When The Trouble is Bacne
Body acne, often nicknamed “bacne” can be both painful physically and to one’s self esteem and confidence. Bacne typically manifests itself as spots, whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, and pimples on the back, chest, shoulders and buttocks. In hot humid climates, such as our Atlanta summers, the symptoms of bacne can become even worse to people prone to break-outs. Acne in both teens and adults is one of the most common problems Dr. Timani treats. Statistics indicate that 75% of persons with facial acne also encounter symptoms on various other parts of their body, including the back, chest and shoulders.
What Causes Bacne
Bacne can occur due to several reasons. The most common cause of bacne occurs around puberty when oil glands kick into action. They may cause an excess secretion of oily sebum by the sebaceous glands, which can block pores and the hair follicles on the skin. Much like facial acne, the skin constantly sheds dead skin cells, and when they are trapped under the oil, they accumulate around the hair follicles, resulting in development of bacteria. The irritated surrounding tissue becomes inflamed, leading to bacne. Hormone imbalances, excessive perspiration, wearing synthetic fabrics that don’t breathe and tight-fitting clothing can contribute to the eruption of body acne.
Treatment of Body Acne
Body acne is typically treated with a similar approach to the one prescribed for facial skin acne. But there are some limitations to use of conventional modes of treatment due to logistics. Bacne is often difficult to treat because of the problem of the patient physically reaching the affected area to apply a cream or lotion. Here’s Dr. Timani’s recommended treatment plan:
- A salicylic-acid-based cleanser should be used daily with frequent showers to wash away sweat and prevent oil build-up. The wash can be applied to a buff scrubber attached to a long handle to enable application to all parts of the back.
- A topical cream is prescribed which is formulated to either kill the bacteria, or to reduce oil. Some may do both. The products contain either: a retinoid, prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide, an antibiotic, and an exfoliating agent such as salicylic acid or glycolic acid. Some of these products now are available as spray to make application easier. Depending on the severity of backne, Dr. Timani can use compounded formulations of solutions. This concentration and mix is dependent on the type of acne, and your skin sensitivities *Beware, some products may cause bleaching of fabric.
- For a particularly stubborn acne problem, a course in oral antibiotics to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation; birth control pills to regulate hormones; or Isotretinoin (the only treatment that works on all causes of acne) may be prescribed.
- To reduce the visible scarring of acne, Dr. Timani suggests cosmetic dermatology treatments of microdermabrasion and chemical peels – the Obagi Blue Peel is particularly effective.
Tips to Deter Bacne
- Shower as soon as possible after perspiring.
- If a shower isn’t possible, wipe the body with a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid pad should be used to wipe off your body.
- Wear loosing fitting cotton clothing to help your skin ‘breathe’ better.
If you are experiencing the embarrassing and often painful aspects of body acne, schedule an appointment at our Johns Creek office, convenient to patients in Gwinnett, North Fulton, and South Forsyth counties and the surrounding North Atlanta area. Dr. Timani will clear the confusion of products and skin care and place you on a regime best suited for your skin type and acne severity.