation and damage to your skin, but you might end up scarring your skin, and these acne scars are a lot more difficult to remove than regular acne.
So what can you do about your irritating bacne? Fortunately for you, there are indeed multiple ways and methods you can try to prevent acne from popping up all over your back, especially when you are working out. Give them a go, and hopefully, you will be able to prevent any future breakouts on your back.
Before And After A Workout
When you’re working out in a public gym, be aware and mindful that you’ll be sharing gym equipment with other people, so it’s best to keep things as hygienic as possible. For example, you should place your own clean towel down on the backrest of exercise machines or floor mats before you either sit or lie down on them. This ensures any residual bacteria that was lingering on the surface has a significantly lower chance of attaching itself to you and contribute to your bacne breakouts.
Wash And Protect Your Skin
When you’re hitting the showers, try to use a body wash that contains either benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid soon after exercising. These ingredients are all power-packed and well-equipped to help you deal specifically with acne-prone skin, so it will definitely help to keep bacne away. If for some reason you are unable to shower, change into a set of clean, dry clothes and take a shower as soon as you can. If you’re going to be exercising outdoors under the sun, you might want to apply an oil-free and water-resistant sunscreen onto your skin too. This will prevent your skin from getting burned by the sun’s UV rays, which could lead to painful sunburns and irritated skin — both of which are linked with bacne development. Finally, use a body exfoliator at least once a week to slough off any dead skin cells, so it prevents them from mixing with sebum and clogging up your pores.
What You Should Wear To Avoid Bacne
Instead of tight-fitting gym clothes, you might want to choose clean and loose clothes. This allows your skin to breathe a little and also minimises the amount of friction from the skin to the cloth. For even better prevention, ensure that the material of your gym clothes is either cotton or some other fabric that is able to wick moisture off more effectively.