Why Does Acne Occur On The Back
Like the chest and face, the back has a high density of sebaceous glands. These produce sebum, a waxy substance that keeps the skin healthy.
Sebaceous glands are attached to hair follicles, or pores. If sebum or dead skin cells clog a pore, it can cause a blockage. This blockage may lead to inflammation or trap bacteria in the pore. This is how acne lesions develop.
A type of yeast, Malassezia, can also cause lesions that look similar to acne. The yeast tends to overgrow in humid, sweaty environments. Because the back is often covered by clothing, backpacks, slings, and other thing, it can be an ideal environment for this microbe. If the yeast gets into the hair follicles, it can cause a condition known as pityrosporum folliculitis. And if antibacterial treatments have not worked for back acne, the person may have pityrosporum folliculitis instead.
There are several ways to approach back acne, including:
Dont Scrub And Scratch
You dont have to become friends with your acne, but you should be gentle with it. Avoid scrubbing too hard in the shower, scratching, or picking at it. Scratching and picking will only lead to irritated skin and possibly open wounds that could turn into scars later . And, while cleaning your skin thoroughly is an important part of combating back and chest acne, scrubbing away in the shower wont get you anywhere. Instead, opt for effective yet safe skincare products. That brings us to our next point.
What Are The Causes Of Chest Acne
The causes of acne pimples and cysts on the chest are different than the causes of teen or adult facial acne. Genetics and hormonal fluctuation play a role, but external factors cause chest acne. Chest acne will be more frequent and more severe in people exposed to heat and humidity. Tight, synthetic clothing is also a common triggering factor for chest acne. Other less common causes of chest acne are steroid drugs and bodybuilding hormones.
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How To Get Rid Of Acne Scars On Your Chest
This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support , Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support , Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee in 2006.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 132,456 times.
You’ve effectively treated your body acne, and now you’re left with residual scars on your chest. You want smooth, unblemished skin free of old acne scars. Fortunately, there are treatments available to help you get rid of both raised and indented acne scars on your chest.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Academy of DermatologyProfessional organization made of over 20,000 certified dermatologistsGo to source Minimize your body acne scars by choosing the best treatment for your type of scar, whether it’s with a medical procedure at your doctor’s office or a remedy you use at home.
Light And Laser Therapy
A dermatologist may recommend and perform laser or light therapy for acne. This involves exposing the skin to a special type of light during regular sessions for a set period.
There are different types of light therapy:
- Red, blue, or infrared light therapy can treat pimples but not whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, or nodules.
- At-home light therapy devices can treat pimples, but the light is less intense than the one a dermatologist uses.
For lesions that leave noticeable scars, a dermatologist can use procedures such as laser treatments, microneedling, and chemical peels to reduce the appearance.
The acne-friendly skin care routine outlined by the AAD and summarized above can help prevent back acne, as well as treat it. A gentle cleanser, noncomedogenic moisturizer, and adequate sun protection may be all a person needs.
Other skin care strategies that can prevent or reduce acne and skin irritation include:
- regularly washing bed linens, towels, and pillowcases
- regularly washing clothes, particularly tight-fitting ones, such as bras
- avoiding things that rub against the back, such as backpacks
- exercising in loose-fitting clothes made from natural fibers, such as cotton
- showering and changing clothes immediately after exercise or using cleansing wipes
- washing workout clothes and equipment after each use
Acne affects many people. Certain factors that can contribute to or raise the risk of its development include:
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Drink Plenty Of Water
What ever you do from the outside, you also need to take care of your skin from within.
That means that you have to avoid any foods that can trigger breakouts, and instead try and fill your diet with foods that can help reduce breakouts and drink plenty of water to keep your skin fully hydrated, and looking plump.
Not only that it helps to flush out any toxins that can cause skin irritation.
Also, aim to drink 8 glasses of water per day and avoid high sugar drinks such as sodas.
Which Hormones Causes Chest Acne
For some patients, factors like diet and stress can impact hormone levels and cause the onset of adult chest acne. Diets rich in sugary, greasy, and fatty foods raise blood sugar, which can trigger hormones that boost the bodys sebum production, ultimately causing pimples to form. Increased amounts of stress can also influence breakouts in the chest area. Stress causes the production of hormones called androgens. Androgens cause enlargement and hyperactivity of sebum glands in the skin, leading to increased sebum production that can clog pores and cause pimples, nodules, cysts, whiteheads and blackheads.
Thankfully, small lifestyle adjustments can often help improve the appearance of your chest acne. Reducing your intake of processed foods, drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and managing daily stress can all help to keep your chest acne under control.
