How to get rid of back acne scars
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What is Acne?
Acne is a skin disorder that causes the surface of your skin to break out in pimples and redness.
If you have acne, you may notice the appearance of smaller black and white pimples, known as comedones.
Blackheads appear when the opening is large and the pimple opens at the surface of the skin and flattens, turning black due to exposure to oxygen in the air.
Whiteheads, on the other hand, stay just below the surface due to a small opening and feel like tiny bumps.
In addition to these, you may also see inflammatory lesions in the affected skin area.
Some of these are small, red bumps known as papules; small, red bumps with pus secretion known as pustules; solid, painful lumps right beneath the skin known as nodules; and large, very painful lumps right beneath the skin that contain pus, known as cysts.
These inflammatory lesions are the ones that most often lead to scarring.
The most common area for acne to occur is on the face, the back, the neck, the chest, and the shoulders.
Why Does Acne Happen?
Your skin has small holes called pores, which allow oil and sweat to be secreted through underlying glands and hair to sprout out.
These pores are connected in the dermis and epidermis to oil glands through follicles, which are essentially passageways that carry out sebum (oil) secreted by the sebaceous gland, sweat secreted by the sweat glands, and dead skin cells, up to the skin’s surface.
The oil and dead cells, along with other dirt particles, can clog up the surface and cause a plug to form. Germs and bacteria cause swelling, and a pimple grows as the plug breaks down.
When this happens repeatedly and in multiple spots, it is termed acne.
There isn’t just one reason why you suffer from acne.
It may be because your sebaceous glands are producing too much oil, or if dead cells have accumulated in your pores and need exfoliating, or because bacteria has built up in your pores.
There hasn’t been a much scientific consensus regarding the different claims about why someone may be more likely to suffer from acne, but there are some theories that do seem to make sense.
One is that your likelihood increases if your parent/s also suffered from acne since the internal workings and tendencies of your body are similar.
Another is that hormonal changes, especially an increase in androgens or very low levels of androgens, can increase oil production and secretion, causing more pore blocks.
This is why puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, use of certain medications such as corticosteroids and oral contraceptives, hormone treatments, or hormone replacement therapy often lead to breakouts.
Another possible trigger may be stress, which may be because sebaceous cells have receptors for stress hormones.
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You may notice that during times of stress, such as during an important project or exam time, you tend to break out more than at other times.
One other major factor that may aggravate acne is an imbalanced diet.
Dairy, carbohydrate-rich foods and even chocolate have been linked to acne, though more studies are needed to prove causation rather than correlation.
Junk food and greasy food too may worsen acne to some extent.
For most people, one or more of these underlying causes may be worsening their acne.
In a small number of cases, however, it might also be due to inadequate hygiene and cleansing.
Washing your face twice a day, exfoliating once or twice a week, avoiding beauty and makeup products with ingredients that cause irritation, using clean brushes, and removing makeup at the end of the day can make a big difference.
19 Remedies for Back Acne Scars
Acne scars anywhere on your body can look rather ugly, and make you self-conscious about your appearance or cause you to lack confidence when you go about your daily activities, especially in social or professional settings.
Acne on the facial area is usually very visible, but many also have acne on their backs.
Back acne or back acne scars may make you hesitant about wearing clothes that reveal your back, or lower your self-esteem when it comes to your private life.
Knowing this, there are many remedies available on the market to treat acne scars.
But the problem with these remedies is that many of them – such as laser treatment or medical products or certain manufactured products – are quite expensive, and you may not want to invest so much of your money in these treatments when you’re unsure how effective the results will be.
And that’s a very valid concern — many products do not work the same way for different people, and you might end up being disappointed when they don’t do much for your acne scars.
A cheaper alternative is to try natural ingredients, many of which you can find already in your home and some which might just take a quick visit to the grocery store.
These ingredients usually are used in marketed products too, but applying them at home yourself will ensure that there are no harmful chemicals that might potentially irritate or damage your skin.
Here are some of the most effective ways to reduce back acne scars right at home:
Olive or Tea Tree Oil
You might be wondering how oil can possibly help reduce acne and acne scars when all it does is increase the amount of sebum in pores.
