Acne Community
5.39k Members
Avatar universal

Blackheads ALL OVER my shoulders and back. WORST CASE EVER!

PLEASE nobody give me advice to exfoliate, or use a certain soap, or eat a certain food, or sleep more, or hang upside-down....or any other common-sensical, mundane, foolish, witch-craft-ish, herbal...or otherwise foolish advice or something that I obviously would have thought of.  this has been going on for half of my 28 yr life...and I have 20+ doctors and 10+ dermatologists and nothing makes me see red more than one more un-empathetic person dismissing this is as a minor problem and/or thinking I am vain...or saying that "others have it worse” sorry to be rude right off the bat, but I am sure most of you know what I am talking about...

I hope someone can shed light on this. I am 28 years old and I have been hoping for years that my acne and bad skin is going to clear up as I get older and grow out of it.  I had bad skin (not horrible) in high school and it got better 18-25 years old...but I certainly never got to the point where I didn't have to keep a cover up make-up stick in my pocket and tan at least once a week to hide some occasional zits.  blackheads have been something I have dealt with my whole life and lately it is out of control. if I lean forward in the mirror (and this has practically always been like this)... every square iota of space on my face can be squeezed where at the very least I can push something out of every pore (whether it be oil...or one of those white curly cue's...or a brownish hardened blackhead).  you wouldn't know it when you look at me...as I am good looking (save the roll of the eyes...I only say that for the validity of my story) and my girlfriend is constantly saying, "you have GOOD skin [on my face]...what are you talking about?"...which only pisses me off more.  my back and shoulders has become a mine field of blackheads and a living hell.  I haven't had my shirt off my whole adult life because of moderate body acne...but the last 2-3 years have been an absolute living hell.  my back and shoulders feel like somebody sprinkled a handful of very fine sand completely evenly over my body when you run your hand over my skin.  I can scratch some of them out...and I can spend hours (literally...sometimes 2-3) in the mirror doing an acrobatic maneuver where I pop what I can reach behind my back with two hands...but a lot of the ones that I don't somehow get out or come out on their own end up becoming a huge red zit.  these zits are spectacular when I finally pop them...and the aftermath always contains the pesky blackhead that was acting like the Hoover dam for the mess behind it.  my nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin all have infinite blackheads as well if I lean close enough and become too meticulous...but I end up trying to find refuge in the fact that most people won't get as close to my face as I do and won't be able to see all of my blackheads.  the BH on my back and shoulders are visible in any light.  my girlfriend has the kind of skin that no matter how close I get there is not a single flaw.  her back glistens in the light and I would give 3 fingers [I literally would be overjoyed to trade 3 fingers for permanent flawless skin] to have skin like her.

ok...I am at the point where unless I can find someone with a similar story and a successful treatment...I am going to illegally buy acutance on my own in Mexico and take it until either my skin is flawless or I become so sick/ill/dead that I can't take it anymore.  I have tried everything (don’t even ask...everything that ends in cyclene, every gel, cream, liquid, pill, body wash, soap, exfoliator, 3-step-kit, azalex, B5, good diet, ect...) on the earth and have been looking for the cure-all for 15 years...so tane is my last hope.


18 Responses
309783 tn?1271961829
Obtain the accutane legally from a dermatologist. It is your best hope of a long term remission from acne. I have taken accutane twice but unfortunately relapsed both times. However, having taken it, the oxytetracycline and Differin that I use are now more effective. I hope it works for you. Loiloi x
Avatar universal
From personal experience and from what i have heard, acutane is never a solution for your problem.
About blackheds, try this link, it might be of help.

Avatar universal
Hi Kevin, I am 27 year old. I have exactly the same problems as you have described. My boyfriend has the most beautiful and smooth skin I have ever seen.

My blackheads are as bad as yours and I really suffer from feeling unclean because of it. Recently I went to see a doctor and explained that nothing has ever help me (As you said, I also never take off my t-shirt because I hate the blackheads). He prescribed me antibiotics and said if they don't help, then the other option is accutane.

