How to get rid of spots on the back

Last updated: 15/1/2021

Having a spotty back is a huge problem for lots of people. That’s why we have put together this handy guide with useful tips about the problem and some information on what causes spots on the back.

» Go straight to: How to get rid of spots on the back?

Read by Anne Thestrup Meimbresse

Clinical pharmacist, Varde Pharmacy
Anne has a MSc in Pharmacy from the University of Southern Denmark and has worked as a pharmacist at the Varde pharmacy for several years. Here she advises both costumers and doctors about the correct use of medical products.

Absolutely all of us have had to contend with those small, yellow bacteria bombs to one degree or another. Spots are never welcome and we want to avoid them or get rid of them as soon as we possibly can.

Spots on the back are particularly problematic for teenagers and other people who are prone to them. They can be painful, itchy and quite simply bothersome both physically and mentally.

But what actually causes a spotty back? Why do they sometimes appear on the back to a greater extent than other parts of the body?

And not least – how do you get rid of them?

Read below for the answers and find out more information about how you can  get rid of your spots and restore the skin on your back to its nice, soft and comfortable state once again.

To begin, let’s take a closer look at what spots are exactly.


Spots on the back – what are they exactly?

Spots on the back are in principle no different to spots anywhere else on the body. They are caused by the same process that occurs whenever you get spots on your face, on your shoulders or anywhere else on the body.

Spots or pimples on the back is something that occurs because your pores get clogged up or blocked. This happens whenever your body produces too much sebum which comes out through the pores.

If this oily substance is unable to get out and come away, then inflammation will occur at the point in your body where the sebum is clogged. It is this inflammation which causes pimples and leaves you with a spotty back.

Simply put, it is important to prevent the pores on your back from getting clogged by sebum and dead skin cells. The skin must be kept fresh and healthy and the pores must be kept open so that sebum does not accumulate and block them.


What causes spots on back?

Many people get spots on their back at some point over their lifetime. Spots often appear on the back to a greater extent than spots elsewhere on the body.

But what is the reason for that?

It is hard to give a definitive answer to this, but what we can say is that the pores on the back are bigger than the pores on most other parts of the body.

In addition, the largest sebaceous glands are also located on the back, which means that the risk of excessive sebum production is greater in this area.

Ultimately, this means that the risk of a spotty back is considerably greater than the risk of spots elsewhere.


How to get rid of spots on the back?

Nobody enjoys walking around with spots on their body, and many people find a spotty back to be particularly irritating.

One reason for this is that the spots can be a little bit painful and cause physical discomfort. Another problem is that it can be difficult to avoid contact with your back – e.g. when lying down, changing clothes, etc.

Having a spotty back can also cause a great deal of physical frustration and challenges as we often feel the need to keep covered up and hide the spots on our backs.

We don’t want others to notice our acne and we often end up going to great lengths to stop it from seeing the light of day anymore than is absolutely necessary.

At their worst, spots can lead to low self-esteem and even depression. It is therefore very important to take action quickly whenever we experience problems with spots on the back.

How to get rid of spots on the back:

Daily skincare – the first step is to try and take control of your daily skincare routine. Most forms of congested skin, including a spotty back, can be remedied through daily care. Wash problem areas twice a day to remove any excess sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria. This will reduce the risk of your sebaceous glands clogging and pimples beginning to form.

  • Tea tree oil is a natural and antiseptic product which makes it effective against bacteria. We would therefore recommend using a product that contains tea tree oil when tackling spots on the back.

  • Over-the-counter spot remedies – Another way to get rid of the spots on your back is to use over-the-counter medications or spot creams. Be aware, however, that many spot creams can have side effects and exert a dehydrating effect on the skin. Alternatively, they can be used only on specific problem areas or for dabbing over the affected spots if your skin is quite sensitive. Remember to moisturise well if you choose to use one of these OTC medications to treat your spots. Apply a good-quality face cream to congested skin twice a day to prevent your skin from drying out.

  • Consult your GP – If using a cream doesn’t help and you are still suffering from a spotty back after treatment then it may be time to consult your GP. Your doctor will either prescribe you some medication directly or alternatively they might refer you to a dermatologist who can help you with products to treat acne.

  •  Laser treatment – Laser treatment for acne has become increasingly popular in recent times. However, this can be a very expensive procedure and should never be your very first port of call. Laser treatment may be the only effective solution in certain cases of severe acne or other skin conditions. It is also a treatment which can remove spots from the back either entirely or in part.

In addition to the methods above, there are a few other things you can try which we will take a look at below.

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What can I do myself?

