Come summer months, our skin's stress levels are at an all time high. We deal with sweat, oily skin, enlarged pores, breakouts—you name it. And when it comes to breakouts, we're not only talking about ones that sprout on our faces. Thanks to all that sweat and grime, the skin on our backs act up and produce back acne or, simply put, "bacne."
We asked Dr. Anna Palabyab-Rufino of Palabyab Skin Clinic to weigh in on how to deal with bacne during the summer. Below, she answers some bacne FAQs that will have you wearing backless swimmies and tops in no time.
"If you know that you are prone to developing acne on your back, especially during the summer months, it is always best to try and prevent it before it appears," Anna says, adding that the simplest way to do this is by showering immediately after an activity that causes sweating.
But if you're already dealing with bacne, it's a whole other ball game. You need to develop habits that will make rehabilitation quicker and not make the situation worse. "Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the area. Also avoid irritants such as very fragrant shampoos and conditioners, which can come into contact with your back."
While showering, Anna advises to rinse your hair very thoroughly before washing your body. "Don't let the shampoo on your hair come into contact with the skin on your body," she adds. Residue from shampoo and its harsh chemicals are notorious for causing bacne. Switch to a milder, non-fragranced shampoo just to be on the safe side.
When it comes to actually washing your back, the dermatologist suggests using a soap with salicylic acid to cleanse the area. This will help unclog the pores and prevent more breakouts. Again, no intense scrubbing!
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Like regular acne, bacne also tends to leave dark marks. For this, Anna highly recommends leaving them alone to heal, especially if the breakouts haven't stopped. "There is no use lightening the area if new lesions continue to appear," stresses the dermatologist. Focus your attention on treating the cause of the problem first, then worry about the scars later.
And when you're tempted to cover the marks up with concealer, try to talk your way out of it. "Covering it up with concealer or makeup is a temporary fix and may make things even worse." Let your skin "breathe," as the cliche goes. Better yet, consult a dermatologist who can give you proper treatment!