I read the side effects of both these medicine and it is horrible.
I found a very honest and dedicted person who runs a very informative website for people who suffer from acne. Before you go on any drastic medicine cure, please read what Seppo has to say. I have just started following his advice and he really makes sense.

I have not seen any results yet because I have just started a few days ago and it will take a while. So trust me and read his website:


I wish you all the best because I know how it feels
Avatar universal
I'm so glad to have read your story, because I have honestly always thought that I was some kind of freak because of my blackheads. I also have them LITERALLY in every single pore on my torso, butt, and thighs.

I wish that I could offer you some kind of cure or explanation,but unfortunately I don't have one. But I do know that it has meant more to me than anything to hear your story (I fell like I could ahve written it!), and I just thought you might like to know that you aren't alone.

As far as something contructive to offer you, I can only tell you what I have tried to research - I've looked into two other things that I think our condition could be: Keratosis Pilaris and Seborrheic Dermatitis. There are multiple treatments I have found for both (though no cures) and they include lactic acid creams, coal tar lotions, and other topicals containing things like Vitamin A and urea.

I haven't tried any of the treatments to date, but I am going to start the coal tar treatment for seborrheic dermatits today. If I have any luck, I'll be sure to let you know!
Avatar universal
I am also 28 yrs old.
I suffered from bad horrid evil acne for many years and my ex boyfriend did also but his dr. put him on accutane and once i started to see it zap his skin i tried it too and it zapped my skin too.
it really is great, but you do have to complain a lot to your dr. because this stuff is expensive and for the insurance to pay for it you really have to complain a lot i found. tell your dr. that you have tried everything, anitbiotics, creams, lotions, soaps adn all that other stuff that doesnt work.
I really hope you take my advice, it will help you so much and you will be so much happier!
Avatar universal
My husband of 28 years has the same problem with his back ( his face is  flawless) ...hes now 48 and has most of it clear up. BUT he has this one black head that will not go away. it actually smells bad when I squeeze it
My advice is...live with it. Your girl will love you know matter what. I know you are young, and if this is your main problem...you are lucky
Avatar universal
I have the exact same problem.

My skin is naturally sensitive ( I fry in the sun) and naturally oily. I've tried a ton of stuff, and finally I think I got a good combination that does NOT involve Accutane ( which has lots of nasty side effects).

I take vitamins A, D, & E as supplements and also make sure I get plenty of vitamin C.

I exfoliate like CRAZY. Using a brush, I'll get my back and scrub the hell out of it with salicyclic acid body wash. I use the kind with little pieces of apricot shell in it; it feels like 80 grit sandpaper. I do this as often as I can without making my skin raw, and usually go easy on my face to avoid redness. Shaving my face also helps pull blackheads out.

I use salicyclic acid lotion and smother the bad areas with it 2 times a day; morning and night. Once it dries a little, I'm able to rub alot of blackheads out. Acid dissolves fat, and blackheads are a type of fat (cholesterol) so this works pretty well.

I use Retina gel at night. This is RX, but it's easy to get. Retina takes the top layer of my skin right off, so the blackheads start falling out. It's really easy to take too much off though; then my skin feels sunburned and is irritated for a couple of days.

If I'm really desperate, I'll put a layer of Retina on my face and let it dry (about a minute). Next, I'll gently rub glycerin into the skin around the blackhead. I don't what it is, but doing this will get SO much **** to start coming out of your skin. I've literally gotten like, 200 or so to come out at one time.  This method is effective, but it is extremely irritating to my skin. I save it for emergencies.

After all this, I smother my face with Aveeno lotion( or the knockoff from Target) . I'll put a thick layer on my face, then as it dries I'll rewet my skin and gently rub it into my skin again. Keeping my skin wet as possible is the best way I've found to help it heal/decrease redness.

Oh, and lastly, (i'm sure you've heard this) I stopped popping my "zits". For real.  Meaning, I don't poke at blackheads, whiteheads, or anything else, even when they feel like giant tumors on my face. Instead, I gently rub them out with an "as hot as you can stand" washcloth. This takes more time, but when they come out, they're gone without any of the redness/broken skin that happens when you regularly pop a zit.

