Best Products & Treatments for Bacne: Get Rid of Pimples on Back and Shoulders

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on September 6, 2023
⏱️ 6 min read

This is an objective, non-biased article. We base our product choices on various factors, such as product reviews, ingredient analysis, and overall reputation of brands. It does, however, contain affiliate links for featured products.

Bacne, or back acne, is an annoying skin condition that can affect people of all ages.

The cause for it can go from bad diet, wrong skin care, bad hygiene, to factors that are out of our control, like hormones. Teenagers generally suffer from bacne the most due to the hormonal changes that can increase oil production.

If you are amongst the many people who have issues with back acne, don’t worry, we prepared a list of products and treatments for bacne that work.

So if you want to find out how to get rid of bacne and acne scars on your back, scroll on!

What Is Bacne?

Bacne occurs when the hair follicles on your back and shoulders become clogged with dead skin cells and oils, and bacteria develops as a result.

Bacne can develop anywhere on the back but it’s most common along the shoulders and upper back. Any type of skin congestion can develop on the back, including whiteheads, blackheads, pustules, papules, cysts, and nodules.

When not treated properly (AKA when popped) acne breakouts can lead to acne scars, which can sometimes be even more difficult to treat than the acne itself.

So if your breakouts are really severe, it’s best to consult a skin professional early on to figure out the best way to get rid of bacne.

what is bacneImage source: Freepik

Causes of Bacne

Several factors can lead to the development of bacne, and a lot of times it’s a combination of multiple causes that are triggering the acne on your back.

Some of the most common factors are:

  • Excessive oil production. If your skin produces too much oil, it can clog your pores, leading to the formation of pimples.
  • Genetics is related to oil production. If overactive sebaceous glands run in your family there’s a higher chance you’ll have them too, which ties back to the first factor.
  • Hormonal fluctuations, especially during puberty or pregnancy, can increase oil production and make you more prone to bacne.
  • Diet high in carbs and especially sugar can increase your chances of getting acne, as well as dairy and processed foods.
  • Skin care and makeup that has a high amount of pore-clogging oils can be the trigger for some, so go for products that are labeled as non-comedogenic.
  • Poor hygiene can also be a cause. If you don’t clean your back and shoulders thoroughly enough, sweat, dirt, and bacteria can accumulate on your skin and contribute to the development of pimples.
  • Tight clothing or backpacks that rub against your skin can irritate your hair follicles and lead to bacne.

Best Bacne Products

Using the right products can make a significant difference for diminishing and hopefully eliminating your bacne.

There are many over-the-counter options available that can help clear your skin and prevent future breakouts, and here are some of the best ones:

CeraVe Body Wash with Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a great ingredient for unclogging pores. It’s effective at oil control and with continued use it prevents skin congestion.

This affordable and powerful CeraVe SA body wash cleanses and exfoliates while helping to restore the protective skin barrier with 3 essential ceramides.

It can be used every day on oily, sensitive, and dry skin.

PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash

PanOxyl anti-acne wash contains a maximum strength of 10% benzoyl peroxide and is one of the most popular and effective products for treating acne.

It targets existing acne and deeply cleanses pores to prevent new ones. Use it once or twice a day and massage for 2 minutes before rinsing out, and make sure to moisturize afterward.

Differin Acne Treatment Gel

Other than body washes, you can also use a cream or a gel such as the Differin gel to treat your back acne.

This product contains adapalene 0.1% (retinoid) which stands out from other retinols due to its high tolerability while remaining very effective in treating acne-prone skin.

Paula’s Choice CLEAR Back & Body Exfoliating Acne Spray

An after-shower toner or body spray for chemical exfoliation is also a good option.

This acne spray from Paula’s Choice contains 2% salicylic acid, which we already explained is a great skin-clearing ingredient.

If you’re coming up with your bacne-clearing routine without professional help, remember to always follow the instructions on the products and be patient. It may take several weeks to see significant improvement, so don’t get discouraged – stick to it.

Professional Treatments for Bacne

If over-the-counter products and topical treatments aren’t doing enough, it may be time to explore professional treatments for bacne.

There’s a range of options available to effectively get rid of bacne and improve the appearance of your skin.

Chemical Peels

One of the best treatments for acne in general, including bacne, are chemical peels. Chemical peels use an exfoliating chemical agent to remove the outermost layer of skin, promoting cell turnover and unclogging pores.

Body chemical peels are great for treating active bacne, as well as bacne scars and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

They can be done with different AHA and BHA acids, but your skin tech will determine the appropriate type and strength of peel based on your specific needs.

chemical peel for bacneImage source: Instagram @skincolondon

Enzyme Peels

For those who have sensitive skin and are unable to tolerate chemical peels, enzyme peels are a good alternative.

These treatments use fruit enzymes, sometimes in combination with small concentrations of AHA’s or BHA’s, to gently exfoliate the skin and help with acne, hyperpigmentation, and reveal smoother and healthier skin.

Keep in mind that due to its milder nature this treatment might not be suitable for more intense acne.

enzyme peel for bacneImage source: Instagram @joireslifestyle

Blue/Red Light Therapy

You’ve probably noticed the increased popularity of LED light treatments, and for a good reason. This treatment can help with many skin conditions, including bacne.

There are different types of LED lights that have slightly different effects. The most popular for treating bacne are red light and blue light therapy.

Blue light is an anti-acne treatment – it kills acne-inducing bacteria and can help keep mild to moderate bacne in check.

Red light is best overall, as it helps treat various skin concerns including scarring and hyperpigmentation.

Both are good non-invasive options but your cosmetologist will suggest what’s best for your case.

Laser Treatments

Laser treatments can target and destroy acne-inducing bacteria, reduce oil production, and stimulate collagen production to improve skin texture. So they can help with active breakouts, or the consequences of bacne.

Some of the lasers that are recommended for bacne are carbon laser, pulsed dye, or certain types of fractionated lasers. After analyzing your specific case, the laser tech will recommend the best laser treatment.

Multiple sessions may be required, but laser therapy can be very effective.


We know that bacne can be a frustrating and stubborn skin condition, but with the right products and treatments, you can effectively clear pimples on your back and shoulders.

Start by practicing good hygiene habits and using over-the-counter products containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

If your bacne persists or is severe, consult a dermatologist who can prescribe stronger topical treatments or recommend professional procedures.

Remember to be patient and consistent with your skincare routine, and soon you’ll be saying goodbye to bacne for good!

Cover image source: Freepik



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