How Do I Stop Break-outs on My Back????

Updated on June 19, 2010
T.M. asks from Fort Worth, TX
11 answers

Let me start by saying that aside from the occasional blemish, I never had acne - before giving birth to my son, that is! Now, and it's been nearly five years, my back is constantly broken out. Not terrible, but the ones that are there are HUGE, almost like boils! I'm a clean person; I shower every day and/or night - really! I don't smoke or use fragrant lotions and I'm of average weight (minus 5 lbs every once-in-a-while). It's embarrassing to wear a bathing-suit or certain tops. There's another spot that periodically pops up on the front of my chest, thankfully though my necklaces are able to cover that monster. My derma couldn't even pop that one! I know this is gross and I'm sorry for all the details - but PLEASE someone tell me what to do! I've been to the the dermatologist several times and there is no reason for these breakouts. I also have eczema during the winter months. I'm certain that this has to do with hormones, but when I go to the OB, my blood work always comes back normal. I'm only 31 - I have lots of bare-back days left in me - PLEASE, what can I do???

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answers from Indianapolis on

I'm 39 and in the last few years I was having the same problem as well as around the outer part of my face. My derm told me it's totally normal to see women coming in for this around this age because of hormones. He gave me an all over body wash (can use on face as well). It's called Sodium Sulfacetamide, can be used everyday or whenever you need it. It's great stuff.

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answers from Seattle on

I used neutrogena deep clense face wash for a while and that helped



answers from Houston on

In addition to all the products mentioned, what helped me was washing my back VERY last. I figured out that my hair conditioner was causing me to break out. Even though I was rinsing it, it was leaving a film...exactly what it is supposed to do in your hair, but was wreaking havoc on my back.

I also agree with the sun skin is much clearer when I get a "bit" of sun.

All my pimple-free teen years are coming back to me in my 30s. Argh.



answers from Detroit on

When you wash your hair all of the products run down the rest of your body, what brand of hair products (shampoo, conditioner etc.) are you using? I have so many clients that had eczema, acne (face, neck and back) and once they switched to Arbonne's shampoo, conditioner and body lotion (those with severe acne also use our Clear Advantage Acne skin care line which includes a supplement) and the eczema and other skin conditions cleared up. If you have any questions please let me know and I will send you my web site and email address in a private message. I also have a list of tips of things to do daily that will help.



answers from St. Louis on

Mine cleared up when I got a back brush and Neutrogena body wash or scrub...though now that it's cleared up for the most part any body wash will do as long as it's not a cream one. The ones w/ salycitic acid work great, However it could also be from your back being too dry. After I shower I usually try to use a body oil before I dry off. I know that probably sounds counterproductive to put oil or lotion on parts that are already breaking out. But if your back is tight and itchy it could be too dry. Try a body oil such as Neutrogena's or a favorite moisturizing lotion. I try to get it on my upper back when I spread it on my shoulders and when I have it on my arms I just wipe the excess on my lower back.
Excess dryness on your skin can make a person break out just as much as excess oil.
So try this combo and see if it works (scrub in shower/moisturize directly after).
Good Luck!! :)



answers from Seattle on

I have the same issue, especially on my back. I can tell it's hormone related, because I notice the fluctuations with my cycle.
You don't say what kind of birth control you use, but there are some birth control pills can help with this. I never used to get this on the pill (before my daughter) but now on Mirena, that pleasant side effect is gone.

One more thing, especially since you also mention eczema in the winter. If you wash and shower too much, you can actually aggravate both the acne and the eczema. Acne has NOTHING to do with hygiene and cleanliness and if you wash off the protective layer of oils your skin produces several times a day, you just send your skin into overproduction.

Mine will let up as soon as it gets warm enough to wear tanktops. I will get some unprotected sunexposure before putting on sunscreen and that really helps (just a few minutes, maybe 5-10).

Good luck.



answers from Philadelphia on

i get this too!!! its soooo groos and nothing works. i just tried clearasil pads, they seemed to make it worse. anytips would be great!



answers from Salt Lake City on

Birth control is the only way I solved that problem. My hormones get way out of whack when I'm pregnant and I have to go on BCP to balance them back out. I use YAZ right now, but I've also used others. Goodluck, I know how bad it sucks. I had it so bad with my kids I have scars in some places.


answers from Norfolk on

From what I've read, a boil is an infected hair follicle which can form an abscess. You could try to gently use a back brush to exfoliate. I like a good soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts and vinegar every once in awhile. It relaxes my muscles and my skin feels very good from it, too.



answers from Kansas City on

you can get a clearasil body wash, I had to use it for awhile. It works pretty good.


answers from Phoenix on

I hope you get some good answers that I can try for my poor hubby. He breaks out only on his back too and they are just like yours. If I don't pop them, they get HUGE and painful and it is really gross. He hates it and it's been like this for him forever. He hates it too since we are in AZ and live in the pool and he obviously has his shirt off. I hope someone has a suggestion for something topical for it so I hope you find something that works for you too!