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Dear Dish-It: I Have A Pimple On My Back

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Dear Dish-It,

I'm 9 years old and I have a pimple on my back!! I dunno why - it just popped up out of nowhere ... please help me!

Pretty Girl

Dear Pretty Girl,

Blackheads and pimples don't only happen on your face. In fact, pimples can pop up on your back, chest, neck, shoulders and upper arms. Don't worry - lots of people get body acne! It's totally normal!

What Causes Back & Body Acne?

The same things that cause facial acne can cause body acne: overactive oil glands, too many dead skin cells and certain acne-causing bacteria. Your back is prone to pimples common place, besides your face, for a breakout because it tends to sweat more than other parts of your body and because, if you wear a lot of tight clothes or a backpack, it may get irritated from too much friction or rubbing. That's why it's best to wear looser shirts and carry your bag in your hand or across your shoulder while you're trying to heal body or back acne.

Sweat can also irritate body acne. To minimize irritation, shower as soon as possible after exercising. Don't scrub your skin - you want to avoid rubbing or friction. Cleanse your skin in the shower with something gentle, preferably a salicylic acid wash, and use a soft washcloth.

Treatments For Body Acne

Since you only have one pimple, your body acne is VERY mild. All you need to do is keep your skin clean; ask your parents if they will help you choose a salicylic acid wash at the drugstore, and pick up some pads containing benzoyl peroxide>/b> or salicylic acid to wipe over affected areas daily. You might also want to try a lotion containing an alpha hydroxy acid, like glycolic or lactic acid. Alpha hydroxy acids are really effective at giving your skin a deep cleaning. None of these treatments require a prescription - you'll find tons of products containing these ingredients in the regular skin-care aisle.

While using a bunch of these treatments at once (like a salicylic acid wash plus a benzoyl peroxide pad or lotion) on your back is fine (the skin on your back is thicker and tougher than the skin on your face, so it can usually handle more powerful treatments. However, if you ever break out on your neck, use these products slowly and carefully, as the skin on your neck is quite sensitive. And, of course, if you excessive irritation, dryness or peeling on any area of your body, scale back or stop using the treatment product and talk to your doctor.

So don't worry about the pimple on your back! It's totally normal - lots of people have the same issue. All it takes is a bit of time and some proper care with the right products to heal. In fact, just cleaning your skin daily in the shower with regular soap and water works for most people - no special washes or lotions required!

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Do You Know What Causes Acne?