Few types of acne are worse than back acne. It might not be on your face where you and everyone can see it, but back acne is a serious bummer in terms of having to deal with imperfections on your skin. It can be painful, and it can be a serious distraction, plus it can be incredibly unsightly, even though it’s not on your face. Back acne can seem like it’s something that’s pretty much out of our control, but there is actually a lot you can do to make sure you keep it under your thumb so that it doesn’t bug you while you’re working out or cause problems the next time you want to go to the beach. We’ll talk about a few of the great ways that you can take control of your back and make sure that it stays as clear as a cloudless evening in the city.

1. Don’t Pick at It. If you already have acne on your back, do yourself a huge favor and leave it all the way alone. Don’t squeeze your back acne. Don’t pick at it, don’t rub it, and don’t pull on it or agitate it in just about any way. It may be tempting. It may demand your attention in a serious way. It may itch. It does not matter. You absolutely have to leave your back acne alone, no matter what, if you want it to go away. Touching it and picking at it is only going to make it get worse.

2. No Heavy Backpacks. Avoid using heavy backpacks if you’re dealing with acne on your back. Doing this will only exacerbate the problem, because your backpack sill create a lot more sweat and put pressure on your back, clogging up your pores and making the acne worse. You want to make sure you can air out your back and let the skin breathe as much as you can if acne is your problem, so that your pores can get nice and clean.

3. Use an Exfoliating Agent. See if you can’t find something to help exfoliate your back when you shower and clean yourself off. Getting rid of that top couple of layers of skin is a great way to make sure that your pores are clear and not getting clogged up — this is what’s going to cause your back to break out in that horrible acne that everyone dreads.

4. Wash on the Regular. Speaking of an exfoliating agent, if you’re not using one it’s important to start — and if you’re not washing on the regular, then you definitely need to start doing that. If you’re not doing this already, it might be the reason that you actually have back acne, because not cleaning this part of your back off if it’s being constantly exposed to hot sweat will definitely result in acne.

5. Clean Towel When Exercising. Exercising on your back can lead to your pores getting clogged and cause you some serious acne on the back. You can read more about acne treatments online or wherever you need to, but putting a clean towel under your back when you work out will prevent you from picking up any extra bacteria that you don’t need when you’re exercising.