It’s that time of year again when our backs get exposure due to warmer weather. But if your clients suffer from acne on their backs (also known as “bacne”), they may have some hesitation to show their skin. So what is bacne, how is it prevented, and how can you help your clients treat these painful pimples and the scars that can result from this common skin condition?

What Is Back Acne?

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when the pores and hair follicles of the skin get clogged with oil, sweat, and hair. In fact, acne is the most common skin affliction in the United States affecting around 50 million individuals. Acne can occur on the back and just like the face, if the acne is picked or scratched, it can become a scar. Back acne can be quite painful and can occur in clusters. The condition could present with blackheads, whiteheads, red bumps that have no head, cysts that lie deep in the skin, or a combination of these types of pimples.

According to Rachel Nazarian, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai Hospital Department of Dermatology from New York, the back is more prone to breakouts due to a dense collection of sweat and oil glands. To make matters worse, this region of the body is also prone to heat-trapping, occlusion, and pressure, which increases the chances of back acne formation and scarring.

What Kind Of Scarring Can Occur With Back Acne?

When we suffer from acne, our bodies attempt to repair the skin by producing collagen fibers. How our body responds to acne determines how much scarring will take place if any at all. Raised scars, also known as hypertrophic scars or keloids, occur when the body produces too much collagen. While depressed scars, also known as atrophic, occur when your body doesn’t produce enough collagen. Acne scarring is a result of a complex, abnormal inflammatory response that’s indicative of poor wound healing. When it comes to back acne, more often than not the scarring that can occur is hypertrophic. But in some instances, the scars are atrophic.

How Do Your Clients Prevent Back Acne At Home?

Preventing acne in the first place is key. So, what can your clients do to prevent these painful skin eruptions? Below we will lay out several simple options that your clients can do at home to help keep acne from occurring.

Use An Acne-Medicated Body Wash: If your clients have back acne, suggest that they use an acne-specific body wash with ingredients like salicylic acid that helps with cell turnover and help minimize the inflammation, and help break down the clogged pores.

Avoid Backpacks: As mentioned above, friction, rubbing, and trapped heat from clothing and accessories like backpacks can cause a type of acne known as acne mechanica.

Wear Breathable Clothing: To avoid trapping heat and sweat, make sure your clients wear breathable fabrics like cotton so the skin can breathe.

Don’t Pick Back Acne: Just like the skin on our faces, picking pimples can lead to scarring. So you should inform your clients that while it may be tempting (and even reachable in some instances depending on where the back acne is located)—just don’t do it. If their acne needs to be popped, they should turn to a professional to do the job properly.

Don’t Sunbathe: It may sound tempting to disguise your back acne with a tan, but in reality the sun will increase the redness and discolorations the acne will leave behind and will cause any scarring that occurs to take even longer to fade and heal.

What Kind Of Treatments Can You Offer Your Clients To Address Back Acne Scars?

Sometimes at-home treatments don’t cut it. This is when individuals who suffer from back acne may turn to your beauty location for solutions. Below we will lay out several non-invasive treatment options that can help.

Chemical Peels: Chemical peels use an array of acids at various strengths to help assist with cell turnover, kill acne bacteria, and help reduce the discoloration and scarring often left behind from acne. Depending on the depth of the peel, chemical peels have minimal downtime and deliver lasting results. According to one study, a single application of a chemical peel can improve a scar’s appearance by up to 90 percent.

Plason: Plason is the first non-invasive device available in the United States that offers two different technologies that are clinically proven—Plasmaportation, which is based on the concepts of atmospheric plasma and Sonoportation, which is based on ultrasonic technology.

Plason empowers practitioners to treat a wide variety of skin conditions due to the device’s unique ability to deliver the plasmaportation (named PlasmaClear) as a standalone treatment or to combine it with the sonoportation (named PlasmaFacial).

During the treatment session, the Plason handpiece showers the skin with a positive and negative ion stream, plasma, and actively charged molecules. The ions coupled with the plasma benefit the health of the skin’s cells while also eliminating bacteria and sterilizing all skin types. PlasmaClear can reduce active acne, reduce sebum, improve the skin’s texture and tone, and increase absorption of serums applied immediately following the treatment session. The PlasmaFacial, which can be used on the body, helps to improve the skin’s elasticity by stimulating the body to create more collagen, which will help to minimize the scars from back acne.

Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion manually exfoliates the outermost layer of the skin. Because the dead skin cells are immediately suctioned away, this treatment can help with improving the appearance of acne scars. Microdermabrasion also helps with congested pores, skin texture, and skin discoloration.

Rejuvapen: Rejuvapen utilizes needles that pierce the collagen formed during the wound healing cycle to change the pattern of the scar itself. As the healing process from the treatment takes place, new collagen fibers are reformed with a different pattern making the scar less visible.

Final thoughts...

Acne on the face and back are common aesthetic concerns. While there are at-home treatments that can resolve the acne, if the acne results in scarring the client may need outside help to get rid of the scars. Lucily, there are a variety of non-invasive treatment options that you can offer your clients to help them with this issue.