How To Get Rid Of Shoulder Acne Before They Leave A Scar

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One thing some people often forget is that acne does not only appear on the face. They can appear on other parts of the body too. When you want to get rid of acne, remember these parts of the body, like your shoulder, arms, chest, and back.

Remember, acne is the build-up of sebum, bacteria, and grime in the skin pores, clogging them and causing inflammation on the surface of the skin. Therefore, the other parts of the body are not excluded. 

While most acne is spotted on the face easily during the early stages, you might not notice those on your shoulders well until it forms on the skin.

And like facial acne, you can treat them the same way you treat any other type of acne appearing on your shoulders. That means carefully curated skincare regimen, healthy living, and good hygiene.

In this article, you would learn what shoulder acne is, its causes, and how to get rid of and prevent shoulder acne.

What is shoulder acne?

Shoulder acne is a type of acne that develops on the shoulders and upper back. It is similar to facial acne in that it is caused by clogged pores, excess oil production, residue, and bacteria.

The acne can range from mild to severe and can be characterized by blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and cysts.

Shoulder acne can be generalized into two types: acne vulgaris and acne mechanica. Acne vulgaris is acne occurring due to build-up from the skin pores. The triggers are mostly hormones.

On the other hand, acne mechanic is triggered by external and physical factors like heat, pressure, and skin damage/exposure.

Nevertheless, shoulder acne can be frustrating and uncomfortable, but there are steps you can take to help prevent and treat it.

Causes of shoulder acne

  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during puberty, menstrual cycles, or pregnancy, can increase oil production in the skin and lead to acne.
  • Genetics: Genetics plays a role in determining how prone you are to developing acne. If your parents had acne, you may be more likely to develop it as well.
  • Clothing: Tight or constrictive clothing, such as backpack straps or sports bras, can trap sweat and bacteria against the skin, leading to acne.
  • Skincare products: Certain skincare products can clog pores and contribute to acne, especially if they contain ingredients that are too harsh or oily for your skin type.
  • Stress: Stress can trigger hormonal changes and inflammation in the body, which can lead to acne breakouts.
  • Poor hygiene: Failing to keep the skin on your shoulders and back clean can lead to a build-up of oil, dirt, and bacteria that can clog pores and cause acne.

How to get rid of shoulder acne

1. Keep the area clean

Wash your shoulders regularly with a gentle cleanser to remove excess oil and sweat that can clog pores. Bathe twice a day to remove the dirt on the skin, or bathe after strenuous exercises that make you sweat.

2. Exfoliate regularly

You need to exfoliate to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. Do this by sloughing off dead skin at least once a day to maintain smooth, cleansed skin.

You can either use an exfoliating scrub, loofah, or exfoliating brush to physically remove the dead skin and grime from the acne. Or you can use chemical exfoliants that contain acids that will peel the dirt and buildup from your skin.

3. Avoid tight clothing

Tight clothing can trap sweat and bacteria, which can contribute to shoulder acne. Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing instead.

4. Use acne-fighting products

Look for products containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which can help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria.

Benzoyl peroxide is an antiseptic that kills bacteria, so it will help to cleanse your skin of pimple pus. Meanwhile, salicylic acid is a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) that controls sebum production in the pores and strips them of dirt and grime.

5. Don’t pick at your acne

Picking or popping acne can lead to scarring and further breakouts. The best way to prevent the transfer of bacteria is by not touching your skin. Therefore, leave your shoulder alone and let it heal naturally.

If your shoulder itches or irritates, use a soothing balm or cream to calm the itchiness.

6. Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water can help flush toxins from your body and promote healthy skin. Water also enhances supple skin and provides enough moisture to protect the skin against aggressors.

How to prevent shoulder acne

Moisturize your skin

Use a lotion to provide moisture or hydration to your skin. This fills your pores with ingredients that would also protect your skin.


Exfoliating prevents and treats shoulder acne. Use a gentle exfoliating scrub or a body brush to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores.

Avoid irritants

Avoid using harsh skincare products, and try to stay away from anything that may irritate the skin on your shoulders, such as backpack straps or tight-fitting sports bras.

Use non-comedogenic skincare products

Look for skincare products that are labeled “non-comedogenic,” which means they are less likely to clog pores and cause acne.

Use sunscreen

Sunscreen is not only meant for the face. Wear sunscreen with a broad spectrum of SPF 30 and above to prevent UVA/UVB radiation and free radicals from penetrating the skin.

Practice good hygiene

Shower after sweating, and change out of sweaty clothing as soon as possible to help prevent bacteria buildup on the skin.

Manage stress

Stress can trigger acne breakouts, so try to manage stress through exercise, meditation, or other stress-reducing techniques.

Consult a dermatologist

If you are prone to shoulder acne or have tried these preventive measures without success, a dermatologist can help you determine the best treatment method for your particular needs.


how to get rid of shoulder acne

Can shoulder acne become permanent?

No, it can’t. Shoulder acne is not permanent. It will, however, turn into a scar or dark spot on the skin if not treated. If your shoulder acne does not clear after days, consult a professional.

How do you get rid of shoulder acne overnight?

Wash your skin and apply spot treatment cream on your acne. This is the best way to get rid of shoulder acne overnight.

What is another name for pimples on the shoulder?

Backne. The term is mostly used for acne on the shoulders and the back.


If you want to remove acne from your shoulder, you need to simply exfoliate regularly, maintain a clean regimen, or use skincare products developed to treat acne.

While shoulder acne is not the worst that can happen to your skin, it can develop into dark spots later. That is why you should get rid of them as soon as they pop on your upper back and shoulder.

Thanks for reading.

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