Home Remedies

Home Remedies For Back Acne + Causes, Treatment, And Prevention Tips

by Pooja Karkala
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Acne can be challenging, no matter where it appears. If you thought that acne occurs only on your face, you are wrong. It can affect any part of your body that has oil-secreting glands or hair follicles. Back acne is considered a moderately severe form of acne (1). Hence, it is important to consult a healthcare provider to assess the severity of your acne. Meanwhile, these remedies may help subdue the severity to some extent. Scroll down to check them out.

What 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 imbalance (Polycystic Ovarian Disease)
  • Previous laser treatments
  • Shaving and waxing
  • Ingrown hair
  • Friction or heat

It is important to know the types of back acne to understand what you are dealing with. This will help you deal with the problem better.

Discussed below are the types of back acne.

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.

We have listed some of the best and safest home remedies below that will help prevent the proliferation of acne-causing bacteria and reduce the occurrence of acne on your back and shoulders.

Home Remedies To Treat Back Acne

1. Tea Tree Oil

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

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.

2. Aloe Vera

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).

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

Do this 2 to 3 times daily.

3. Epsom Salt

Epsom salt has excellent anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of magnesium in it (4). These properties can help reduce acne as well as the redness and inflammation that accompany it.

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.

4. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice possesses bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties (5), (6). Thus, it can help in reducing inflammation around the acne-affected area.

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.

5. Vitamin D

Acne-prone individuals are often found to have vitamin D deficiency (7). Therefore, restoring the levels of this vitamin can help treat the symptoms of acne lesions.

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

Do this regularly.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties (8). It may not only reduce inflammation of the acne but also soothe the lesion.

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. Pat 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

Do this multiple times daily.

7. Baking Soda

Anecdotal evidence suggests that baking soda can help relieve acne. However, there are no scientific studies to prove this. Baking soda is thought to exfoliate your skin and soothe swelling and redness. It also absorbs excess oil from the skin, drying out acne and helping it heal faster.

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • Water (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Add some water to a tablespoon of baking soda 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

Do this 2 to 3 times daily, but make sure you only scrub once.

8. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains 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).

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.

9. Oatmeal Bath

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

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 can help reduce back acne with time.

10. Vicks VapoRub

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).

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 can do this multiple times daily.

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

11. Yogurt

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

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 yogurt to the affected areas on your back.
How Often You Should Do This

Include yogurt in your daily diet.

12. Garlic

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

You Will Need

A few garlic cloves

What You Have To Do
  1. Mince the garlic cloves.
  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.

13. Green Tea

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).

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.

14. Hydrogen Peroxide

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

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.

15. Honey

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).

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.

16. Sugar Scrub

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

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

Do this once daily or every alternate day.

17. Turmeric

The major component of turmeric is curcumin. This compound has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help treat acne lesions (19), (20).

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.

In addition to trying out these remedies, you need to take some precautions to prevent the recurrence of back acne.

Prevention Tips For Back Acne

  • Shower immediately after an intense workout – The sweat and dirt accumulated after exercising can settle in your pores, which can aggravate acne.
  • Exfoliate regularly – Use a mild, non-comedogenic exfoliator with salicylic acid. They help remove excess oils and dead skin cells from the pores.
  • Slather oil-free sunscreen daily – Sunscreen helps repair damaged skin and absorbs excess oil from pores.
  • 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, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Consume foods that are rich in vitamins A and D.
  • Avoid foods like ice cream, cheese, and chocolates as these are found to aggravate acne.
  • Stick to a low-glycemic diet to prevent the occurrence of acne (21).

To get rid of back acne quickly, try and incorporate these products into your regular skin care routine.

Products That Help Clear Back Acne

  1. Neutrogena Body Clear Acne Body Wash – Buy it here!
  2. The Medicinal Soap Co. Body Bar – Buy it here!

Over-The-Counter Medicines For Back Acne

The following OTC acne products can help clear mild back acne. However, we suggest you consult a dermatologist to assess the severity of your acne and take the prescribed medications.

  1. Benzoyl Peroxide (emollient foam wash) (21): Use a product that contains 5.3% Benzoyl Peroxide. If you need a stronger dose, purchase foaming face washes that contain 10% benzoyl peroxide.
  2. Retinoid (adapalene 0.1% gel) (22): Retinoid can help unclog the pores. Using it along with benzoyl peroxide can reduce the severity of 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.

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.

22 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Pooja Karkala

Pooja is a Mass Communications and Psychology graduate. Her education has helped her develop the perfect balance between what the reader wants to know and what the reader has to know. As a classical dancer, she has long, black hair, and she knows the struggle that goes into maintaining it. She believes in home remedies and grandma’s secrets for achieving beautiful, luscious hair. When she is not writing, she learns Kuchipudi, practices yoga, and creates doodles.