Although many people associate acne with the face, the reality is that breakouts can happen nearly anywhere on the body. Sufferers of back acne, know well the struggle of dealing with these unsightly and unrelenting blemishes.

Fortunately, there are many management options available. Read on to learn how to get rid of back acne scars.

What Causes Back Acne Scars?

In short, back acne scars are caused by moderate to severe acne flareups.

Here is how acne scars occur:

  1. Inflamed acne develops when the pore becomes clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria
  2. Next, the pore swells and eventually breaks the follicle wall
  3. If the rupture occurs closer the skin's surface, the lesion is usually minor and will quickly heal (minor acne)
  4. If the rupture is closer to the follicle wall, it will cause a more serious lesion (severe acne)
  5. Lastly, when your skin tries to repair the damage, it doesn't look as it originally did - therefore causing 'acne scarring'

Due to their similarities, some people often confuse post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) for true acne scars.

How to Get Rid of Back Acne Scars (At Home)

The most important thing you can do in the management of acne scarring is preventing new acne breakouts. Read: it is absolutely imperative for your acne to be under control before attempting to get rid of your acne scars.

Fortunately, there are many ways to get rid of back acne scars at home:

  • Regularly Cleanse Your Back - As the first defense against acne breakouts, proper cleansing can help to prevent clogged pores before they have a chance to develop into breakouts.
  • Use a Chemical Exfoliant - Over time, exfoliation can help reveal a brighter and more even skin tone as it polishes away dead skin cells. This will ultimately help prevent new acne breakouts.
  • Dermarollers for Acne Scars - Also known as microneedling, this treatment is used to reduce the appearance of acne scars, fine lines, and other imperfections.

When done consistently, all of these at home options are a great first line of defense.

Best Back Acne Scar Products

Products that contain alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids are most effective in treating active acne as well as the residual scarring that is often left behind. Once your acne has finally cleared up, it is possible to have developed acne scars. Because of this, many people seek creams and other products to help treat or diminish the appearance of acne scars.

1. Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid

Best for those who still have acne breakouts

BHA's are better suited to treat active acne because of the oil penetrating properties. The active ingredient works to unclog pores and help even out skin tone. Most BHA formulas are gentle enough to be used twice per day. This specific product contains 2% Salicylic Acid (BHA) and is formulated for those who are dealing with current acne. To use this product, simply apply a few drops to a cleansing cloth and use after showering. Do not wash off.

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2. Alpha Hydrox 12% AHA

Alpha Hydrox 12% AHA (Best back acne scar cream)

Best back acne scar cream (no active acne lesions)

In contrast, AHA's are more effective at minimizing the scarring left behind by acne versus treating active flare-ups. This renewing lotion can work to reduce the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, while also helping to make the skin appear younger and smoother. This product by Alpha Hydrox contains 12% glycolic acid (AHA) and is better for those dealing with acne scars. To use this product, simply apply a to your back after showering. Do not wash off.

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How to Get Rid of Back Acne Scars (Professionally)

1. Chemical Peels for Back Acne Scars

Chemical peels are great for acne scars and can help reverse damage. Some types of acne scars respond better to chemical peels than others. For example, ice pick scars are usually too deep to disappear completely, macular scarring is responsive to this type of treatment. There are a number of hydroxy acids that can prove helpful in treating acne scarring problems.

2. Laser Treatment for Back Acne Scars

As one of the newest treatment options in the fight to combat acne scarring, laser treatments harness the power of emerging technologies to reduce the size and scope of hyperactive sebaceous glands to stop back acne right in its tracks. Laser treatment works on all types of acne, regardless of its location on the body.

According to Dr. Jean Chapman, the average cost of a single laser treatment ranges between 75 and 400 dollars. Most people need between four and eight treatments, depending on the severity of the scarring. The majority of patients experience noticeable results after about two sessions.

3. Dermabrasion for Back Acne Scars

Dermabrasion. This treatment uses a rotating wire brush or spinning diamond instrument to wear down the surface of the skin. As the skin heals, a new, smoother layer replaces the abraded skin. It may take a bit longer for skin to heal using dermabrasion — usually between 10 days and 3 weeks.

When to See a Dermatologist

If at-home remedies and treatments are not working, it may be time to seek help from a trained dermatologist. A professional skin doctor can help you to ascertain why previous treatments are not working and what you can do to help clear up the breakouts and inflammations.

If your acne is beginning to affect your self-confidence, a dermatologist can prescribe treatments that will alleviate the breakouts while also making you feel better about your appearance. Additionally, if you are feeling hopeless because previous treatments have not worked, seeking treatment from the experts can help to steer you on the right course.


Do back acne scar removal creams work?

Yes, back acne scar removal creams do work. However, it will depend on the type of scar. Acne scar creams are more effective at treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Specifically, they work to lessen the appearance of the imperfections. Something to keep in mind is that because the back is a larger area, you will need more product. Because of this, treating acne scars on the back can be more expensive than facial related acne scars. If your acne scars are ice pick, consider consulting with a skincare professional for treatment options.

The Bottom Line

Back acne scars are a result of acne that has become severely inflamed. Treatment options include: daily cleansing, exfoliation and microneedling. It is absolutely imperative for your acne to be under control before attempting to get rid of your acne scars. Professional options include chemical peels, lasers and dermabrasion. Seek help from a dermatologist if your acne is ruining your self confidence.