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Back acne. Remedy?

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Practicing since : 1996
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I have back acne problem. Generally most people are having this type of problem on face but in my case its my back. Is it normal to have back acne problem? I haven't seen anyone with similar problem of back acne. What are the remedies I can go for?
Posted Tue, 1 May 2012 in Acne
Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 7 hours later

Thank you for the query.

Back acne is very common & it may either be associated with face acne or may be not.

It won't be very difficult to get rid off back acne, but its the scars which may bother you for a long time (if at all you have developed any).

Firstly, I would advise you to stop all cosmetic creams (any moisturizer) if you are using on the back. Also avoid any moisturizing soap on the body.

To begin with, one should always start with oral antibiotics like Macrolides for couple of weeks. The second option, I would go with Minocyclin. But if you don't respond to this conventional treatment, then one can think of Retinoids (isotretinoin). Retinoids is a wonderful medicine for acne, provided one gets all the relevant investigations done and takes care of all the precautions associated with it. According to the body weight one needs to take it for at-least 6 to 8 months.

Along with the above treatment you would also require topical cream to apply. Tretinoin cream would be better for the back as it can take of the marks also. This is usually applied in the night time. In day time, one can use either Clindamycin gel or Bezoyl peroxide gel.

Acne treatment is a long term treatment, would require good follow up especially if one is on retinoids.

I would advise you to consult a dermatologist at your place and discuss with him all the possible treatment options.All the above medicines are prescription based medicines and one may not get this as OTC(over the counter) from the chemist shop.

Hope I have answered your query. Should you have additional concerns regarding this issue, I would be happy to address them.

Dr.Bharat chawda.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Back acne. Remedy? 42 hours later
Thank you for your reply. But I have some more questions and concerns regard this problem.

Yes, I have some scars developed on my back. I am not applying anything on my back except for the sandalwood powder mixed with water. It seems to be helping with the scars. How can I get rid of the scars once and for all along with the acne? Please suggest some remedy for this that do not require a prescription. For example, Alpha Hydroxy Acid (Glycolic Acid) based soap like the one shown here: WWW.WWWW.WW (I came to know about this on internet but needed an expert advice before I order this soap.) Or perhaps some homemade remedy or anything of similar sort?

I also wanted to check in with you regarding what food should I eat. If I can get rid of this back acne problem by eating a particular kind of food or perhaps by avoiding a particular kind, please let me know.

As you suggested, I will definitely consult a dermatologist for this problem. But possibly the dermatologist will suggest some different medicines based on the availability in the area. I need your opinion on this. I am about to go visit XXXXXXX Skin Clinic for this problem. Their services are generally very costly compared to other normal skin clinics and so I just wanted to ask you if this problem is really worth all the time and resources. What I mean is, even after all the trouble, if this problem is not going to go away permanently, then may be I should not spend thousands behind this. Because I have seen quite a few people who spend a huge amount behind acne problems but yet they do not achieve the result. Please let me know your thoughts on this and what should I do.

Thanks again.

Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 10 hours later

Thank you for writing back,

Being a dermatologist who deals with such kind of cases daily,I am totally against use of indigenous preparation(home made ) and those advertisements who talk more and perform less.These things don't help at all.

Actually there is a reason also why such creams don't have great results.These creams are OTC's (over the counter drugs) ,which have low concentration of actual ingredient needed to cure .So,they are available without prescription and those who have high concentration of the actual medicine need a prescription from a doctor.They show better results and a doctor would only prescribe them if he feels that is actually necessary for the patient.

I went through the link you had sent,which does talks about AHA(alpha hydroxy acids),but they are derived from fruit extracts which are hardly effective.To be actually effective one needs AHA's like glycolic acids or salicylic acids of the concentration of 20-35 % minimum.Now these are not OTC's and are only prescribed by doctors.In fact you can take a chemical peels of such AHA's from a dermatologist.These things would be effective and worth getting it done.

You are absolutely right about various skin & cosmetic centers who charge you a hefty amount and would also insists on selling and using their own products also.Please don't get carried away with this. I would rather advise you to visit a competent dermatologist in your city or may be you can visit a good hospital where you can find a dermatology department.

You can even discuss with your dermatologist about the possibility of retinoids(isotretinoin) in your case.I am sure if your acne is sever then he would definitely think of using retinoids on you.

As far as scars are concerned on the back I think it must be black spots which are left following pimples.The best option would be chemical peels and use of tretinoin creams at night .

There is hardly any relation with the food one eats .If one feels that oily food and dairy products( ice creams) are aggravating his acne then you can avoid such food items.Otherwise there is no direct relation to it.But yes ,you should drink plenty of water and take good sleep which does help in healing of acne.

There are also various light therapies available ,but I would advise you to avoid taking it as the results are not worth at all.Instead once your acne is cured and you are left with the spots on the back ,you can think of taking laser treatment for the same.Even the chemical peel (esp glycolic or salicylic ) would be good.

Since you insisted about the use of soap ,I would advise you to use sastid soap which contains salicylic acid and would help in gradual peeling of skin.

I hope this would help you to understand what kind of treatment you would require to get rid of pimples and scars .In case you require any further advise please feel free to ask.

“ Wish you Good Health”

Dr.Bharat chawda
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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