Skip Nav
Beginner Fitness Tips
A Trainer Gets Brutally Honest About Why You Aren't Seeing Results
popsugar challenges
The 30-Day, 100-Rep Squat Challenge!
Healthy Eating Tips
Banza Tastes Like Real Pasta, but Has 25 Grams of Protein (Also, You Need It)

Bacne: An Unpleasant Side Effect of Working Out

Hey FitSugar,
This is so embarrassing, but I've been training for a half marathon and as my weekly mileage increases I've started to develop terrible breakouts all over my back especially around my bra line. Does anyone have any suggestions for preventing this?
Baby Got Bacne

I hear ya! Working out is sweaty business. Which is great for detoxing your body, but all that perspiration can be hard on your skin. My best piece of advice on preventing bacne is also the easiest to follow: take off those sweaty clothes immediately after a run and shower right away. Drink your recovery drink in the shower if you must. Now if you are already shedding your wet running togs and still feel plagued by acne here are a few new tricks to try.

  • Make sure your bra and shirt are made of fabric that wicks the sweat away from your body — cotton is not your friend. In cooler months, I like to wear a thin merino wool shirt on my runs, which naturally wicks the sweat away.
  • If your routine includes cardio followed by strength training, change your shirt and bra between activities. This may sound like a pain but can really help. If you have a chance, wipe or rinse (much more complicated mid-workout) your back before putting on fresh clothes. This mid-workout break might not only save your skin, it could help you burn more fat.
  • Use a scrub that contains acne fighting salicylic acid like ACNEdote by Alba Botanical. Use a scrub brush so you can reach all parts of your back, but don't scrub so aggressively that you aggravate the skin even more.
  • Try over the counter acne medication. The skin on your back is tougher than the skin on your face. After showering try glycolic or alpha hydroxy lotion of about eight or 10 percent strength. Or try 10 percent benzoyl peroxide. Remember, benzoyl peroxide will bleach your clothes.
  • Stop carrying a heavy backpack, especially if you are trying the regimen above. Backpacks can irritate the skin on your back and promote even more sweating.
  • If you're really at a loss, make an appointment with a dermatologist and hopefully they will clear things up for you (literally and figuratively).

Whatever you do, don't stop running! Good luck with the half marathon.

Image Source: Thinkstock
sfunkera sfunkera 6 years
BeeMoney - what do you use on your face? my latest routine has stopped working :( I like Neutrogena's Acne Stress Control body wash for bacne - I use it immediately after workouts and with a scrub
heathbar6 heathbar6 6 years
I train for marathons throughout the Summer and know what a pain bacne and breakouts on the chest are! My roommate recommended I try using a mixture of equal parts Witch Hazel and Rubbing Alcohol. I started doing it and it really works to cut down on the breakouts! And make to take the time to take care of your back. It's still wise to moisturize the back post shower!
GreenSkittlesGal GreenSkittlesGal 10 years
Thank you so much girls!!! Very, very helpful! Especially with summer tank tops and halter tops coming up...
BeeMoney BeeMoney 10 years
I need to find something for my back...I finally have my facial acne completely under control but I think that it just decided to take up residence on my back!
karebear karebear 10 years
Murad has a great Body Clarifying Spray that worked for me.
suzanne suzanne 10 years
You might want to try Zapparella's Bionic Blast! it's an acne medicated body scrub - active ingredient is 2% Salicylic acid. The bottle says: "So your body's not perfect either? Take care of your body the same as your face... " I only know to get it from Sephora. It did the trick for me :)
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
GSG - I got one from Champion (Kohl's)...seems to work well. Another cause can be HAIR PRODUCTS! Washing your hair last if you use hair products can leave some of it on your, wash hair first, I guess!
GreenSkittlesGal GreenSkittlesGal 10 years
What are some sport bras made with those fabrics? Can you maybe show us some? This is a real problem for me! Thanks! :)
Makeup Mistakes You Didn't Know You Were Making
What Is Dermaplaning? | Dermaplaning Review
How to Stop Picking Your Skin
What Is Cellulite?
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds