Bacne can sometimes be alleviated through home treatments. Some home remedies also stoke a lot of old wives' tales, so steer clear of these so-called "remedies":
Sunlight: Stay away from the tanning bed. Sunlight hasn't been proven to diminish pimples, and the harmful effects of ultraviolet light -- namely risk of skin cancer and premature skin aging -- far outweigh the perceived benefits. Excessive washing: Acne isn't the result of dirty skin, so there's no need to scrub your back five times a day. Do keep your back clean by using a mild soap to wash away excess surface oil and dead skin cells. Popping pimples: As tempting as it is to get rid of pus-filled zits by popping them, you should avoid squeezing acne blemishes. Picking can cause further inflammation and force the pus deeper into your skin. Unproven home remedies: Colloidal oatmeal, nettle, mint, lemon juice, aloe vera and vinegar have also been thought to be able to stop acne. However, none of these products has been medically proven to work, and some may even cause further irritation to your skin [source: McCoy].
Some home remedies, such as gels made with 5 percent tea tree oil, zinc supplements and glycolic acid, may relieve the pain caused by back acne [source: Gibson]. Wearing loose-fitting, breathable clothing will also relieve some pressure and friction on your back and allow skin to breathe properly.
Over-the-counter topical and oral medications may further help treat acne. Cleansers containing 2 percent salicylic acid and spot treatments with benzoyl peroxide will help dry excess oil. Apply them to clean skin and cover the entire affected area. Continue using, even if your breakouts appear to have disappeared. If you find it difficult to reach your back, you may want to go to a spa for a back facial. You can also get similar results at home with a loofah sponge or back brush and specialized acne body wash made with salicylic and glycolic acid.
But sometimes home treatment isn't enough to clear up stubborn acne. If OTC treatments don't help after four to 12 weeks of usage, if your skin is scarred or if the acne affects your self-esteem, you should seek help from a dermatologist. A dermatologist can thoroughly examine your skin, diagnose the problem and prescribe the proper medicine for your situation.
With proper care, you can diminish the embarrassment of back acne and enjoy beautiful skin. Read on for more information about acne.