What Causes Back Acne In Females? How To Fix?

Back acne, also known as bacne, is a common skin condition that causes pimples to develop on the back. While anyone can get bacne, it predominately affects females due to hormonal fluctuations and other factors.

Understanding what causes back acne in females is key to reducing and clearing up breakouts.

What Is Back Acne? 

Back acne describes a form of body acne where clogged hair follicles and oil glands lead to pimples forming on the back.

Back Acne

Lesions can include noninflammatory whiteheads and blackheads, inflammatory papules and pustules, cysts, nodules, and swollen reddish pimples.

Back Acne most often appears across the upper back, bra line, and along the spine, typically in sporadic breakouts but sometimes in severe, widespread eruptions. 

What Causes Back Acne In Females?

▪️ Hormonal Imbalances

Androgen hormones trigger excess oil production and clogged pores. Fluctuations around menstrual cycles and puberty exacerbate acne.  

▪️ Tight Clothing and Fabrics

Tight tops, bras, and snug waistbands create friction, sweat, and irritation leading to clogged pores and infection. Synthetic fabrics that don’t breathe well aggravate this.

▪️ Hair Products

Shampoos, conditioners, and oils that run down the neck and back can clog pores. Pomades and hair gels transferring to the skin also cause problems.

▪️ Stress

Stress increases inflammation and oil production which worsens acne. Bacne related to stress often appears before periods.

▪️ Medications

Certain medications like lithium, corticosteroids, testosterone, and anticonvulsants are linked to bacne as side effects.

▪️ Excess Sweating

Sweat traps dirt and oils in pores resulting in clogged follicles and bacne lesions. Exercising without showering afterward contributes.

▪️ Genetics

Familial tendencies to produce too much oil or undergo hormonal shifts provoke breakouts.

How Can Back Acne Be Treated?

Mild cases may be managed at home with over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide acne creams or gels. Severe, persistent bacne often requires prescription medications from a dermatologist like:

  • Oral or topical antibiotics to reduce infection 
  • Topical retinoids like tretinoin unplug follicles
  • Anti-androgen drugs or oral contraceptives to regulate hormones
  • Isotretinoin for severe, treatment-resistant bacne 

Avoid picking and scraping at bacne lesions which can worsen scarring. See a dermatologist promptly if over-the-counter products fail to improve breakouts.

How Can Back Acne Be Prevented?

  • Avoid tight, friction-causing clothing and opt for loose, breathable fabrics like cotton.
  • Use gentle cleansing products on the back and shower after sweating.
  • Apply acne medication to the back after washing. 
  • Keep hair products away from the back as much as possible.
  • Manage stress levels through yoga, meditation, therapy, etc.

Are There Any Natural Remedies for Back Acne?

Some potential natural adjuncts to medical treatment:

  • Tea tree oil – Has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Use diluted.
  • Green tea – Polyphenols have anti-acne effects. Drink or apply used bags.  
  • Honey – Has antibacterial properties that fight infection. Use raw organic honey.
  • Turmeric – Contains curcumin that reduces inflammation. Take supplements. 
  • Apple cider vinegar – Malic acid fights acne bacteria. Use diluted as a skin toner.


Hormonal factors, friction, sweat, hair products, and stress contribute to back acne in females. While prevention helps, medical treatment is often needed to clear bacne.

Natural remedies can provide additional antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory support when used safely. Managing bacne requires diligence but smooth skin can be restored with proper dermatological care.


1. What’s the difference between chest acne and back acne?

Chest acne is mainly hormonal, while back acne has several causes including clothes friction and hair products. Both can benefit from acne treatments.

2. Does diet impact back acne?

Certain dairy products and high glycemic foods may exacerbate acne. But diet modification has a minor role compared to other bacne causes.

3. Can you pop back acne like facial acne? 

No, squeezing and picking back acne can lead to infections and scarring. Allow bacne lesions to heal on their own or seek medical treatment.

Dr. Luna Rey specializes in diagnosing and treating a wide range of skin conditions, from common conditions like acne and eczema to more complex conditions like psoriasis and skin cancer. In addition to her medical practice, Dr. Luna has a strong interest in writing and has published numerous articles on dermatology topics in leading medical journals. Her writing style is clear, concise, and easy to understand, making her work accessible to a broad audience.

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