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What Causes Back Acne in Males? (What You Need To Know)

Acne — an unwanted guest that shows up uninvited, steals the spotlight and sometimes overstays its welcome. It's an issue that has perplexed and vexed many, and it's not just exclusive to facial skin.

You've heard about facial acne, but what causes back acne in males? We will explore this unsightly issue in detail and equip you with the knowledge to deal with it effectively.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Back acne in males is commonly caused by factors such as excess oil production, dead skin cells, hormonal changes, and lifestyle habits like wearing tight clothes and poor diet.

  • A combination of over-the-counter treatments, prescription treatments, and lifestyle changes are effective in managing back acne. Laser and light therapy can also be considered for more severe cases.

  • Genetics can play a significant role in the susceptibility to back acne. However, environmental and lifestyle factors also have a substantial impact.

  • Exposed Skin Care aids in managing acne, unclogging pores, eliminating bacteria, soothing inflammation, and dealing with sweat-induced impurities.

Man suffering from bacne or back acne

Understanding Acne

Before we plunge into what causes back acne in males, let's understand what acne is.

What is Acne?

Acne is an inflammatory skin condition characterized by the appearance of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads, primarily on the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders.

Acne is caused by a combination of factors, including excess oil production, dead skin cells, and the proliferation of acne-causing bacteria. This confluence can clog pores, leading to acne breakouts.

Different Types of Acne

Not all acne is created equal. Types of acne include:

  • Comedonal acne: This type includes whiteheads and blackheads and is typically the result of dead skin cells and excess sebum blocking hair follicles.

  • Inflammatory acne: This includes pimples that are often red, tender, and may have a pus-filled top.

  • Cystic acne: This severe form of acne occurs when bacteria cause an infection deep in the skin, creating a red, tender bump filled with pus.

  • Hormonal acne: Generally associated with hormonal changes, often occurring during adolescence or due to conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

Teenager with a skate board

What causes back acne in males specifically, and how does it differ from other types? Let's explore.

What Causes Back Acne in Males?

Back acne, also known as "bacne," is widespread in men. It involves acne breakouts on the back and is triggered by several factors.

Excessive Sebum Production and Dead Skin Cells

One primary culprit behind back acne is the overactive oil glands' overproduction of an oily substance called sebum. Coupled with dead skin cells, they can clog pores, trapping acne-causing bacteria and leading to acne breakouts.

These clogged pores can manifest as acne lesions, including blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and at times, more severe acne forms like cysts or nodules.

Hormonal Changes

Back acne in males can be influenced by hormonal changes. This type of acne, often known as hormonal acne, can be exacerbated by hormone fluctuations, especially testosterone. Increased testosterone can trigger the oil glands to produce too much sebum, worsening acne.

Lifestyle Factors

Certain lifestyle factors can also play a role in causing back acne. These include:

  • Sweaty and Tight Clothing: Excessive sweating or not showering immediately after a workout can create a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria. Additionally, tight clothing can rub against your skin, causing irritation and potentially leading to acne breakouts. This is especially true for athletic gear and other sports equipment that is not properly cleaned and can trap sweat, bacteria, and dead skin cells.

Two men playing basketball

  • Poor Hygiene: Not washing your back regularly or failing to remove sweaty clothes post-exercise can exacerbate back acne. It's important to maintain good hygiene and keep your skin clean to avoid acne breakouts.

  • Diet: Foods with a high glycemic index, like sugary foods, can spike your blood sugar levels, leading to increased sebum production and inflammation, which can worsen acne.

  • Stress: High cortisol levels due to stress can also make acne worse.


Shaving-related back acne is another problem men face. If not done correctly, shaving can irritate the skin, leading to acne breakouts.

Certain Medications

Certain medications, including prescription medications, can trigger acne. It is essential to discuss this with your healthcare provider if you believe your medication may be causing your back acne.

Treating and Managing Back Acne in Males

Understanding what causes back acne in males is half the battle. Now let's look at how to get rid of back acne and achieve clear skin.

Over-the-Counter Treatments

Over-the-counter treatments can help treat acne, particularly mild cases. Ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can effectively remove dead skin cells, reduce excess oil, and eliminate acne-causing bacteria. They can also unclog pores and prevent future acne breakouts.

Hyaluronic acid drop falls from cosmetic pipette

Prescription Treatments

If over-the-counter remedies aren't effective, prescription treatments may be necessary. Prescription retinoids and other topical or oral medications can help reduce inflammation, unclog pores, and manage acne.

