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Posts posted by theguynextdoor

  1. My back acne has been extremely stubborn for years and I've never been able to clear it up! I have had it since I was a teen and now I am in my mid 30s. I grew to accept it as just an aspect of my body. I never got depressed about it, but I knew it was unattractive, so I kept it covered and never went shirtless. But for the past 2 years I decided to get more intentional and strategic about clearing up my back. So I researched evidence-based articles from professional databases, scoured the internet, surfed YouTube, etc... I learned a lot and tried a lot. The severity of my acne break-outs have always fluctuated from severe-moderate-mild. I admit, I don't have the worst case of body acne from what I see on some of these message boards, but as you can see in my pics, the acne was prominent, inflamed, and embarrassing.

    Right now, my back is clear and has been clear for several weeks. I have attached some pictures.


    I did my best to find a regimen that treated the problem, but I didn't want a complicated time-consuming protocol. I took tips from multiple sources and tried various things...and this is what worked for me.

    In short this is my regimen:

    1. I use a scrub brush in the shower on my back with PanOxyl body wash (which is 10% benzoyl peroxide). I shower 1-2 times/day.

    2. Immediately after showering, I apply a liberal amount of benzoyl peroxide to my back.

    Now here's my regimen with pics and further explanation.

    • During the shower, I use a body scrub brush to scrub away the dead skin cells and grime on the the surface of the skin. This is 'key' because this layer needs to be removed in order to break the acne cycle of clogging pores. I know this goes against Acne.org's 'Regimen' which promotes minimal to mild touching of acne to prevent aggravating the inflamed acne...but I have found this not to be effective for my acne. I base this off of research evidence taught by board certified dermatologist Dr. Neal Schwartz who is an acne specialist in California. Thus, I use the scrub brush on my back.


    • I don't just scrub my back with just water. I wet my back, then I place PanOxyl (10% Benzoyl Peroxide) body wash on the bristles of the brush and scrub my back thoroughly; creating a foamy lather. Once I have scrubbed up a good lather, I let sit for 1 minute, then I rinse off. Then I do this a second time...scrub with brush and PanOxyl on my back. I let sit for 2-3 minutes and rinse. off.


    • After I dry off from the shower, I immediately use a BodyBuddy lotion applicator to apply Benzoyl Peroxide.


    • The Body Buddy is awesome...very easy and simple to use. I recommend it for anyone needing to apply lotion, sunscreen, medication, ointment, etc...
    • Anyhow, right after the shower, I lay the body-buddy down and I apply a very liberal amount of benzoyl peroxide. I do a mix of 2 different benzoyl peroxide lotions.
    • I put several squirts of Acne.org 2.5% BP...


    and I add about 3-6 squirts of Dr. Song's 10% Benzoyl Peroxide. (yes this is strong and will lead to more drying and flaking...so I adjust the amount of the 10% I apply pending the dryness and oiliness of my skin.)


    • The key for me was to be very liberal with the lotion. In fact, I don't think you can put on too much. Applying Benzoyl Peroxide to a clean, scrubbed skin is very therapeutic for treating acne.
    • After applying the lotions, I let the rest of it dry on my back, which can take 10-30 minutes, pending on how much you applied. I would warn you not to put on a shirt for 10-30 minutes while this dries...it will stain any fabric.

    Back acne is very stubborn and does not clear up as fast as facial acne, so the ABSOLUTE CRITICAL KEY TO CLEARING UP BACK ACNE IS CONSISTENCY! You have to give it time. If I skip a day or two, I will almost always have new bumps. This has to be done consistently at 1-2 times a day.

    SIDE TIP: 1

    If my back acne starts to show some aggressive and stubborn spots, then I add a 10% sulphur based/oil absorbing topical to use when I shower. I only add this after my PanOxyl scrub when I have a stubborn breakout or oily back. The sulphur will help dry it out. Here is an example


    SIDE TIP: 2

    Popping pimples, when done right, can expedite the healing process. Just don't be tempted to continually scratch, pop, and 'mess with' pimples...this is will aggravate the inflammation and prolong healing. A pimple 'popping' should be done strategically, one time, when the pimple has formed to a head.

    Thanks for reading my regimen. I wish the best acne-healing for all of you!

    "Life Doesn't Have To Be Perfect To Be Wonderful".