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What Dietary Changes Can Help Control Chest Acne
Chest acne is triggered by a number of factors, including dietary choices. It has been shown that consuming foods high in saturated fats, such as ice cream, fast foods, fries, and sugary foods and drinks, can increase the chances of an acne flare-up by causing inflammation in the body. Therefore, it is best to avoid inflammatory food items.
Regularly Wash Your Skin
Choose body washes that say, noncomedogenic or oil-free on the package to avoid clogging your pores. Avoid antibacterial soaps, astringents, and abrasive scrubs that can make your acne worse. And be gentle when cleansing your skin. Harsh scrubs, loofas, and exfoliators can damage the protective layer of the skin and make body acne worse, says Dr. Harth.
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Hydrafacials To Exfoliate And Treat Chest Acne
The HydraFacial is a medical-grade facial that uses an innovative three-step process to cleanse, exfoliate, and rejuvenate the skin. The HydraFacial uses HydraFacial MD Active-4 cleanser to both clean and hydrate the skin, a vortex suction device to clear out clogged pores and exfoliate the skin, and unique skin care serums that infuse antioxidants, peptides, and hyaluronic acid to restore a radiant complexion. The HydraFacial can also be combined with blue LED light therapy in order to better treat active acne lesions and acne scars.
How Long Does Chest Acne Last
The funny thing about acne is that after you’ve cleared up your active pimple, you’re left to deal with the aftermath, aka PIH. “Pigmentation will slowly improve if left alone, but it can take months for that to occur,” Dr. Kristina Goldenberg says. “Sun protection is vital for pigmentation to resolve.”
To that end, she recommends sticking with SPF 50 or higher on all sun-exposed areas and reapplying your sunscreen every one to two hours. As far as fading treatments go, you can try a dark spot corrector or in-office procedures, like lasers, chemical peels, and microneedling with PRP, to encourage fading.
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Make An Appointment With A Dermatologist
If your chest acne doesnt respond to the above steps, it may be time to make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist. Your dermatologist can examine your acne, identify a cause, and help design a customized prescription treatment that can get rid of your chest acne.
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Protect Your Chest From The Sun
The heat of the sun will make acne worse and prevent it from healing. Be picky and diligent about SPF on your chest, and be sure to use it every day, and triple when you are actually in the sun! says Fernandez. To fight a breakout and avoid the next one, choose physical coverage when possible and a sunblock that is physical with no chemical SPF ingredients . This is super important since sun exposure combined with acne is a one-way ticket to scars and the breakdown of healthy skin.
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Is It Acne Or Could It Be Something Else
There are various other conditions that can cause red bumps on your chest and back, but one common one that is often confused by many is a skin condition called folliculitis. Although it may look and feel the same as acne, folliculitis is not the same.
Folliculitis usually has inflammation around hair follicles, but it can have a more infectious cause with a pus-filled pimple instead of the blocked sebum of acne, Dr. Thompson said. Folliculitis can occur around any site with hair follicles, and acne is more common on the face, back and chest.
If youre unsure whether your red bumps are body acne or folliculitis, it can be helpful to see a dermatologist to make sure. They can give you tips to help clear it.
What Causes Acne On Your Chest And Back
Body acne develops the same way as face acne, but there are some factors that lead to the development of acne on your chest and back.
Genetics, hormones and diet are likely some of the bigger triggers for acne, Dr. Thompson said. Other contributors to truncal acne can include use of androgens, such as testosterone or dihydrotestosterone , among male or transgender patients or androgenic anabolic steroids in body builders.
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Sweaty & Tight Fitting Workout Wear
One of the most common contributors to body acne is sweaty, tight-fighting clothing. Clingy fabrics trap sweat and bacteria on the skin, which can lead to clogged pores and body breakouts. Natalie adds: When acne affects the body, its also good to note that the rubbing of clothing and sports equipment can add to irritation due to the extra heat and sweat. The best way to tackle this trigger: Opt for loose-fitting workout wear and be sure to remove it immediately after you hit the gym.
Fraxel Laser Treatment For Acne Scars
The Fraxel Dual laser skin resurfacing is a technique can also be used to correct uneven skin tone and texture. This laser can be used to reduce the appearance of acne scars on the face, neck, chest, back , arms and legs. To treat acne scars, energy from the fractional laser technology is targeted in the dermis of the skin to boost new collagen production. The skin is tightened as a result of collagen formation and the overall appearance of acne scars and hyperpigmentation is diminished with almost no downtime.
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How Reduce The Appearance Of Chest Acne
Eager to eliminate your chest acne? Dr. Lisa Ginn, a board-certified dermatologist based in Maryland, recommends topical products formulated with sulfur, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to fight body acne. We like the CeraVe Salicylic Acid Body Wash for Rough and Bumpy Skin, which contains salicylic acid to target breakouts, ceramides to moisturize and niacinamide to calm.
