How to Clear Up Acne on Your Back

by Maggie Hira

Back acne is a common complaint among teenagers and even adults. It can be a cause of great embarrassment, especially in the warmer seasons when people are more likely to wear revealing clothing like bathing suits and tank tops. Most people suffering from back acne feel self-conscious and insecure. Yet despite its location, back acne is really no different than acne that occurs on one's face. The treatments are also similar for back acne as they are for facial acne, except that the former covers more surface area.

Items you will need

  • Body wash with salicylic acid
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Gentle scrub
  • Terry cloth towel
Step 1

Scrub your back with a gentle scrub to remove dirt, oil and dead skin cells that clog pores and cause acne on your back.

Step 2

Follow the scrub with a body wash that contains salicylic acid. This is a popular acne medication that goes deep into pores to chemically exfoliate and reveal healthy, blemish-free skin.

Step 3

Pat your back dry with a clean terry cloth towel.

Step 4

Apply a thin layer of benzoyl peroxide all over your back, focusing closely on areas that are prone to breakouts and blemishes. Benzoyl peroxide is a powerful acne medication that kills the acne-causing bacteria P. acnes. It will clear up the acne on your back by targeting the bacteria that leads to the breakouts.

Step 5

Remove the benzoyl peroxide after several hours with warm water and a mild cleanser.


  • Apply the benzoyl peroxide at night before bed, and remove it in the morning for optimal results. For sensitive skin, use a facial acne cleanser that will be much gentler on your back than a body wash.


  • Don't scrub your back with the body scrub more than twice a week, as this will aggravate the skin and possibly lead to more breakouts. Don't wear synthetic shirts made of polyester, as these will promote the growth of bacteria and lead to blemish formation.

About the Author

Maggie Hira has been writing professionally since 2006. She has written for numerous websites and print publications, including "LA.Direct Magazine" and The Budget Fashionista. Hira holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.