I’m sure a lot of people know this: You’ve worked up a sweat for countless hours to get that figure you’ve been longing for, but now you don’t want to show it – because of nasty red pimples on your back and shoulders. Why impure skin on the body often affects athletes and what you can do against back pimples, you will learn here.
Why do you get pimples on your back?
Just like in the T-zone (forehead, nose, chin), there are a lot of sebaceous glands on the back. This means that the skin here naturally produces more protective own fat. This is true for everyone. However, in some more than in others. As is so often the case, genes are to blame.
“Our predisposition determines how much fat our skin produces,” explains Dr. Hooman Khorasani from the internationally renowned Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City.
The problem with that: skin fat is a sitting duck for bacteria, which can trigger inflammation and thus pimples. If you have oily skin on your back, that doesn’t mean it will necessarily cause blemishes. They usually only appear when the following triggers for pimples on the back come into play.
9 causes and solutions for pimples on the back
- Pimples on the back due to sweating: The fact that exercising is supposed to be bad for the skin sounds strange at first. But if we do sports frequently, we usually sweat a lot and often as well. Unfortunately, just like skin fat, sweat provides an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. That’s why pimples on the back particularly often affect athletes. The solution: Shower immediately after your workout, not when you get home, to put an end to the bacteria.
- Wrong hygiene during sports: Be careful in the gym! Where a lot of people come into contact with the same equipment, there are also a lot of bacteria lurking around, which are only too happy to make themselves comfortable on your back when they come into contact with your skin. The solution: Always put a towel underneath but never use it to dry off after a shower. Because otherwise there is a danger of, you guessed it, pimples.
- Too much cleansing weakens the skin barrier: Too frequent and hot showers can also do more harm than good to the skin, because it weakens the skin’s natural protective layer. The solution: Shower with lukewarm water and mild shower gel. Even better: use facial cleanser with salicylic acid for the back. The acid regulates sebum production and accelerates the skin’s renewal process.
- Wrong care causes skin blemishes: If the body lotion is too greasy, this can clog the pores and thus cause pimples on the back. Solution: If you suspect your body lotion may be the cause of pimples on your back, going without is worth a try. If this proves to be the case, you can switch to an extra light extra light lotion for body care . Look out for the addition of “non-comedogenic”, which means that the care does not clog the pores additionally.
- Unclean back due to hair removal: “When we remove back hair with wax, it is plucked from the follicle. An opening is created, which is gradually closed with new skin cells. If the hair that was pulled out grows back, it may no longer find an opening. The result: an ingrown hair,” explains New York skin expert Dr. Hooman Khorasani. “If sebum then accumulates around the trapped hair, this leads to what is known as folliculitis. This inflammation of the hair root canals is the main cause of pimples on the back. Solution: Either shave the hair instead of waxing it or exfoliate the skin on your back regularly, i.e. at least 1x per week, to counteract ingrown back hairs. This can be done very easily with a back brush.
- Hormones as a cause of back pimples: Skin blemishes on the back occur particularly frequently during puberty. The reason for this is the change in hormone balance. The organism now produces more testosterone. “This simultaneously increases sebum production and the growth of horny cells, which causes the sebaceous glands to clog more quickly,” says Dr. Khorasani. A blackhead develops, and from it, not infrequently, a pimple. Solution: If hormones are also to blame for skin blemishes after puberty, the doctor can prescribe special medications.
- Medications can trigger back pimples: Dr. Khorasani warns that any drugs that stimulate the production of sex hormones are suspected of promoting acne breakouts and folliculitis. Solution: Talk to your health care provider about alternative medications.
- Back acne due to poor diet: Dermatologists disagree on this point. According to Dr. Khorasani, however, sugar and processed foods are the surefire path to pimples – even on your back. The solution: Go for a balanced diet of fresh, low-sugar foods.
- Pimples on the back due to stress: “When we are stressed, the adrenal gland produces twice as much cortisol. The stress hormone can simultaneously stimulate sebum production and weaken the immune system. It’s the worst possible combination that increases the risk of infections and pimple outbreaks,” says Dr. Khorasani. The solution: The skin expert recommends setting aside time each day to compensate – for example, through meditation.
What can I do if pimples on my back just won’t go away?
If the blemishes don’t go away or even get worse despite our tips, you should see a dermatologist. The professionals can achieve success with prescription creams and tablets even for chronic pimples on the back.
Yes, pimples on the back are annoying. But you are not at the mercy of the blemishes. If you follow our care tips for blemished skin on the back sooner rather than later – or go to the doctor if nothing helps – you’ll quickly get the problem under control.