The truth is that a lot of times, your skin isn’t moisturized enough.
It reacts either by overproducing oil naturally as compensation or by becoming very dry and flaky.
Olive oil is something that you already probably have in your house since it is great for hair and cooking too.
In addition, its high antioxidant content (1) and vitamins and minerals make it a good tool for acne and scarring, since they fight inflammation.
To get the best outcome, you can apply olive oil before you sleep every night with a cotton ball to the affected area on your back.
Let it soak in and wash off any residue the next morning if you feel like it.
Tea tree oil also has antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties that help heal hypertrophic scars (2).
Dilute two to three teaspoons of tea tree oil with a cup of water, and apply to your back a few times during the day, as well as before going to bed.
You could also store this mixture for future use, but just make sure that for every 1 milliliter of tea tree oil you add at least 3 milliliters of water or more.
Green tea has long been known as a health elixir of sorts, but many are not aware of its effect on acne and scarring.
The special feature of green tea is that it contains chemicals known as polyphenols, particularly compounds known as catechins.
Green tea has six of these – catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, gallocatechin, and epigallocatechin – which is a lot more than most foods or beverages contain.
These catechins have strong antioxidative qualities, helping fight inflammation and suppressing the lesions that cause scarring.
Epigallocatechin in green tea especially has been proven to work at a molecular level inside skin cells and reduce sebum production to combat acne (3).
Green tea can be used both orally and topically to prevent lipid synthesis in the sebaceous glands and acne vulgaris (4).
By fighting inflammation and reducing the number and severity of sores, and by speeding up the healing process, the antioxidants in green tea can go a long way toward reducing back acne scars.
To consume enough of these polyphenols, drink at least one cup of green tea per day.
For best results, two to three cups a day are more effective, since this dose provides around 240 to 320 mg of polyphenols.
For topical application, boil two tablespoons of loose green tea leaves in eight ounces of water, and allow the tea to steep for 10 to 20 minutes so that the active compounds can be fully extracted.
Then dip a washcloth or cotton ball into the tea and apply to your back; repeat multiple times.
Let the green tea soak into your skin.
Another way is to cut open your used tea bags and mix the leaves inside with some honey, or purchase green tea powder and mix it with some honey to make a paste.
Apply to the affected area and let it sit for around 10 minutes, after which you can rinse it off.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of those ingredients that comes in handy time and again around the household, especially when it comes to health and beauty.
It is no different with respect to acne and acne scars, since apple cider vinegar works as an excellent astringent and disinfectant, preventing the growth of inflammation-causing microorganisms and helping diminish scars.
Furthermore, it helps keep the skin’s pH level balanced and gets rid of dead cells, which also go a long way towards reducing acne and scarring.
As with green tea, you should both take apple cider vinegar orally and apply it topically for the optimum results.
For internal consumption, mix a teaspoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a little bit of raw honey and add to a glass of warm water.
Drink this concoction twice daily or more if desired.
This will flush out toxins and help your body become better at fighting inflammation and scars.
For topical use, mix a tablespoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a cup of water and apply the solution to your back.
Let the mix soak through for around 10 minutes, and then wash off with lukewarm water.
Repeat this two to three times a day.
To prevent your back from getting dry, apply a lightweight moisturizer after each wash.
As with apple cider vinegar, baking soda can be used in a variety of ways around the household, from a rising agent for baked goods to a bleaching agent for teeth or dull surfaces.
Because of its rough texture, it works really well as an exfoliator.
Moreover, it has amphoteric properties, which allows it to act as both acid and base.
By doing so, it helps balance the pH level of your skin, effectively getting rid of the bacteria that thrive when there is an imbalance.
To some degree, baking soda also prevents scars by fighting against inflammation.
To use as an exfoliator, just mix some baking soda with water to form a thick paste.
Apply the paste to your back, gently rubbing the affected area so that it is properly exfoliated, and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes.
Rinse off with warm water afterward, and apply a lightweight moisturizer.
Most of the dirt and dead cells should be removed, and your scars will appear lighter.