Stubborn back acne (aka bacne) is a hereditary problem that often requires oral prescription antibiotics, says New Orleans dermatologist Mary Lupo. “Acne on the back is much more resistant to treatment than acne on the face, so you need to treat it aggressively.” And since skin on the back is tougher, it can take tougher products. Lupo recommends a prescription vitamin A cream or 10 percent benzoyl peroxide wash.
For milder cases or the occasional breakout, treat spots with over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide lotion. Peels can help unclog pores, but Lupo says these should be a supplementary treatment.
Since bacteria can exacerbate the condition, always wear clean bras and T-shirts when working out and put a clean towel down before lying on exercise machines or mats at the gym. And never go straight into the steam room after a sweaty workout—shower first to get rid of dirt and bacteria.
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