More than 50% of women and 40% of men in their ’20s are afflicted with back acne, and dermatologist Christie Kidd says our showering habits may be the cause of it.
Acne is caused primarily by hormones that cause grease-producing glands in the skin to make larger amounts of oil. This changes the activity of a skin bacterium called P. acnes. While usually harmless, this activity change makes the bacterium more aggressive and inflamed.
Kidd believes that altering our shower habits is an easy, surefire way to get rid of bacne. She said, “Most of us, we wash our hair, we condition it, and when our conditioner is sitting, that’s when we wash our body.” Kidd believes that since we rinse out the conditioner last, it leaves our back covered in an oily residue, this affecting the activity of P. acnes. Kidd recommends washing, conditioning, and rinsing out hair first, and then clean your body as normal to reduce the risk of bacne.
The U.K.’s National Health Service recommends washing areas of the body affected with acne with a mild soap or cleanser and lukewarm water, and to never “clean out” blackheads or try to pop them as this can make them worse and potentially cause permanent scarring.