6 Things That Cause Back Acne_Featured Image

Back Acne

Back acne, similar to facial acne, occurs when excessive sebum and dead skin cells clog pores and hair follicles. This build-up of oil and dead skin cells lead to bacteria growth and inflammation, which then manifests as zits

Treatments for pimples on the back should be the same as those for the face. Dr Lynn Chiam, dermatologist at Children & Adults Skin Hair and Laser Clinic, recommends using topical creams with antibiotics, tretinoin or benzoyl peroxide to treat the acne by reducing the bacteria on the skin

Dr Kenneth Thean, medical doctor at The Aesthetics Medical Clinic, advises: “See a doctor early if acne occurs on your back. Depending on severity, you’ll need a combination of creams, peels, oral medication and other treatments. Treatments for acne should start as soon as possible to prevent scarring.”


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Scars from blemishes are the results of the skin’s natural healing process. The size, colour and depth of scars define their severity and treatments.

Superficial scars are skin discolouration and often fade over time. Mild discolouration can be lightened with over-the-counter creams that have vitamin E, witch hazel or arbutin. Dr Chiam says: “I’d prescribe creams with hydroquinone or other lightening ingredients to reduce the look of blemishes. To see results, regular application over a few weeks is needed.”

More severe marks may require lasers to lighten. Darker, flat pigmented scars that look like five-cent or 10-cent coins can be treated with non-abilative Nd:YAG lasers and infrared lasers, says Dr Thean. “These would [even out the skin tone] within a few treatments.”

Deep scars – pits on the skin or indented scars that are angular or wave-like in appearance – do not get better on their own. They respond well to resurfacing with abilative lasers, which work by removing the skin’s damaged outer layer and targeting specific areas of the dermis, says Dr Chiam. Two to three sessions done a month apart are usually needed to see improvements.

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Tan lines and hyperpigmentation

That kick-ass swimsuit or sexy strappy top can result in unintended tan linjes. SUch instances of uneven skin tone will usually normalise with time, but Nd:YAG lasers can spee things up by targeting the problem areas with infrared light to stimulate cell activity and renewal.

An easy way to prevent tan lines is simply be conscientious about applying sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30 over exposed skin when in the sun. “Sunscreen should be reapplied every four hours in general, and every two hours if one perspires a lot,”says Dr Chiam.

Bruises and insect bites can also cause hyperpigmentation. A gentle steroid cream can help with the itch and inflammation, but if the skin darkening persists, doctors may prescribe creams with actives such as hydroquinone ad vitamin C. Creams with arnica, a herb known for its healing properties, may also help reduce swelling.

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Dry, Rough Texture

Dr Shiau Ee Leng, chief medical advisor or ClearSK Healthcare Group, says an immediate way to plump up and hydrate their skin is to go for Skin Booster Treatments, where pure hyaluronic acid is injected all over the chest and neck.

“Because [such treatments are] done using needles, the hyaluronic acid can be injected evenly and finely across affected area,” says Dr Shiau. THe result is reportedly dewy, soft and supple skin.

It is recommended to have three to four treatments carried out every four weeks. THe needle marks may take two to five days to fade and results can last up to six months.

This article was adapted from Her World January 2017 issue. 
Text: Ruth Chen, Her World / Additional reporting: Arissa Ha

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