Here's What Causes Your Back Breakouts And How To Treat Them

For those who aren't familiar, bacne is acne on your back, and it can be caused by many factors. The Cleveland Clinic explains that bacne occurs when "sweat, oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria get trapped in your skin's pores.'" Just like with other types of acne, your skin's pores can get clogged, so it's important to keep your skin clean to avoid future breakouts. Keep reading, as we explain exactly what causes bacne and how you can treat it.


While everyone gets back acne, the Cleveland Clinic states it's most common among teenagers and young adults assigned male at birth. Acne is normal, and pretty much everyone will deal with this skin condition at some point in their life, so there's nothing to be ashamed about. Taking a neutral stance with it can help you detach the stigma associated with acne. In fact, acne neutrality is the radical self-love practice that can help you reach skin acceptance.

Causes for bacne breakouts

Women and others assigned female at birth are often affected by bacne due to hormonal changes during their menstrual cycle, puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and as a result of birth control. The Mayo Clinic explains that stress and anxiety release hormones in your body that can worsen your bacne. Therefore, try to take care of your mental health, as it directly affects your physical health too. Another cause of back and overall acne is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), as levels of testosterone are higher. You are also more likely to develop acne if you have a family history of it.


Moreover, another main cause is friction. Any tight clothes, sweaty shirts, and backpacks can increase friction and worsen your back acne. If you go to the gym a lot or often engage in physical activity, we suggest taking a shower and cleaning your body right after, paying special attention to the area on your back to avoid more breakouts. While the zits are not always painful, they can be really uncomfortable.

How to treat bacne

There are several ways you can treat and prevent bacne. Board-certified dermatologist Doris Day told Teen Vogue that exfoliating regularly is a great way to reduce the risk of back acne. If your bacne worsens and becomes too painful or uncomfortable to bear, schedule a visit with a dermatologist who can prescribe you medication. Your diet might also be causing your bacne. Therefore, pay attention to what you eat to avoid future breakouts. The American Academy of Dermatology Association found that eating foods such as white bread, white rice, potato chips and fries, as well as sweets and sugary drinks can increase your chances of having bacne.


As bacne is also caused by skin irritation and sweat, avoid wearing clothes that are too tight on your body for too long. For example, sports bras, and binders. Tight clothes increase friction which can lead to skin irritation and bacne. If you sweat easily or have oily skin, take care of it and let it breathe with loose clothing. This will help prevent breakouts. If a bacne breakout does occur, don't pop your zits. We know, it's so satisfying to pop pimples. However, it not only leads to scarring, but the germs can also spread on your body.