Laser and Light Therapy

For more stubborn or severe acne cases, laser therapy or light therapy could be viable options. These treatments work by reducing the acne-causing bacteria and decreasing inflammation. They can also help lessen the appearance of acne scars.

Lifestyle Changes

Making simple lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on managing acne. These include:

  • Wearing Loose-Fitting Clothes: Loose-fitting clothes allow your skin to breathe and prevent friction that irritates your skin.

  • Maintaining a Healthy Diet: A balanced, low-glycemic diet can regulate blood sugar levels and reduce acne breakouts.

  • Practicing Good Hygiene: Regularly washing your body, especially after sweating, can help keep your skin healthy and acne-free.

Young man having a shower after playing sports

Preventing Back Acne

Even if you've successfully treated your back acne, adopting habits that prevent future breakouts is vital. Consider incorporating non-comedogenic products into your skincare routine, specifically designed not to clog pores.

Regularly gently exfoliate your back to remove dead skin cells. Always shower immediately after a sweat session, and wear clean, loose-fitting clothes.

Dealing with Back Acne Scars

Once you've cleared up your back acne, you might deal with another problem - acne scars. They are common aftermath of severe acne and can be equally, if not more, distressing. Let's look at some strategies to deal with them:

  • Topical Treatments: Creams, gels, and lotions that contain ingredients like retinoids or silicone can improve the appearance of scars.

  • In-Office Treatments: Procedures such as laser resurfacing, chemical peels, and fillers can be done under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

Man getting checmical back peel

  • Home Remedies: Some people find that natural remedies, like applying aloe vera or honey, can help improve the appearance of scars.

While it's best to consult with a healthcare provider for severe scarring, these strategies can help manage and reduce the appearance of back acne scars.

Always remember to take care of your skin, keeping it hydrated and protected from the sun, as this can prevent scars from darkening and becoming more noticeable.

The Benefits of Exposed Skin Care in Managing Acne

Exposed Skin Care is a trusted skincare brand widely acclaimed for its effective acne treatment products. These formulations can be an ideal choice for those battling back acne, also colloquially referred to as 'bacne'. One notable benefit of Exposed Skin Care is its ability to tackle acne at multiple levels.

Exposed Skin Care Basic Kit

Other benefits of Exposed Skin Care products are:

  • Unclog Pores: They penetrate deep into the skin to eliminate dirt and sebum, a common culprit behind clogged pores that often lead to acne called comedones.

  • Kill Acne-Causing Bacteria: They contain active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and tea tree oil, renowned for their antibacterial properties that eradicate acne-causing bacteria.

  • Soothe Inflammation: Natural extracts like green tea and aloe vera soothe inflammation, a primary characteristic of acne.

Moreover, Exposed Skin Care products are designed to address various lifestyle factors that contribute to acne. If you frequently find yourself in sweaty clothing after a workout, a quick cleanse with their products can help eliminate any impurities that may lead to acne. Exposed Skin Care provides a comprehensive approach to managing acne, ensuring your skin stays clear and healthy.


Dealing with back acne can be daunting, but understanding the various factors that cause back acne in males paves the way for effective management. Clear and healthy skin is achievable by maintaining a consistent skincare routine to implementing lifestyle changes.

Consider treatments that align with your needs, such as over-the-counter solutions, prescription treatments, and laser or light therapies in severe cases. Remember the role of genetics, but don't underestimate the power of environmental and lifestyle factors.

Lastly, leveraging trusted skincare brands like Exposed Skin Care can be beneficial. Its products tackle acne at multiple levels, making it a comprehensive solution for those wishing to bid farewell to acne.

Patience and consistency are crucial, as skin improvement takes time. With the right knowledge and resources, conquering back acne and regaining your confidence is possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do guys get rid of back acne?

Men can get rid of back acne by maintaining good hygiene, using acne treatments that suit their skin type, making lifestyle modifications like a healthy diet and stress management, and consulting a healthcare provider if needed.

Does back acne mean high testosterone?

Not necessarily. While increased testosterone levels can contribute to acne by stimulating sebum production, it's not the sole cause. Other factors like dead skin cells, bacteria, and lifestyle choices also play a role in causing acne.

Why does my boyfriend have so much back acne?

Back acne can occur due to various factors, including excessive oil production, dead skin cells, hormonal changes, certain medications, poor hygiene, and lifestyle factors like diet and stress.

What are the most common causes of back acne?

The most common causes of back acne are excessive oil production, accumulated dead skin cells, hormonal changes, poor hygiene, and lifestyle factors like wearing tight clothing and consuming a diet high in sugary foods.