I have horrible acne on my back. It's so annoying during the summer, but I've tried everything I can think of. Any suggestions? Thank you.
I would buy those Stridex type pads that have salicylic acid as their main ingredient and have your partner wipe your back down with them 3 times a day. If these are too drying, you could replace them with an astringent (sold at a drug or grocery store) and round cotton pads. Your goal is to get rid of bacteria (which causes acne). Swimming in a chlorinated pool will also help. Some people get relief from a bit of sunshine, but with some it only exacerbates the problem. (The sun always helped me.) Be sure to wash the area or wipe the area down with astringent pads after your short stay in the sun and never lay in the sun with any meds on your back because they may react with the sun.
Another very helpful thing is GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract). You buy it at a health food store. It's a natural antibacterial which kills germs. Be sure to first dilute it in water! (or you could burn your skin). You'll only need about a dozen drops in 6 - 8 ounces of water because it's so concentrated. It costs around $12 for a small bottle of the GSE liquid. Don't buy the powder, or take any oral capsules. Buy only the Liquid GSE. Apply it (mixed with water) with the round 100% cotton make-up removal pads (from the dollar store or any drug store). Do this in place of the Stridex pads 3 times a day.
It also helps to mostly wear white 100% cotton T-shirts and bleach them every time you wash them. The bleach gets rid of any bacteria.
As far as soap goes. I'd recommend using a quality dandruff shampoo (like Head and Shoulders-Gentle) to wash only your back with because dandruff is caused by a scalp fungus. Dandruff shampoos kill this fungus and may help your back (many people get back or body fungus in the summer). GSE can also be added to your regular liquid soap to wash your back with. Adding GSE will turn your soap into a natural antibacterial soap. Do NOT use a store-brand knockoff dandruff shampoo (like a Safeway brand) because these made differently and are way too harsh and very drying.
Try not to take any oral acne medication (from the dermatologist) because taking daily meds can cause a whole range of other problems. Taking daily tetracycline and erythromycin (for acne) caused my partner to have many other health problems including colitis. (06/02/2009)
When you're in the shower the warm/hot water opens your pores. In order to avoid those pores from getting clogged with oil, lean forward in the shower when you wet, wash, and rinse your hair. That helped a lot. I also use peroxide on my back; it dries up the spots. Drink plenty of water and shower regularly and wear your hair up off your neck and back. Good luck.
Try putting milk of magnesia on the acne after a shower/bath when your skin is clean and dry. Rub MoM on, let dry and get dressed. I read about this in the "People's Pharmacy" column in my local newspaper today. There is also a website, peoplespharmacy.co where you can look this up under home remedies. (06/03/2009)
Acne is one of the manifestations of candida, lovely stuff, candida. I've had adult acne for over 40 years and I have recently found that white vinegar, rubbed in well and left to dry and do it often. I keep a small squeeze bottle with the vinegar in it around in places, so I remember. The candida can't handle the lower Ph and it leaves a slight residue, which keeps killing it. Most important time to use it, though, is 1st thing in the morning, after showers and before going to sleep, but for it to really get at it, do it about 5-6x a day. (06/03/2009)
By c t
I had this problem for years. Turned out I was allergic to milk and milk products.
Now I get my calcium other ways and my skin is so much clearer. I also break out in small painful white pimples when I eat eggs so I avoid them. Weird, but true. (06/04/2009)
My husband had really bad red bumps on his back like acne and I bought him the Neutrogena bar soap (not the pump kind) and it made a huge difference. I mean I could tell a difference in a week. You should try that. (06/04/2009)
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