As part of the next chapter of the Skin Stories series, it is important to be inclusive of the fact that skin issues don’t just occur on the face. For many, acne occurs on both the back and the chest rather than their face. I will once again start with a disclaimer and say that I’m not a dermatologist, I’m just going off what I’ve been told and the information that I have culminated. I am taking information about having this skin problem from someone who has asked to remain anonymous but I know them in real life and I’m also doing my own little side research. I will, however say that my featured subject is a boy who has struggled with acne on his back from his mid to late teens.
The main cause for acne on the back is sweat and our assumption is that the person that I interviewed suffered as a result of a heavy gym routine. Sebaceous glands, which I talked about in the first Skin Stories post, contain excess oil but are commonly found on the back and chest so when these glands become clogged – acne appears. Doctors tend to prescribe different treatments depending on the level that the bacne appears and the requirements of the patient. Antibiotics such as Minocycline, Tetracycline, Doxycycline and Crythromycin are usually a first move in the right direction to reduce the inflammation of the acne. My anonymous source took the Minocycline and whilst they initially worked for him (not that it completely cleared up the acne but it did improve), as soon as he was taken off them the acne came back with a vengence.
The other tablets that can be recommended by doctors are Accutance or Roaccutane which has been known to be successful but it has been linked as a possible cause of depression. I think that it’s one of those treatments that are given to people at the top of the scale but nevertheless the decision to take up these tablets should not be taken lightly, especially if you already struggle with your mental health.
Retinoids are also a common ‘cure’ for acne but it’s not the most effective option for anywhere other than the face because unless you have time for it to really sink in it’s going to be rubbed off. The same goes for Benzoyl Peroxide which is a topical treatment but it’s main drawback is that it can bleach out whatever material that it touches like clothes or bedsheets.
The more extreme cases call for acne lasers or chemical peels and whilst these aren’t the most pleasant of the treatments but they are said to reduce scarring as well as the issue of acne itself. The idea of getting a chemical peel doesn’t sound particularly pleasant to me, I’ve seen a few YouTube videos where people have been left with gunky or infected results and I’m not eager to try it for any reason. Not that I have acne myself but I can understand why it is classed as a harsh treatment. As for the lasers, they’re never going to be pleasant either but for some, the reality of acne scars is a massive hit on confidence.
This leads me to the next ‘treatment’ of sorts, this is the one that my anonymous feature has said works the best. He said that by taking his shirt off and exposing his acne to the sunlight for a while in the summer, his acne got better. Furthermore, when he went on holiday his acne was barely in existence. Of course, you could use the sunbeds but that can also be bad for your skin in another way but it’s six and two threes. His girlfriend says that the final thing that stopped his skin issue from returning was through her usage of pimple tools, the little ones with loops on the end and s good sacylic acid.
I hope this post has either been relatable or given you a few options for your own acne no matter where it is on your body. The next post in my Skin Stories series will feature the fantastic Vikki of Cuteek about her melasma so keep your eyes peeled for that!