Blackheads on Back: Causes, Removal and Best Treatments

Table Of Contents

No one wants to get blackheads on the back since they are very stubborn when they recur.  How best can you deal with this problem? Get the best removal tips and treatments. You will also learn how to get the most out of the best products.


How do blackheads on the back and shoulders look like? Typical they appear as dark spots or zits. This is caused by the fact that the clog forming material is exposed to the air i.e. they are a mixture of sebum, melanin deposits, dead skin cells, etc.

Their appearance may vary slightly due to the difference in skin complexion, skincare regimen adopted and age.

Causes of back and shoulders

What causes these unsightly bumps? Blackheads on your back are due to release of too many body oils by the sebaceous glands. Excess sebum causes clogging of hair follicles or skin pores.

A few factors do influence how much sebum is produced by the body. These include hormonal changes, oily skin, and genetics. Let us see the causes in details.

  • Hormones as a risk factor: The upper back including the shoulders tends to be oiler due to many hair follicles – one of the reasons why the back area is prone to acne. When your hormone level shifts from normal concentrations, the sebaceous glands are stimulated to produce more sebum. Hormones are the primary of these black-headed bumps in this area.
  • Genetics: Genetics is looked at as a risk factor for developing this acne type. For instance, if your family line has a history of recurring acne, you are likely to have the same problem.
  •  Some habits: Some activities and habits can trigger back blackheads. For instance, after a long hike with a backpack, you may discover an outbreak.

Huge ones

Can a blackhead get huge? If you take long before discovering you have these zits on your back, they could be really big and compacted.

Ones will look extremely pathetic. Also, old and large ones won’t come out easily since they tend to remain stuck in pores. It is also difficult to extract them manually.

When they are big, sometimes they may cause slight discomfort feeling or irritation on back.

Getting huge blackheads on the shoulders does not imply they could be infected. (Although when they become infected, your back can become stinky).

How to get rid of them?

Knowing the cause,  trigger or what leads to the type of acne is important in deciding the treatment options that will work best.

Blackhead remover products can produce varied results among different individuals – some getting wonderful and expected results while others little impact.

What do you do to treat and clear them? Let us see how the use of skin products and treatment would remove them.

1. Exfoliating products

One of the best ways to get rid of blackheads is through regular exfoliation. As one of the effective way, exfoliating products are also effective in the treatment of acne as a whole.

Over the counter products

Exfoliation promotes rapid cell turnover while removing excess body oils. Wash your back with a body wash that contains benzoyl peroxide. If you use salicylic acid, do not scrub.

Most products available over the counter are safe for use and quite affordable by a wider majority. However, lack of proper supervision and instructions on how to use them could lead damage to your skin.

Prescription exfoliating products

For purposes of exfoliation of the skin, these products must be prescribed by a doctor or dermatologist. Prescribed products are recommended to treat and eliminate blackheads that won’t go away.

2. Cleansers

Body cleansers are meant for opening pores. They are very useful if you want to get a good-looking skin. They increase the absorption of ingredients important for skincare products.

If you get minor symptoms, using cleansers regularly is quite helpful in the purification of skin and it will for sure improve the appearance of this acne type. If you are alone at least take a bath using alcohol-free cleansing solutions.

Experts recommend you do cleansing mostly at night since you can remove all the accumulated dust, makeup that has been sitting all day long and dirt that is trapped by the skin into the pores.

3.  Moisturizers

How useful are moisturizers for this case? Apart from being a greater part of a skincare regimen, oil-free moisturizer products would be of help especially after exfoliation of the skin. You should be cautious while selecting your moisturizer pack because the use of wrong moisturizing products can worsen the blackheads.

4. Clinical treatments

Treatments offered by health clinics have a higher success rate as compared to results from products. Your back skin tends to be thicker such that these dark bumps can be stuck deeper in the layers.


Retinoids are effective in clearing clogged pores and unplugging the hair follicles. Doctors recommend prescription-strength retinoids for persistent mild and severe acne.

Most retinoids are cream formulations and products. Your doctor may not prefer the use of oral retinoids due to side effects.

From about 3 months on, they will have reduced acne significantly and some will have disappeared entirely. Pores will look more refined. From here, you may not need to use your exfoliator as often, as both acids improve the long-term condition of your skin.

5. Other removal methods

Discuss with your doctor at length on the following treatment procedures.

  • Dermabrasion
  • Chemical Peeling
  • Hormonal therapy

Best way to remove stubborn ones

What is the best way to treat blackheads on the back? Some products and treatments we have discussed so far are actually great and they will help banish them. First, though, here are guiding factors prior to choosing a preferable removal method.

Oily back skin

What products or treatments are best for people with large skin pores and who produce excess sebum?

According to Bona Fide Skin Care, high chance of people with this type of skin are more likely to get blackheads and go unnoticeable. For instance, oily skin is characteristic of large skin pores. More probably as excess oils clog the pores, huge blackheads form.

Choice of the right products can help minimize the pore size but that is not enough to banish and clear them. Unfortunately, selecting creams with unsuitable ingredients could influence/worsen the condition of such skin type. The best advice from an expert’s point of view is to identify and stop the usage of skincare regimen (oily skin products) which potentially cause more clogging, dryness in skin.

Individuals with oily skin should strive exclusively to use water-soluble cleansers and products to tighten the pores.

Dealing with stubborn type involves stopping the breakout in the future. Clogged pores are not only required to be cleared but also a skin problem that needs to be evaluated. If products cannot help, you need some advanced treatments. The other best way to treat and rid yourself of stubborn blackheads is to go for dermatological or clinical treatments we have discussed.

What about removal tools?

Extraction tools can aid the removal of blackheads but may not help in clearing them up if you have not resolved what causes them. Here is what you need to consider before using tools.

  • How frequent or do they reappear after having removed or extracted them?
  • Having a  skin back has blemishes such as dark spots or marks may limit the use of these tools.
  • Are you prone to acne or have acne history in your family?

While extraction seems the quickest way to remove blackheads, this method does not clear them up. It has many disadvantages too.

DO NOT allow anyone to use tools in removing them from our back. Risking doing so can potentially lead to injury and scarring. Extraction is, therefore, best safer in an expert’s hands only.

More tips

Skincare should be routine even after undergoing successful treatment. It is important in ensuring your skin regenerates well by enhancing proper shedding of the dead layer. Your skincare regimen may involve the following.

  • Daily cleansing – oil-free and alcohol-free products
  • Moisturizing
  • Gentle exfoliation
  • Removal of makeup

Makeup enhances the appearance of the skin but it does not do you any good if you leave it overnight. Makeup residue can cause further clogging of skin pores especially if you sweat a lot.

Don’t squeeze

Is squeezing a better option? Squeezing will only clear them for a short while but will never banish them or make them disappear.

Regretfully, you would end up with black spots and scars if you constantly do squeeze them. Some people get used to squeezing them because they imagine this is the simplest way to deal with acne bumps or pimples.

Our best advice

You won’t actually know whether certain blackhead removal products will work the best if you do not consult your skin expert. Secondly, if you do not follow the recommended and right removal procedures, they won’t go away however much you fight them with the best products

Adults who have a bad history of back acne can get stubborn blackheads after a breakout. Never give up treating them. If you realize that they are not going away after putting up with them for so long, the remaining solution to zap them away is to see a dermatologist.

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