Back acne treatment: Benefits of tea tree oil for clear skin


Acne doesn’t always appear on your face. There can be breakouts that appear on the back too. That’s back acne or simply ‘bacne’. It’s not just a teen problem as women of different age groups can have it. If you already have back acne, you can try a home remedy. You must have noticed that tea tree oil is an ingredient that is found in various acne-fighting skin care products. That’s because tea tree oil is effective in getting rid of back acne. Read on to find out what makes tea tree oil a good natural remedy to fight back acne.

Health Shots got in touch with Mumbai-based aesthetic dermatologist Dr Akanksha Sanghvi, who is the founder of Oprava Aesthetics to find out all about tea tree oil and its use in combatting back acne.

Woman's back
Dandruff can trigger back acne. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Causes of back acne

Here are the multiple reasons for back acne:

• Obstruction of the pilosebaceous unit due to abnormal accumulation of dead cells triggering inflammation and formation of acne.
• Excess sebum production from oil glands of the back leads to oily and acne-prone skin.
• Increased predominance of certain types of cutibacterium acnes leading to inflammation and disequilibrium between pathogenic bacteria and natural microbiota of the skin.
• Hormonal fluctuations in the body leading to alterations in skin sebum production.
• Dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis can be a possible trigger of back acne.
• Lifestyle and poor hygiene habits.

Some women may be more prone to acne

1. Young girls
Adolescent age groups and girls going through pubertal spurt are more prone to back acne due to hormonal changes and changes in sebum production, says the expert.

2. Pregnant women
Women during their pregnancy can also experience back acne due to progesterone causing an increase in sebum production by sebaceous glands leading to clogged pores and the formation of comedones and acne.

3. Athletes
They are also more prone to acne due to increased sweating and frequent friction and occlusion by sports gear, which can lead to folliculitis, explains Dr Sanghvi.

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4. Women with PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a health condition that can trigger acne on the skin of the back and chest along with the face due to an increase in androgen levels leading to an increase in the build-up of sebum.

Tea tree oil for back acne treat

Tea tree oil is good for hair, and it also helps in reducing mild acne. But it is not a primary line of treatment for back acne, says the expert. Exfoliating washes rich in alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) or benzoyl peroxide washes are more effective in treating back acne. You can still apply tea tree oil, which is derived from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia through a distillation process, topically.

The benefits of tea tree oil include the fact that it has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Twice daily application of tea tree oil on mild acne and acne-prone skin can significantly reduce bacteria on the skin with reduced pore size at the end of 12 weeks.

tea tree oil in a bottle
Tea tree oil can help in fighting mild back acne. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

How to use tea tree oil to treat back acne

Tea tree oil has been used as a common ingredient in cleansers alongside glycolic acid and lactic acid, which can help exfoliate the skin without having to use harsh scrubs. It can help to reduce comedones and mild acne by reducing the accumulation of dead skin cells and clogging of pores, says the expert. You can also try back sprays, which are easy to spray on.

It’s not simply all about applying tea tree oil or any other ingredient. Maintaining good hygiene after exercise and sports, like showering with a pH-balanced shower gel or salicylic acid wash, is also important.


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