What Causes Bacne

What Causes Bacne

Breakouts on the back, often called “bacne,” are an unsightly source of distress. Dealing with acne on the face is challenging enough, but when it shows up on the back, too, it hardly seems fair. But what causes bacne has nothing to do with fairness, and—this might surprise you— everything to do with the same factors that trigger facial acne.

What is Bacne?

Whether you’re dealing with mild bacne, severe bacne, or both, the underlying causes are the same:

  • Propionibacterium acnes bacteria within the pores cause aggravation.
  • The aggravation leads to visible redness.
  • Excess oil (sebum), tiny hairs, and debris get backed up in the pore lining.
  • The oil serves as a food source for P. acnes, allowing it to flourish.
  • You see various sizes of red, often uncomfortable, pimples dotting skin’s surface.

Along with a couple of other factors, including family tendency toward acne, the series of events above is what causes acne on the back. Bacne is not caused by dirty skin, eating chocolate or fried foods, or just being a teenager; indeed, adult acne can show up on the back, too.

The problem is that bacne tends to be more stubborn than acne on the face. For some reason, it’s simply more difficult to treat. But if you stay on top of it with a consistent routine, you can get rid of back acne and get your body confidence back!

References for this information:
Indian Journal of Dermatology, July 2017, pages 341–357
The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, February 2014, pages 22–30
DermatoEndocrinology, January-February 2011, pages 41–49; and March-April 2009, pages 68–71
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, June 2008, pages 551–556; and June 2007, pages 597–600
Postgraduate Medical Journal, August 2006, pages 500–506

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!