What are the causes and treatment for back acne?

Doctor's Answers (2)

The problem you have just described is not uncommon and I have seen many patients with truncal acne which can sometimes be rather stubborn or persistent. It is true that sometimes, acne-like lesions on the trunk can be due to a fungal infection. The appearance can be very similar to acne. At times, you can even have both present at the same time. A fungal scraping can help in confirming the diagnosis.

It is difficult to tell from the description if your condition is predominantly due to acne or a fungal infection. As the treatment is very different for both conditions, an accurate diagnosis is very important in this case. You may want to consult a dermatologist to help confirm the diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment.


Your GP may rightly have suspected a “fungal” type of acne from your history, or a condition called Pityrosporum folliculitis.

As you’ve described, it’s commonly associated with sweat and acne appearing on your back. With Pityrosporum follicultis, you may also notice some lighter spots (or hypopigmentation) on your back, a condition known as tinea versicolor (click link for images).

Clotrimazole topical (an anti-fungal) is one of the correct treatments.

Selsun (available over the pharmacy in most pharmacies in Singapore) is another topical treatment for Pityrosporum follicultis which you could try. Zinc Pyrithione is one of the ingredients in Selsun.

Dr Colin’s advice still stands – visit a doctor to get the diagnosis and treatment right.


Health on the Net Foundation

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

© 2020 DoctorxDentist PTE LTD. All rights reserved.

All content posted is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. This Q&A is not a patient consultation and any information provided herein is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

Quote RequestWhatsapp