What Are The Signs Of Chest Acne
The most common location for body acne is on the back. Then said more than half of the people that have back acne also have blackheads, whiteheads, and pustules on the chest. In severe cases of chest acne, people will also have deep acne cysts. These cysts are usually painful and can leave deep scars. .
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How To Prevent Acne When Shaving Your Chest
Pimples can form when sebum gets blocked in pores by dead skin cells in hair follicles. Bacteria grows inside the follicles, which then rupture near the surface and form whiteheads or blackheads. You should not touch or irritate acne-prone skin, and this can make shaving acne-prone areas like the face and chest difficult.
Wash your chest with warm water. Sitting in a hot bath can be helpful, as it allows your hair follicles to open up. Soak your body for at least three minutes to soften your skin.
Apply a pre-shave oil such as jojoba oil. Acne.org suggests this helps to further soften skin and prepare it for a close shave.
Trim any extra hairs that are too long to shave with a small pair of scissors.
Use a quality, nondisposable razor with a sharp blade. Apply a water-based shaving gel for sensitive skin. Always shave in the direction of hair growth, and stretch your skin to pull it taut for a closer shave.
Wash the gel and hair off generously with warm water. TeensHealth suggests finishing off the rinse with cold water to close off pores.
Avoid Tight Clothes Or Those That Do Not Breathe
Its well documented that clothes that do not allow your skin to breathe or are too tight can can irritate the skin by making the wearers sweat and trap dirt and bacteria in the pores.
Nylon, Wool and material like spandex look great but are the main culprits.
Choose clothes made from breathable fabrics or even better, simple cotton.
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Consider A Chest Facial
Celebrity esthetician and skincare expert Renee Rouleau says that sometimes its necessary to have a professional perform extractions if theres an abundance of non-infected clogged pores or bumps on your chest. Keeping the pores cleared out by removing debris stops new breakouts from forming, she explains. Extraction is usually partnered with a chemical peel that exfoliates the skin and loosens clogged pores so that blemishes are easily removed by the esthetician. That being said, if you can’t make an appointment with a pro, skip the extractions altogether and opt for a just chemical peel. I love to use a 20 percent salicylic acid peel on my clients that can help lift away discoloration from old acne scarring while helping to keep pores clear, Rouleau says. There are plenty of at-home peel options in the form of resurfacing pads and dropper solutions, just don’t go overboard and use them more than once a week.
The Ematrix Laser Treatment For Acne Scars
The eMatrix Laser is ideal for treatment of acne scars on the face, chest, and back, for all skin types. The eMatrix Sublative Rejuvenation uses fractionated bi-polar frequency to penetrate beneath the skins surface to maximize the amount of collagen and elastin produced. Stimulating the skins production of collagen and elastin improves textural irregularities and treats acne scars. The eMatrix laser can treat textural issues on skin of any tone and type, making it a powerful tool to combat against stubborn acne scars. Using this laser treatment helps patients with acne scars achieve smoother, brighter, tighter, more beautiful, younger-looking skin. Since sublative rejuvenation has only 48 hours of downtime, this laser treatment can be scheduled with ease.
The eMatrix Laser is also unique because it effectively treats patients with any skin type or skin tone, meaning that its an essentially color-blind laser treatment. As certain lasers can work less effectively with darker skin tones, leading to hyperpigmentation or other pigment issues, the eMatrix is a go-to option for Dr. Green when it comes to safely and effectively treating her patients.
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What Are The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Chest Acne
According to Dr. Rana, Identifying and understanding the underlying causes of your chest acne is the first step toward creating an effective acne treatment plan. Once you understand the specific skin care products, stresses, and other issues that lead to flare-ups in your condition, you can take steps to avoid them. From there, you can partner with your dermatologist to create a skin care routine to clear up your current breakout and prevent them in the future.
Individuals with chest acne should work with their dermatologist to create a personalized skin care plan that works for them, but some steps anyone can take to treat chest acne breakouts include:
- Use antibacterial soap to clean the area around the breakout after sweating or getting dirty
- Swap out your thick, cream-based moisturizers for lotions that are non-comedogenic to help keep your skin moisturized without contributing to breakouts
- Apply topical acne treatments to blemishes
During chest acne breakouts, most people can clear up their pimples using over-the-counter products. Acne body washes, wipes, and spot treatments are available in your local pharmacy to help clear up pimples. Patients who have larger pimples or cysts and nodules that develop deeper beneath the skin should contact their dermatologist for treatment as soon as possible. These more severe forms of acne can be very painful, have a greater risk of infection, and may lead to scarring if not properly treated.