Cystic Acne on the Back: Best Treatment Options

Author:  Julia Thompson    

Cystic acne on the back, commonly referred to as “bacne,” is a severe form of acne that can be both painful and unsightly. It requires special care and attention, and fortunately, there are products specifically designed to treat this condition. Here’s a guide to some of the top products for treating cystic acne on the back.

1. Salicylic Acid Body Washes



2. Benzoyl Peroxide Creams



3. Retinoid Creams

  • How It Works: Retinoids promote skin cell turnover, unclogging pores and reducing acne scars.
  • Usage: Apply in the evening, starting with every other night to minimize irritation.
  • Example Product: Differin 0.1% Adapalene Treatment Gel, 15g



4. Tea Tree Oil

  • How It Works: Tea tree oil has natural antibacterial properties that can help fight acne.
  • Usage: Mix with a carrier oil and apply to affected areas.
  • Example Product: The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil, 20 ml



5. Cortisone Injections (Professional Treatment)

  • How It Works: For severe cystic acne, in-office cortisone injections can reduce inflammation quickly.
  • Usage: Consult with a dermatologist for this treatment.



6. Oral Prescription Medications

  • Note: Isotretinoin is a prescription medication for severe acne. While there may be over-the-counter supplements claiming to help with acne, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider for a proper prescription and guidance.


7. Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleansers

  • How It Works: Glycolic acid helps exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores.
  • Usage: Use a few times a week, gradually increasing frequency as tolerated.
  • Example Product: Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser



8. Sulfur-Based Treatments



9. Light Therapy Devices



10. Clay Masks

  • How It Works: Clay masks can absorb excess oil and impurities, helping to clear acne.
  • Usage: Apply to the affected area, leave on for the time specified, then rinse off.
  • Example Product: Aztec Secret – Indian Healing Clay


Tips for Managing Cystic Acne on the Back

  • Shower After Sweating: Sweat can exacerbate acne; showering promptly can help.
  • Wear Loose Clothing: Tight clothing can irritate the skin and worsen acne.
  • Avoid Picking: Picking at acne can lead to scarring and infection.
  • Consult a Dermatologist: For persistent or severe acne, professional medical advice is essential.


Cystic acne on the back can be a challenging condition to manage, but with the right products and care, improvement is possible. From over-the-counter solutions to professional treatments, there are options to suit various needs and severity levels. Always consult with a healthcare provider for personalized recommendations, as they can tailor a treatment plan to your specific situation.