Hope this helps,
948349 tn?1294383837
Try using lemon juice!  It works really well for me.

It's quite acidic, but very natural so it won't irritate your skin.  It's also got limonene in it, which is why lemon cleaners work so well.

It will kill bacteria, unplug pores, help slough off dead skin, and remove extra oil too.
Avatar universal
I really feel for you and I understand what you are saying. I think that you should try not to pop them because when you do you are pushing the dirt deeper into your skin, which will lead to more blocked pores and it will spread. Have you tried using only products that are non-comedogenic? also, if you overdo you face with scrubbing too often and all that and being harsh with it, you will strip your skin of natural oils which will lead your skin to produce more oil and obviously clogged pores. You can also damage your pores by doing that. I can see this is really depressing you, I know how it depresses me aswell everytime I see my skin in the mirror, as long as I can notice it then it's a problem I don't care if others don't. After soo many years it's frustrating that nothing seems to work. If you are going to extract them then do it the correct way, don't do it with your nails, you will damage the capillaries under your skin which will cause blood to spill in the area which leads to spots, aswell as pushing dirt deeper into your skin and spreading the blackheads. Try to go for facials if you can afford it, for spots I know that dabbing a little tea tree oil on the spot makes them go away withing a few hours, it works for me but only on the spot you can't put it anywhere else. Steaming is very good although no it will not remove every blackhead as some of them are not ready to come out as they are embedded deep into the skin.

Lemon juice is good aswell as a battered egg white with lemon juice mixed and using it as a face mask until it dries. I know it tightens pores and helps exfoliate your pores. I tried it once and I liked it. Also masks that contain koalin. I think people that suffer from blackheads like that it must be genetics and I don't think there is much you can do to remove every single blackhead and stop them from coming back. But you can make things better by doing a good skin care regime that doesn't overdoing it, sometimes the simpler products are better than using harsh products full of alcohol which can aggravate the problem.
Use oil free products, but always moisturise as your skin still needs moisture.

I hope this helps

Avatar universal
I've found that witch hazel (found in the first aid department) can wonderfully shrink, tighten and cleanse pores.

Cutting out dairy for a while might prove helpful.  I've heard it's a problem for many people.

I've read that magnesium deficiency can cause skin problems.  Some of the safer and more effective forms include: Taurate, Glycinate, and Citrate (can be laxitative -- take with food.)  Generally, the Magnesium, B Complex Vitamins as well, help your body deal with stress and stabilize stress hormones.  These hormones cause skin inflammations, so the nutrients can help reduce this.
Avatar universal
My boys both took accutane through a dermatologist for 3-4 months with tremendous success.  My eldest son wore a t shirt from sophomore year through senior year and we never saw him without.  We later found out it was because of the cystic pimples and I had NO IDEA.  I felt horrible.  The expense was well worth it.  They both have beautiful skin and the only thing they suffer are dry lips.  Needing to apply chap stick a lot.  It is all worth it and they are so thankful.  Go do it!  Get the misery behind you!  Good luck!
Avatar universal
Oh,man,never thought theres also someone like me out there,cause I also have those ****** curse from hell,which mess up my whole life,everything you have said,I also have it,even those long curly whiteheads that pops out with oils when you run your nails in it,or by just scrubbing your back and then those blackheads get stuck in your fingernail,Oh man!I tell you,I almost wanna die,but your still lucky, because you have a girlfriend that supports you and love with your disease,not like me,Im alone in the world,so be happy,and know that theres someone out there more worst than you:(,hope God,the most powerful on d entire universe the creator of everything frees us from this curse,In Jesus name,The Savior of the whole World,Amen!!!
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn to identify and prevent bites from summer’s most common pests.
Doctors argue for legislation to curb this dangerous teen trend in the latest Missouri Medicine report.
10 ways to keep your skin healthy all winter long
How to get rid of lumpy fat on your arms, hips, thighs and bottom
Diet “do’s” and “don’ts” for healthy, radiant skin.
Images of rashes caused by common skin conditions