As the sun gets stronger and we wear less clothes and spend
more time outdoors, it becomes more and more important to get
rid of your back acne. Back acne treatment can take time, so it is
never too early to begin treating the breakouts on your body.
Although over-the-counter treatments are generally not effective
at treating body acne, there are thankfully many prescription
treatments and in- office options for improving back acne. Now is
the time to visit your dermatologist and begin treating acne in
time for swimsuit season!
Evaluation of Back Acne
Once our physician evaluates your skin, they will determine the
best regimen for your acne and skin type. It is important to treat
back acne, because without treatment permanent scarring can
develop. Hypertrophic, or keloid, scars are the most common
scars to form on the back. These scars do not go away without
treatment, which can involve pricey laser resurfacing treatments
or steroid injections. For this reason, doctors often use a
comprehensive approach when treating back acne. The best
treatment regimens for moderate back acne may include a
combination of treatment types.
Topical Medications for the Treatment of Back Acne
Topical prescription medications used for back acne treatment include topical antibiotics (such as clindamycin), benzoyl peroxide, and prescription strength retinoids (such as Tazorac or Atralin gel.) Each of these topical acne medications works in a unique way to prevent acne, either by killing the acne-causing p. acnes bacteria or preventing excess oil and debris from accumulating in the pores. Acne treatments for the back often use unique vehicles to deliver the medications, as it can otherwise be difficult to apply creams to the back. Vehicles used to deliver acne medications to the back include medicated washes, sprays, and foams. Oral treatments for back acne include oral antibiotics, and anti-androgen hormonal medications (for women). Oral antibiotics work well for both men and women, to kill the acne-causing p. acnes bacteria on the back. Oral anti-androgen medications, which work well for treating hormonal acne in women, work by decreasing the androgen hormone influence on the skin. If the androgen influence on the skin is not controlled, it can lead to excessive oil production, which leads to acne. Isotretinoin may be the right medication for back acne, though it is saved for treatment of moderate to severe acne, which has not responded to other treatments.
Back Acne and Laser Light Treatments
Dermatologists have found that in-office laser and light treatments work very well for back acne treatment. Treatments such as the Isolaz, Photodynamic Therapy, and Blue Light Therapy in combination with various chemical peels and medical extractions of cystic acne can improve the condition of back acne more quickly than prescription medications. The Isolaz acne laser works by simultaneously cleaning out excess oil and debris from the pores, while a broad-spectrum light kills bacteria in the pores. Photodynamic Therapy also kills acne-causing bacteria on the skin, while also decreasing excess oil production from the sebaceous glands. Blue light therapy is the weakest light-based treatment and is used to maintain clear skin. Dr. Edwin Ishoo at Boston Acne Specialists will help you determine the best regimen of hands-on, chemical and light treatments for your skin. For the treatment of back acne, these in-office treatments may be combined with a topical skin regimen.
Purifying Back Treatment
Similar to the skin on the face which goes out of balance, so does the skin on the back. This is a complete purifying treatment that will help congested areas of the back as well as address sun damaged skin. Your back, like your face, has numerous sebaceous glands that secrete sebum, an oily substance. Sebum, along with dead skin cells and bacteria, can build up in the hair follicles on your back and clog them. Clogged pores/follicles, if left untreated properly, may result in an acneic condition. This can occur naturally or by comedogenic products.
Dr. Ishoo at Boston Acne Specialists will analyze the condition of your skin to determine and apply the type of products that will be most effective for your skin’s needs. Depending on the severity of your skin’s congestion, additional treatments may be recommended.
Body Brightening Treatment
A series of peels to treat skin discoloration including PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) from the residual affects of acne. Body peel treatments resurface and restore the skin by stimulating the production of young, healthy skin. Commonly treated areas include chest, back, arms, and shoulders. (up to 25% of the skin's surface per treatment)