Beauty Crisis: Getting Rid of the Bumps on Your Back

Kelly asks: How can I get rid of back acne?

Nothing spoils the fun of stepping out in a cute new sundress or tank like back breakouts (also known as back-ne!). Spending months swaddled in thick woolen sweaters and layers upon layers of winter gear can really do a number on your skin, and lead to confidence blasting breakouts-in places other than your face. So, as springtime approaches, we turned to some skin pros to get their tips on how to kick body blemishes to the curb.

New York Dermatologist Dr. Arielle Kauvar says: "Back-ne is aggravated by tight fitting clothing and sweating, which can contribute to clogging the pores. Exfoliation is therefore essential. A great regimen for this is a toner with salicylic acid in the morning and benzoyl peroxide at night. Consider using a Clarisonic in the shower for improved exfoliation."

Head Aesthetician Elena Arboleda from celeb favorite Mario Badescu Skin Care recommends treating both back and chest breakouts as you would treat facial blemishes. "Washing with AHA Botanical Body Soap will help to break down excess dirt and oil that clog pores. Special Cleansing Lotion O is a powerful toner formulated especially for the back and chest, and contains sulfur which is very effective at eliminating acne." On a side note, Mario Badescu's insanely effective Drying Mask (I'm obsessed) also contains sulfur, and would work just as well on the back or chest as it does on your face. The mask smells pretty rough, but it really gets the job done.

We love Mario Badesuc's drying lotion as well!

Annet King, Director of Training and Development at the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica recommends using Dermalogica's new Clean Start line. The line includes Wash Off, great cleanser formulated specifically for the face, chest, and back, and All Over Clear, a medicated spray to squash breakouts. "Cleanse twice a day with an antibacterial foaming cleanser, change shirts and pillowcases often and avoid fabric conditioner on shirts (conditioners coat the skin, and are full of pore-clogging perfume and lard). Treat the area overnight and during the day with a salicylic-based gel, and avoid hair products that might come in contact with the skin on the back. Finally, try and wear cotton clothing versus synthetic fibers that can trap oil and dead skin cells." Annet warns against using loofahs or brushes to exfoliate the back saying, "These can cause micro-lacerations in the skin, making it a hospitable environment for bacteria to breed and grow -- a gentle, fragrance free scrub should be used instead." Finally, and the most important thing always when it comes to acne: "Don't squeeze and pick! Seek out the help of a professional skin therapist to give you a back treatment to clear impactions, exfoliate gently and dry up lesions."

DC-based derm Hema Sundaram advises, "When exercising or in warm environments, wear clothing that allows skin to breathe like cotton or microfiber. Always take a shower as soon as possible after a workout session. " For treating existing breakouts she recommends Topix Gly-Sal Cleanser and Pads, which combine glycolic acid and salicylic acid. "They're available from a dermatologist, and come in a variety of strengths so that treatment can be individualized." Also, try "Ziana Gel: available as a prescription from your doctor It combines clindamycin (antibiotic) with tretinoin (vitamin A derivative) in a non-drying, non-greasy alcohol-free gel. The clindamycin kills bacteria and reduces skin inflammation. The tretinoin gently exfoliates skin, unblocks clogged pores, eliminates comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) and reduces scarring and pigmentation."

Acne statistics, and how to beat 'em!

-- Laurel Pantin

image via www.mariobadescu.com

More from Teen Vogue: