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Acne on My Back - What's The Deal With That?

Aug 17, 2007
Acne is a skin disease, common in adolescence, causing inflammation of the sebaceous glands and characterised by closed and/or open comedones, papules and/or pustules on the face, neck and upper body.

In zootomy and dermatology, skin is an organ of the integumentary system; which is composed of a layer of tissues that protect underlying muscles and organs. Skin is used for insulation, vitamin D production, sensation, and excretion (through sweat).

Back acne comes in all sizes and forms of acne, ranging from mild forms like whiteheads to serious forms of acne including cystic acne. "Bacne" as it is referred to in slang terms, can consist of pimples, pustules and blackheads as well. Back acne affects people ranging from age ten to age forty or older yet. Understanding the causes of back acne and available treatment options, are very important is treating and preventing the condition.

Like all of the other forms of acne, there is no one thing that causes back acne. As far as the medical community stands, back acne also happens when oil glands start functioning more rapidly around puberty. The hormone group androgens, found in both females and males, get overactive which in turn causes a reaction in the oil glands, which make extra oil. The oil glands are located just underneath the skin surface. Oil glands constantly are producing and secreting oil through the pores in the skin. When too much of the oils are produced the pores and hair follicles become clogged. The clogs obstruct the way that dead cells escape the skin, which in turn results in a mess of oil and dead cells plugging the hair follicle. This attracts bacterium, which causes the acne to be formed.

There are some differences in back acne and acne located elsewhere on the body however. Back acne is not caused by genetics as other acnes can be. Some severe cases of back acne may be genetically passed on but most likely it is just the individual's body type or personal genetic make up. People all over the world suffer from back acne at some point in their lives. Unlike other acne, food does not contribute to the formation or flare up of back acne. There is absolutely no evidence that foods cooked in grease, or high in fat content contribute to back acne.

Back acne can be found on any part of the body and does not necessarily have to be on a person's back. It can be very severe with large lesions and painful cysts. Back acne may just be something that certain people are prone to or it could be caused by other things such as tight clothing or a heavy backpack. Not having anything in contact with the back is not a logical prevention step, as we all must sit down and everyone has to wear clothing. It is easier to treat back acne than to try and prevent it because most people suffer from back acne at one time or another. Skin on the back is much thicker and therefore allows for stronger topical treatments, such as ten percent Benzoyl peroxide. This strength of Benzoyl peroxide is not suitable for other skin that is typically thinner and will not be able to sustain itself under harsh treatment. You can get all the same types of acne, blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules and cysts, on your back just as you can on any other part of your body.

It is also known that excessive oil production and dirt build up does not have a huge impact on developing back acne. Perspiring excessively and not washing or showering immediately has been shown to not increase the chances of developing back acne. Back acne also does not seem to be affected by stress. There are some who think that facial acne is increased due to stress. However stress can cause back acne to not heal. Oftentimes, stress causes people to pick and bother the pimples, which make the condition worse.

New on the scene are cultured autologous fibroblasts - these are living cells that the dermatologist injects under the patient's skin. Taken from other parts of the patient's body, these fibroblast cells are grown in a laboratory culture until there are enough of them to accomplish the procedure. Once the cells have been injected, they build up under the scars and raise them to the surface. Each area is injected once every 2 weeks for a total of three injections. Many patients experience long-term improvement.
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