What is Bacne?

Back acne, or

Back acne is sometimes called “bacne”.  Photo © A.D.A.M.

Updated October 30, 2008.

What is bacne?


Back acne, or “bacne”, is not a word you’ll find in the dictionary. It is actually a term coined to refer to breakouts that occur on the back (a sort of hybrid of the words back and acne.)

So bacne isn’t a form of acne in itself. Still, many people suffer from breakouts on the back and body. In fact, acne is commonly found on the back, chest, neck, shoulders and upper arms, as well as on the face.

Sometimes, acne found on the body is a form of acne mechanica. This type of acne occurs when heat and sweat is trapped against the body, and when the skin is irritated by friction. This often happens when you’re wearing athletic pads or equipment, tight fitting clothing, hats, or carrying heavy backpacks.

Back breakouts can be treated. First, try an over-the-counter body wash with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. If that doesn’t seem to do the trick, your doctor has more powerful prescription medications for you to try.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore body acne. It can be stubborn and hard to treat. If you’re having a lot of inflammation, you are also at risk for scarring. And don’t even think about popping your pimples! That’s a surefire way to scar your skin.

So don’t wait. The sooner you begin treating breakouts the quicker you can banish your bacne.