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How To Get Rid Of Back and Shoulder Acne Fast

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How To Get Rid Of Back and Shoulder Acne Fast June 19, 2018

You have a party to attend and want to flaunt that gorgeous backless dress you bought last week. You try it on, look in the mirror, and are disappointed. The reason? Acne on your shoulders and back.

Back and shoulder acne not just ruins your appearance but also affects your self-confidence. What if I tell that you will find all the solutions to your back acne problems right here?

Scroll down for the remedies to get rid of this embarrassing problem. You can thank me later!

Table Of Contents

What Causes Back Acne?

Just like your face, your back has many sebaceous glands that secrete sebum. When sebum builds up in the hair follicles of your back, along with some dead skin cells, it causes back acne.

Factors that contribute to the development of back acne are:

  • Oily skin due to overactive glands
  • Dead skin cells
  • Acne-causing bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes)
  • Dandruff
  • Hormonal imbalances (Polycystic Ovarian Disease)
  • Previous laser treatments
  • Shaving and waxing
  • Ingrown hair
  • Friction or heat

To know what kind of back acne you are dealing with, it is important to know the types. This will help you deal with the problem better.
Discussed below are the types of back acne.

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Types Of Back Acne

Acne is widely classified into two types – non-inflammatory and inflammatory.

Non-Inflammatory acne lesions include:

  • Blackheads – Open comedones that occur when your skin pores are clogged with dead skin and sebum.
  • Whiteheads – Closed comedones that result from a build-up of sebum and dead skin cells.

Inflammatory acne lesions include:

  • Papules – Acne caused due to the inflammation of walls around skin pores.
  • Pustules – Acne caused due to inflamed skin pores, and filled with pus.
  • Nodules – Acne caused by irritated and clogged pores.
  • Cysts – Acne caused by clogs occurring deep within your skin, resulting in white or red bumps that are painful to touch.

To prevent the proliferation of the acne-causing bacteria and reduce the occurrence of acne on your back and shoulders, here are some of the best and safest home remedies.

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Home Remedies To Treat Back Acne

  1. Essential Oils
  2. Aloe Vera
  3. Epsom Salt
  4. Lemon Juice
  5. Vitamin D
  6. Apple Cider Vinegar
  7. Baking Soda
  8. Coconut Oil
  9. Oatmeal Bath
  10. Vicks
  11. Yogurt
  12. Garlic
  13. Green Tea
  14. Hydrogen Peroxide
  15. Honey
  16. Sugar Scrub
  17. Turmeric

1. Essential Oils

a. Tea Tree Oil

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You Will Need
  • 7 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix seven drops of tea tree with a teaspoon of any carrier oil (like coconut oil).
  2. Apply the mixture all over your back.
  3. Leave it on overnight and wash it off the next morning.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily for at least a week.

Why This Works

The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil reduce acne while combating its root cause, which is Propionibacterium acnes (1).

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2. Aloe Vera

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You Will Need

1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel

What You Have To Do
  1. Extract a teaspoon of aloe gel from an aloe vera leaf.
  2. Apply it to the affected areas.
  3. Leave it on for 30 minutes before washing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Aloe vera gel possesses natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help in getting rid of inflammatory acne (2). It also exhibits anti-acne activities and enhances the effect of other popular acne medications like tretinoin (3).

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3. Epsom Salt

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You Will Need
  • 1 cup of Epsom salt
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a cup of Epsom salt to a tub filled with water.
  2. Soak in this for a good 20 to 30 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily or every alternate day.

Why This Works

Epsom salt has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce acne as well as the redness and inflammation that accompany it. These properties can be attributed to the presence of magnesium in the salt.

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4. Lemon Juice

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You Will Need
  • ½ lemon
  • Cotton swabs (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon.
  2. Soak a cotton swab in it and apply it to your acne lesions.
  3. You can also scrub half a lemon directly all over your back.
  4. Leave the lemon juice on for about 30 minutes, after which you can wash it off.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

Why This Works

The bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties of lemons help in fighting acne (4), (5).

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5. Vitamin D

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You Will Need

1000-4000 mcg of vitamin D

What You Have To Do
  1. Consume foods rich in vitamin D – like poultry, meat, eggs, fish, and almonds.
  2. You can also take supplements for vitamin D after consulting your physician.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this regularly.

Why This Works

Acne-prone individuals are often found to be deficient in vitamin D (6). Therefore, restoring the levels of this vitamin can help treat the symptoms of acne lesions.

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6. Apple Cider Vinegar

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water.
  2. Mix well and soak a cotton ball in it.
  3. Dab the soaked cotton ball gently all over your back, concentrating on the acne-prone areas.
  4. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this multiple times daily.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory and soothing effects on the acne lesions (7).

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7. Baking Soda

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • Water (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. To a tablespoon of baking soda, add some water and make a thick paste.
  2. Apply an even layer of the baking soda paste to your back.
  3. Allow the mixture to dry on your skin for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Wash it off your back while gently scrubbing it off your skin.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 2 to 3 times daily, but make sure you only scrub once.

