Sooner or later, someone’s going to compile a Top 10 list of the least attractive things about the human body. For our money, acne on the back, or “bacne,” is going to be in the top three (pretty close to back hair, while we’re on the subject.) And like back hair or a bad comb over, it’s among the most effective forms of girl repellant known to science. At least it’s easy to treat and get rid of.
Causes of Bacne
Bacne happens for the same reasons that acne happens on the face, neck, and elsewhere: an excessive amount of oils from the sebaceous glands (the part of the skin that protects the epidermis with protective… well, oils) build up inside a skin pore, trapping dead skin cells and causing an irritation.
Consider that your back is usually covered with a shirt, undershirt, or smothered by cushions or bed dressings, and you can see it’s easy for the oils to get trapped. Disgusting though it may be, bacne is nonetheless very common.
Getting rid of blackheads and whiteheads on the back should be done with a relative amount of zeal. You want to cleanse the back and keep it clean, but you don’t want to damage the epidermis or the hair follicles responsible for keeping the skin moist. If anything’s more annoying than bacne, it’s having to scratch a dry skin itch you just… can’t… reach. So be careful not to overdo the scrubbing.
While you’re in the shower:
1. Get a good lather of a cleansing bodywash or exfoliant going on the back. Using a clean washcloth, start at the shoulders and work your way down, coming up around under the armpits and cleaning the ribcage and waist.
2. Once you’re finished soaping the back up, scrub briskly and loosely with a loofa or back scrubber. Remember, don’t scrape: you’re not peeling paint, and you’re not trying to lift a layer of skin. You’re trying to clean.
3. Rinse the skin thoroughly with the warm water, making sure the soap is completely cleaned off.
Working With the Right Cleanser
As you wash, you’ll want to take steps to make sure you’re not damaging your skin. Dry, flaky skin or skin stripped of its natural emollients only leave the perfect breeding ground for more blackheads. Cheap or drugstore soaps and cleansers remove the good oils and bad, leaving your skin like a vacant lot – nothing good or bad hanging around at all. An expertly designed, balanced skin cleanser like Woody’s or Sharp’s will clean the skin without stripping the pores and sebaceous glands or what they need to protect your skin.
After drying off, use a moisturizer that will replenish your body’s natural defenses without leaving the skin oily. Baxter’s of California and Maxwell’s Apothecary both make moisturizers designed to rehydrate skin cells, preventing the dead skin buildup that causes acne.
For best results, repeat the cleansing and revitalizing once a day – don’t overdo the cleaning, and don’t lose patience. Renovating the skin is a gradual process, and you’ll want it to take its time, so it’s done right. The result? Better skin free of acne. With that out of the way, you can concentrate on doing something about all that back hair.
Lee Wood is an expert on men’s grooming and hair, skin, and polishing techniques and products. Visit [http://www.mugonline.com] for more men’s grooming and advice, including dealing with a variety of skin problems and reinventing your body with top of the line hair and skin care products that won’t cost a fortune.