If you want to tackle your spots right here and now or if you prefer a simpler remedy than visiting your doctor or undergoing laser treatment, then read on below.
There are a number of methods that you can experiment with to treat or prevent spots on your back:

  • Exfoliation of the back
  • Deep cleaning
  • Clean clothes
  • Cut down on strength training and protein powder
  • Milk and lactose
  • Avoid clothes that are too tight

Read more about these methods in the following section. Some of the methods are things you can start doing while others are things to be aware of or to avoid entirely.

Exactly which methods you try will depend on the severity of your problem with spots on the back.

Exfoliation of the back

Exfoliation of the back means using an exfoliating agent or implement in order to thoroughly clean and scrub the skin on your back.

For example, you could use a rough exfoliating material such as a soap with small abrasive grains, a brush, a rough and coarse sponge or a suitable washing glove. Our Body Scrub is particularly well suited for this purpose.

The purpose of exfoliating the back is quite simply to remove dirt, grime and dead skin cells. Dead skin cells help to increase the risk of spots appearing and as the amount of sebum is particularly high on the back, the occurrence of dead skin cells will also be greater in this area.

You should avoid exfoliating the same part of the body – in this case the back – too often. The best approach is to exfoliate 1–2 times a week or as needed.

If you find that your skin becomes red, irritated or tender after exfoliation then you may want to consider exfoliating with another product or fewer times a week. 

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Give your back a deep clean

As mentioned above, spots on the back occur whenever excess amounts of sebum block the pores. But when we sweat, the sweat also comes out through our pores and settles on the skin.

You should therefore take care to give your whole body, and especially the back, a thorough wash after sweating. Use a Body Wash which will remove excess sebum and unwanted bacteria.

If you have been working out at the gym, playing football or doing any other kind of physical activity, then you should take extra care to give your back a deep and thorough wash in order to remove all sweat.

A good tip is to use Australian Bodycare Body Scrub which can help to prevent the formation of spots on the back.

NB: You should avoid washing your back more than 1–2 times per day as doing so can aggravate the problem by causing your skin to dry out.

Tea tree oil is a natural and antiseptic product which makes it effective against bacteria. You should therefore consider using a product that contains tea tree oil if you want to get rid of the spots on your back.

Make sure you keep your clothes clean

In general it is important to always try and keep your clothes as clean as you possibly can. But if you are suffering from a spotty back then you should take particular care to wash your clothes regularly and to only wear clean clothes.

Whenever you exercise and even just as you go about your daily life, you leave sweat and bacteria behind on everything you wear, from your gym clothes to your T-shirts, bras and jumpers.

Even your bedding and other textiles that you come in direct contact with can become hotbeds for bacteria if you do not keep them clean regularly.

This bacteria and sweat can cause outbreaks of spots on your back and they can also exacerbate the problem if you are already suffering from a spotty back in the first place.


Strength training and protein powder can be a problem

Strength training can cause spots on the back both directly and indirectly. Exercise itself is not necessarily a problem but it can bring on side effects and other indirect contributing factors which can lead to acne and spots on the back.

First of all, exercise makes us sweat more. And if you do not take care to wash immediately after training or if you do not wash your gym clothes often enough, then sweat and bacteria will get into your skin and cause spots to form.

Moreover, your diet, including protein powder and any other dietary supplements, can help strengthen your body and lead to spots on the back and elsewhere.

If you need to consume large quantities of protein for your training but simultaneously experience problems with spots, then you should try replacing all or some of the protein powder you consume with alternative high-protein foods.

Last but not least, strength training increases the concentration of the male sex hormone testosterone in your body. This increased concentration constitutes a hormonal change and can result in more spots on your body.


Milk and other lactose products can trigger acne

In 2005, a study undertaken at Harvard University in the USA demonstrated a possible connection between our consumption of lactose and the development of acne.

This means there is good reason to exercise caution when it comes to milk and other lactose-containing products as these may result in you getting more spots or in making your current situation worse.

The most common variety of protein powder (whey protein) is also made from milk proteins which means that there may be lactose in your protein powder. This is another good reason to think carefully about your consumption of protein powder if you practise strength training and also suffer from acne and spots.


Make sure you wear loose-fitting clothes

Last but not least, make sure that you do not wear clothes that are too tight. If your clothing is too tight against your body and also the skin, then this can lead to more spots.

If you are prone to spots on the back and you also go around in tight-fitting clothes such as tops, shirts, T-shirts and gym clothes then try wearing different clothes for a period of time.

Start training in something more loose-fitting instead and swap tight tops and T-shirts for baggier jumpers or similar and see if it helps.

This will give your back a much needed break from your tighter clothing and allow you to see whether or not it makes a difference to your spots.

3 products for spots, acne and blackheads on the back and bottom

3 products for spots, acne and blackheads on the back and bottom

£30.99

See product