  2. I've had bacne and scalp acne with eczema for years. I discovered the therapeutic results of zinc several months ago from a shampoo called zincplex. I buy the 'extra strength' because of the eczema and bumps in my scalp, but I also lather it up on my back. It works amazing. No outbreaks since. I even wash my beard with it and I have no flakes, no redness, no itching. I now buy this a gallon at a time. http://www.zincplex.com/ - rm


  3. They could very well be from shaving and ingrown hairs, but the picture is blurry. Looks like pimples (acne) to me. If you normally don't have them and this is a unique occurrence, then they will probably heal up on their own and go away. If you routinely get this from shaving, consider using a different shaving cream or oil, and use a medicated toner or lotion with benzoyl peroxide and/or salicylic acid as an after shave. -rm

  4. Man, I am sorry you're dealing with that. Your story sounds terrible. I can imagine you're feeling like hell right about now.

    A few things I suggest sort of mimics the previous posters...for example, clean up your diet as best you can. Although there is weak research that diets cause acne, you will want to make sure you're eating and living healthy so to reap the health benefits of good nutrition since your body is dealing with this infection.

    Also, I would work extra hard at scouting out the best dermatologist in treating acne and go seem them. Don't settle for a doctor who you don't trust or doesn't listen to you with quality attention. Also, your condition is exactly why drugs like accutane and roaccutane exist. I would inquire with your doctor about taking them. And even prescription drug therapy can be adjusted with dosing to balance it's therapeutic actions with your side effects.

    And definitely start on an acne treatment regimen for cleansing with topical treatment and be consistent with it. You might want to purchase products from Acne.org or acnepractice.com or proactive solution. However, your condition is severe so it will probably require advanced therapy than the run of the mill OTC products. Make sure you find a good doctor...that will be key for you. Body acne is not like face acne, it's much more stubborn and takes longer to heal up, so stay the course with whatever treatment and cleansing regimen you choose. Be encouraged because acne can be managed and treated with positive results and improvements. Not everyone responds the same way to the same drugs; sometimes regimens, dosages, and drugs have to be customized. It sounds like you are experiencing a phase of "trial and error" in attempting to discover what treatment will work and will not work. Give it time and be patient. It will get better. Acne will not control your life forever. -rm

  5. I could see where your situation would leave you frustrated and confused. It's possible that you could have a chronic or persistent infection/inflammatory/autoimmune condition. Chronic conditions can have an onset at any time. Someone may be healthy one day with no allergies, and tomorrow have medical problems and allergic reactions. Also, just because something is persistent or classified as chronic (usually a condition lasting longer than 6 months to 1 year get classified as chronic), this doesn't mean it can't be effectively managed, treated, or eventually cured.

    If antibiotics effectively manage your symptoms, then you should work with your doctor about long term therapy using whatever medicine helps you. As far as diagnosing, if your primary care physician (PCP) and a dermatology specialist have both evaluated you and processed cultures and you still have no answers....I would suggest seeking another medical opinion, possibly from a second dermatologist or an infectious disease specialist. Doctors are only people with unique experiences and backgrounds and it's possible you just haven't connected with the right one for your condition. I work as an RN in healthcare and the reality is sometimes it takes a team of clinicians and multiple specialists to get the right diagnosis and treatment. If you have reached a point in your medical care where you feel your doctor can't solve your issue, then you might want to seek other opinions and options. Of course, you should be candid with your doctor and ask all your questions and share your concerns.

    Even though it's 2014, healthcare can't solve every human mystery and symptom...although it's amazing at what all it can do for us! Also, you may need more than a culture, it may take a biopsy of your tissue (scalp) for a pathology evaluation to look at your skin on a cellular level. It's also possible there's no bacteria at play in your circumstance and this could be an allergy or autoimmune condition, which both can cause skin/scalp dermatitis and swollen lymph nodes. And, it's possible that a culture can have a false negative. My father once had a chronic infection that worsened and worsened despite antibiotic therapy, and eventually it was discovered that it was fungal, and not bacterial. His treatment changed from antibiotic to antifungals and he healed up. What you're doing is great. You're taking action, searching for answers, and critically thinking about your body and symptoms. Keep exploring and scouring the internet and it's possible you'll make the right connection. Good luck. -rm