How To Get Rid Of Back Acne Scars: Most Effective Options

Acne usually develops in the face but, it can also appear on your back. This can be irritating, especially during the summer, when you are wearing clothes that show your shoulders or back. Back acne scars, or bacne, can be mild or severe.

There are several ways to effectively treat acne scars. However, it will depend on the severity of the scarring. For mild acne, at-home treatments or over-the-counter medication can help reduce scarring. For severe back acne scars, chemical peels, hydroquinone, or even laser treatments can effectively get rid of back acne scars.

If you are getting irritated at your acne scars and your back acne kept on appearing, this article will talk about how to get rid of back acne scars. We will also talk about what back acne scar is, its causes, and the different types of acne scars you can get. If you’re ready to have a scar-free back, read until the end!

What Is Back Acne?

What Is Back Acne

We are well aware that acne typically develops on the face but acne can also appear on your chest, shoulders, and back. As the name implies, back acne (bacne) develops on your back.

Back acne can either be pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, or all three developing at the same time. It is a typical acne that develops because of sebaceous glands producing too much sebum. This causes excess oil to clog up the pores. It can also cause bacteria growth and dead skin cells to become trapped in your pores or hair follicles.

When you have back acne, you can also feel back pain or tenderness, especially if the pimples are red and inflamed. Acne scars are also a common sight if you have back acne.

What Causes Back Acne?

Acne is caused by dirt, excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria clogging up the pores. Aside from the face, scalp, and chest, the back also has numerous sebaceous glands [1]. This is why it is common for acne to develop in that area, specifically the upper back.

Aside from excess sebum production, back acne can also be caused by several factors.

If your family has a history of acne, you can inherit it. Friction from t-shirts, towels, or backpacks can also cause back acne. Bacteria, dead skin cells, oil, or sweat buildup on your clothing can make your bacne worse. Fluctuation in hormones, especially when you are stressed, have anxiety, or are on your period (for women), can cause back acne to develop.

Types Of Acne Scars

If you have inflammatory acne, you are likely to have acne scars when your acne clears. Not all people who have acne will have scars but it is also not easy to tell if you are at risk of developing acne scars.

If you pick on or pop your acne, there is a higher chance that the scarring will be permanent. To get rid of back acne scars effectively, it is important to know what type of acne scars left a mark on your skin.

Atrophic Scars

These types of acne scars are typically caused by severe cystic acne. Atrophic scars come in three types:

Boxcar scars. As the name implies, boxcar acne scars are box-like shaped and are the most common type of acne scars.

Ice pick scars. These are deep acne scars that are smaller and look like small holes on the skin poked by a small ice pick.

Rolling scars. These types of atrophic scars have a more uneven and wavy pattern on the skin.

Hypertrophic Scars And Keloid Scars

These types of acne scars are both scars in the form of raised lumps. Hypertrophic scars usually appear where the acne was and are roughly the same size as the acne that caused the scarring. Keloid scars, on the other hand, are bigger scars and they usually grow beyond the size of the acne that caused the scarring.

How To Get Rid Of Back Acne Scars

How To Get Rid Of Back Acne Scars

Acne typically goes away on its own and does not often leave a scar. However, scarring after acne development can still happen and you would want the most effective option to get rid of back acne scars.

Here are at-home and medical treatments to effectively get rid of acne scarring:

At-Home Treatments

At-Home Treatments

This can be very effective if you don’t have deep acne scars. Using over-the-counter (OTC) products and natural remedies can help treat acne, reduce mild scarring, and minimize discoloration of your skin.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

Topical creams or ointments that have AHAs are helpful in treating acne and acne scars. While AHAs are a mild form of acid, they can have side effects such as burning, itching, or swelling.

Talk to your dermatologist to see if your skin can handle the amount of acid in these kinds of products. AHAs can be used for all types of mild acne scars. However, if you use AHA, it is advisable to not use retinol at the same time as it can cause your skin to become dry and irritated.

Lactic Acid

This is actually a type of AHA that can help with lightening acne scars. Lactic acid smoothen the skin as it acts as a gentle peel that can remove dead skin cells and improves your skin’s texture. Like with AHA, use lactic acid under the guidance of your dermatologist as it can also cause skin irritation, redness, itching, or swelling.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce hyperpigmentation caused by acne scars. You can use OTC aloe vera gels or you can also use an actual aloe vera plant. Just cut the plant and squeeze the gel out and apply it on your skin with clean hands.

If you are buying aloe vera gels, make sure it is suitable for the face and body. Before applying the aloe vera, make sure that the affected area is clean. You can use a gentle cleanser on your back and rinse it with warm water before applying aloe vera to the scars.

Avoid Too Much Sun Exposure

It is very tempting to bare the shoulders and back during the summer even if you have acne scars. However, sun exposure can make your acne flare up and make the scars worse. Too much sun exposure can also make your scars more noticeable and make them darker.

Wash Your Clothes And Linens Properly

Sweat, bacteria, dead skin cells, and excess oil can build up on your clothes, bedsheets, and towels. Changing your bedsheets and towels often will help reduce acne development on your back. If you don’t have back acne, there will be no acne scars for you to worry about.

If you already have back acne scars, make sure to wear a clean shirt before you go to bed every night to avoid excess oil and sweat from clinging to your back. This can further irritate your skin and make your acne scars worse.

In-Office Procedures

If you have severe acne scars, an at-home treatment may not be as effective in getting rid of the scars. In this case, in-office medical procedures can help in treating acne scars. Before undergoing a medical procedure, make sure to consult with a board-certified dermatologist to see which treatment is the most effective for the kind of acne scar you have.

Hydroquinone For Acne Scars

Hydroquinone can be found in a lot of lightening creams, cleansers, and serums. This can also be used to lighten hyperpigmentation and minimize scarring. In order to buy hydroquinone, you need to have a prescription from your dermatologist. FDA has banned OTC hydroquinone as there are safety concerns about developing skin conditions if hydroquinone is overused.

Chemical Peels

You can give yourself a chemical peel at home using glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, or mandelic acid. However, getting a professional chemical peel is more effective at getting rid of acne scars.

The kind of chemical peel treatment you will get will depend on how mild or severe your acne scars are.

Light chemical peels are typically used for mild acne scars. A medium peel is used to treat most types of acne scars and will peel up to the top middle part of your skin. A deep peel will really reach the lowermost part of the middle layer of your skin.

When getting a professional chemical peel, your dermatologist will be giving you instructions before and after getting a peel done. Inform your dermatologist of your skin care products and if you are using any retinoids. You may need a follow-up treatment if you get a medium or deep chemical peel.

Laser Treatment For Acne Scars

Laser treatments are also effective in reducing shallow to medium-depth atrophic acne scars. CO2 (carbon dioxide), pulsed-dye lasers, or fractional lasers (Fraxel) are used by medical clinics to treat scarring from acne.

Wrap Up

​​Acne scars are very annoying to have. Getting it treated early on can prevent acne from becoming a permanent scar on your body, especially if you have acne-prone skin. We have talked about how to get rid of back acne scars and we have given you several options to give you an idea about what treatment you can get.

You can use at-home treatments such as OTC medication or natural remedies if you have mild acne. Medical procedures such as chemical peels or laser treatments are effective if you have severe acne.

Whatever treatment you choose, make sure to consult your dermatologist as they can give you the best option for your scarring. If you have any other questions, let us know!

Michelle Jackson
Michelle Jackson