ZocdocAnswersWhat causes extreme acne on my back?

Question

What causes extreme acne on my back?

I'm a 21 year old with seasonal allergies. Lately I've had tons of zits on my back. I've tried switching soaps and shampoos and nothings improved.

Answer

Acne occurs when the pores in the skin become clogged with dead skin, bacteria, and other debris. This can cause either open comedones (blackheads) or closed comedones (whiteheads). Regards, however, of whether blackheads or whiteheads predominate, the treatment is the same - cleaning the skin and stripping out the debris that is provoking the problem. To start with, an good antibacterial soap is important as this will keep infection down and keep the skin clean. You can also use an exfoliating preparation or scrub the skin to exfoliate it. Following this, it is best to apply one of several over the counter acne preparations containing a comedonolytic such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These comedonolytics remove the dead skin that is the primary cause of the pore clogging. If these simple methods do not work, then you will probably want to talk to your primary care doctor. This is because more advanced cases of acne may require prescription creams to remove debris or antibiotic creams to keep inflammation down. There are also prescription strengths of benzoyl peroxide and similar treatments. Your primary care doctor will be able to help you determine which form of acne treatment is right for you.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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