How to Clear Up Back Acne on African-American Skin
It can be complicated enough dealing with acne on your face, but dealing with blemishes on your back can bring heightened levels of embarrassment and distress. If you're African-American, blemishes on your back can leave unsightly pigmentation issues and even scars if not treated carefully 12. Thankfully, there are ways to address your back acne with a gentle hand.
Use a mild face wash on your back each morning and night. Use a cleanser that is formulated for sensitive skin and lacks harsh chemicals. A salicylic acid face wash may be best because it helps to unclog pores. Follow up the cleansing with an oil-free moisturizer to aid in healing of blemishes and to prevent peeling and overdrying, which can prolong your breakouts.
Dark Pigmentation on the Back
Treat hyperpigmentation that can result from acne. Hyperpigmentation is characterized by dark spots and splotches on the skin where inflammation previously was. You can fade these marks as a part of your acne treatment by using a gentle moisturizer like cocoa butter or a prescription-strength cream intended to fade dark spots like Retin-A. Mild chemical peels can also be used on your back to fade these dark marks and bring back your confidence.
Use an oil-free sunscreen on your back and all over your body. Even with dark skin you can still sunburn, and using acne treatments increases the chances of that since they tend to bleach the skin. When picking a product, opt for a brand that offers at least SPF 15.
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- QuickCare.org: Acne African American Skin
- BrownSkin.net: African American Skin Care
- Ud-Din S, McGeorge D, Bayat A. Topical management of striae distensae (stretch marks): prevention and therapy of striae rubrae and albae. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2016;30(2):211–222. doi:10.1111/jdv.13223
- Davis EC, Callender VD. Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation: a review of the epidemiology, clinical features, and treatment options in skin of color. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010;3(7):20-31
- Abad-Casintahan F, Weng Chow SK, Goh CL, et. al. "Frequency and Characteristics of Acne-related Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation." The Journal of Dermatology 43.7 (2016): 826-28.
- Moore J, Kelsberg G, Safranek S. "Clinical Inquiry: Do Any Topical Agents Help Prevent or Reduce Stretch Marks?" Journal of Family Practice. 61.12 (2012) :757-8.
Brenda Barron is a writer, editor and researcher based in Southern California. She has worked as a writer since 2004, with work appearing in online and print publications such as BabyZone, "Cat Fancy" and "ePregnancy." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from California State University, Long Beach.