Why This Works

The alkaline nature of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) restores the normal pH of your skin, hence alleviating the symptoms of acne. Additionally, it can also exfoliate your skin, getting rid of the accumulated dead cells and sebum in the pores (8).

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8. Coconut Oil

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You Will Need

1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in your palms.
  2. Massage it evenly on your back before you take a bath.
  3. Allow the oil to work for 30 minutes before rinsing it off.
  4. You can also consume a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil every morning for added benefits.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once or twice daily.

Why This Works

Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain fatty acids like lauric acid. Lauric acid exhibits anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that combat P.acnes, the bacteria responsible for causing acne (9).

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9. Oatmeal Bath

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You Will Need
  • 1-2 cups of oatmeal
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Pour one or two cups of oatmeal in a tub filled with water.
  2. Soak in the oatmeal bath for around 20 to 30 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Taking an oatmeal bath daily will reduce back acne with time.

Why This Works

Due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, oatmeal is a sought-after ingredient in dermatology to treat inflammatory conditions like acne (10), (11).

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10. Vicks VapoRub

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You Will Need

Vicks VapoRub

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply Vicks VapoRub directly to the affected areas.
  2. Reapply as and when required.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this multiple times daily.

Why This Works

Vicks contains many anti-inflammatory compounds like camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil. These compounds treat back acne by reducing the inflammation and redness (12), (13).

Note: Do not apply Vicks VapoRub to broken skin or lesions.

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11. Yogurt

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You Will Need

1 bowl of plain yogurt

What You Have To Do
  1. Have a bowl of plain yogurt daily.
  2. You can also apply acne to the affected areas on your back.
How Often You Should Do This

You must include yogurt in your daily diet.

Why This Works

Yogurt is rich in probiotics, which are healthy or good bacteria that live in your gut. These can help reduce inflammation within your body. And this, in turn, treats acne (14).

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12. Garlic

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You Will Need

A few garlic cloves

What You Have To Do
  1. Take some garlic cloves and mince them.
  2. Extract the juice and spread it over your back.
  3. Allow it to sit for around 30 minutes and then wash it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this at least twice daily.

Why This Works

Garlic contains allicin, which exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory activities that not only help in reducing the inflammation and itching caused by back acne but also reduce their recurrence (15).

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13. Green Tea

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of green tea
  • 1 cup of water
  • Cotton pads
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of green tea to a cup of hot water.
  2. Steep for 5 to 7 minutes and strain.
  3. After the tea cools down a bit, dip a cotton pad in it.
  4. Spread it gently on your back.
  5. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes and then wash it off with water.
  6. For added benefits, you can also drink green tea regularly.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Green tea is beneficial for treating acne – whether it is taken orally or applied topically. This is due to the presence of polyphenols that help reduce sebum secretion and acne (16).

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14. Hydrogen Peroxide

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You Will Need
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide solution
  • Cotton pads
What You Have To Do
  1. Take hydrogen peroxide solution on a cotton pad.
  2. Apply it all over your back.
  3. Allow it to dry.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Hydrogen peroxide is a natural disinfectant. It can be used to exfoliate your skin and treat acne breakouts (17).

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15. Honey

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You Will Need

Raw honey (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. Take some raw honey and apply it all over your back.
  2. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes before washing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Raw honey is especially helpful in treating inflamed and pus-filled acne. Honey has natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help reduce acne (18).

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16. Sugar Scrub

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You Will Need
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of coconut or olive oil
What You Have To Do
  1. To half a cup of sugar, add half a cup of coconut or olive oil.
  2. Use the mixture as a scrub to gently exfoliate your back while bathing.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily or every alternate day.

Why This Works

The coarse texture of sugar can be used to gently exfoliate your back. Exfoliation can help in getting rid of the accumulated dead skin cells in your pores that may be causing the back acne (19).

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17. Turmeric

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You Will Need
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder
  • Water (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix two teaspoons of turmeric powder and a little water to form a thick paste.
  2. Apply the paste to your back evenly.
  3. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Wash it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily.

Why This Works

The major component of turmeric is curcumin. This compound has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help treat acne lesions (20), (21).

Even if you have successfully treated back acne with these remedies, there is always a risk of recurrence. Hence, you need to take some precautions.

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Prevention Tips For Back Acne

  • Shower immediately after an intense workout.
  • Exfoliate regularly.
  • Choose non-comedogenic skin care products.
  • Keep your hair off your back.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes that do not irritate your skin.
  • Follow a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid foods like ice cream, cheese, and chocolates as these are found to aggravate acne.

Acne can be quite distressing and needs to be treated before it leaves scars behind. Most of the remedies discussed here are effective in treating acne as well as the scars, so following them religiously is all you have to do to flaunt your backless dresses.

Was this post helpful? Let us know in the comments below.

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How long will I have acne?

Untreated acne usually lasts for 4 to 5 years before beginning to settle. But in some cases, it can take many years for it to stop recurring.

What are the best soaps for back acne?

Soaps containing anti-acne agents like salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and benzoyl peroxide are often used to treat acne. Such soaps include Sebamed, Dermadew, and Neutrogena. Any of the above remedies can also help without causing serious side effects.

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