As summer approaches, it is becoming more and more important to get rid of your back acne. Back acne treatment can take time, so it is never too early to begin treating the breakouts on your body. Although over-the-counter treatments are generally not effective at treating body acne, there are thankfully many prescription treatments and in- office options for improving back acne. Now is the time to visit your dermatologist and begin treatment of body acne before it scars.
Evaluation of Back Acne
Once a dermatologist evaluates your skin, they will determine the best regimen for your acne and skin type. It is important to treat back acne, because without treatment permanent scarring can develop. Hypertrophic, or keloid, scars are the most common scars to form on the back. These scars do not go away without treatment, which can involve laser resurfacing treatments or steroid injections. For this reason, dermatologists often use a comprehensive approach when treating back acne. The best treatment regimens for moderate back acne may include a combination of treatment types.
Topical Medications for the Treatment of Back Acne
Topical prescription medications used for back acne treatment include topical antibiotics (such as clindamycin), benzoyl peroxide, and prescription strength retinoids (such as Tazorac or Atralin gel.) Each of these topical acne medications works in a unique way to prevent acne, either by killing the acne-causing p. acnes bacteria or preventing excess oil and debris from accumulating in the pores. Acne treatments for the back often use unique vehicles to deliver the medications, as it can otherwise be difficult to apply creams to the back. Vehicles used to deliver acne medications to the back include medicated washes, sprays, and foams. Oral treatments for back acne include oral antibiotics, anti-androgen hormonal medications (for women), and isotretinoin (more commonly known as Accutane.) Oral antibiotics work well for both men and women, to kill the acne-causing p. acnes bacteria on the back. Oral anti-androgen medications, which work well for treating hormonal acne in women, work by decreasing the androgen hormone influence on the skin. If the androgen influence on the skin is not controlled, it can lead to excessive oil production, which leads to acne. Isotretinoin is a great medication for back acne, though it is saved for treatment of moderate to severe acne, which has not responded to other treatments.
Back Acne and Laser Light Treatments
Dermatologists have found that in-office laser and light treatments work very well for back acne treatment. Treatments such as the Isolaz acne laser, Photodynamic Therapy, and Blue Light Therapy can improve the condition of back acne more quickly when used in combination with prescription medications. The Isolaz acne laser works by simultaneously cleaning out excess oil and debris from the pores, while a broad-spectrum light kills bacteria in the pores. Photodynamic Therapy also kills acne-causing bacteria on the skin, while also decreasing excess oil production from the sebaceous glands. Blue light therapy uses LED light to kill acne-causing bacteria and decrease inflammation on the skin. Your dermatologist will help you to determine the best regimen of laser and light treatments for your skin. For the treatment of back acne, these in-office treatments are often combined with a prescription medication regimen.