Chest Acne: What Causes It And How To Get Rid Of It
- Acne on the chest is caused by genetics, diet, stress, lifestyle habits and hormones.
- Chest acne is more likely to occur in women.
- It can be treated with medicated body washes, exfoliation and good hygiene.
Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when pores become clogged with dead skin cells, oil and bacteria, leading to inflammation and pimples. Acne appears most often on the face and torso, including the chest. Mild to moderate cases of chest acne are treated with over-the-counter products and lifestyle changes, while severe cases require prescription medication.
However Chest Acne Is Also Affected By External Irritants Like Exercise
Dr. Julia Tzu, founder and medical director of Wall Street Dermatology noted that chest acne “can also be exacerbated by heat, sweat, and occlusion,” in ways that facial acne often isn’t. For example, damp exercise clothes can chafe and inflame the skin on the chest, whereas the face is often undisturbed by friction from clothing. For this reason, you should shower immediately after a workout.
Easy Tips For Preventing And Getting Rid Of Shoulder Acne
On the list of the most annoying places acne can appear, the shoulders are right up there next to the back and chest. On the bright side, acne in this hard-to-reach area is not impossible to deal with. Shoulder acne can be addressed similarly to how one would approach facial acne with a targeted routine. Ahead, we gathered expert tips on how to stop breakouts and get rid of shoulder acne once and for all.
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What Causes Acne On The Chest
In short: chest acne, also known as folliculitis, is caused when pores get clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and other debris. These clogged pores result in inflammation and the formation of whiteheads, pimples, and cystic acne. The reason why you are getting it in this area can be the cause of numerous things, including genetics, hormones, and your lifestyle in general.
“Chest acne may be aggravated by lifestyle habits like the intake of short chain sugars present in fast food or sugar beverages, acute or chronic stress, excessive sun exposure, excessive working out, and the use of overly heavy moisturizers,” said Dr. Polla.
Wearing tight or occlusive clothing for too long after sweating from a workout or just being outside in the heat can also create acne on the chest. When you don’t shower right after, the sweat can cause bacteria to build up on your skin, leading to breakouts. “Dermatitis, the result of irritation from clothing friction, makes the skin more vulnerable and susceptible to external factors like sweating and dirt this can lead to the formation of acne,” Dr. Engelman said.
How To Get Rid Of Chest Acne
Acne is one of the most common chronic skin conditions. In fact, almost everyone will struggle with acne at some point in their life. According to Dr. Arathi Rana of U.S. Dermatology Partners in Sherman and Paris, Texas, Most people will have mild acne as teens, a lot of women experience acne related to pregnancy, and many people experience acne breakouts when theyre under stress. For most people, acne breakouts and pimples mainly develop on the face, but acne can impact any part of the body, including the chest. Chest acne can be painful, and because the area is usually covered, trapping sweat and oil on the skin, it can be difficult to treat. If you need help getting rid of chest acne, your dermatologist can help. Learn more from Dr. Rana about how to get rid of chest acne in this blog or by contacting us today.
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What Foods Cause Chest Acne
While there’s no acne-approved eating plan that works for everyone and simply eating foods for clear skin may not magically get rid of your chest acne, there are a few foods that have been linked to acne, like dairy and sugar. Both can mess with your hormones and promote inflammationyup, even your wine and cheese nightso Dr. Gary Goldenberg suggests limiting or cutting out dairy, watching your sugar intake, and eating organic foods that don’t contain hormones or antibiotics. “Any added hormones in food can potentially interfere with your own bodys hormones,” he says.
Try A New Laundry Detergent
Washing your clothes is a must for keeping germs at bay, but if you have oily skin, it can also help prevent acne. However, laundry detergent can sometimes have the opposite effect by causing acne.
This can happen from certain types of detergents that tend to irritate the skin. These include products with fragrances and dyes. When you wear a shirt thats been washed with allergenic detergents, you could put your chest area and other parts of your body at risk for a breakout.
Look for laundry detergents labeled as hypoallergenic.
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Dont Pick At Your Bumps
Picking at your pimples will only worsen their appearance and can lead to infection. If you feel like youve exhausted all options, dont resort to picking at your skin. Instead, see a board-certified dermatologist for help with acne that wont resolve, Dr. Houshmand advises.
There are medications that can be prescribed to help clear acne, Dr. Holsey adds. It is important to establish a relationship with a dermatologist or medical esthetician to help guide treatment protocols that can control acne breakouts and accelerate results.
Dry Skin And Sun Exposure
It is a common misconception that sun helps clear acne. In reality, sun exposure can make acne worse, including acne on the chest. Sun exposure can lead to dehydration and dry out already dry skin, causing acne to form.
In these cases, acne forms because the body starts to produce more oil to help rehydrate the skin. A person with chest acne may want to consider non-pore clogging moisturizers and limiting direct sun exposure.
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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.
What Are The Potential Complications Of Chest Acne
Chest acne can cause complicationsâboth physical and emotional. Physical problems include scarring and skin darkening after acne breakouts heal. Permanent skin changes, such as pitted, raised or thickened scars, are more common with inflammatory acne. The best way to prevent these potential complications is to seek early, effective treatment with a dermatologist. If you already have scars or color changes, a dermatologist can still help. Chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, and are possible remedies for acne scarring.
Chest acne can also leave emotional scars. Self-consciousness and embarrassment can lead to low self-esteem. These feelings can also contribute to , such as and . Healing the physical problems of breakouts and scarring often improves the emotional ones. See a dermatologist sooner rather than later for effective treatment.
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Chemical Peels To Treat Chest Acne
An excellent option for patients dealing with active acne or acne scars are glycolic acid or light trichloroacetic acid chemical peels. Superficial chemical peels can help to unclog pores and clear away dead skin cells, which in turn reduces active breakouts. Additionally, by peeling away the top layer of the epidermis, new healthy skin is exposed, which can lighten spots of pigmentation and improve the appearance of scarring.
Is Chest Acne Normal
Acne is a common skin condition that can largely be attributed to ones genetics. Some patients are simply more prone to blemishes than others due to their skins natural oil production. Additionally, pimples or zits can develop wherever a excess oil production occurs, including on the chest. Chest acne is normal and usually develops in the same way as acne on the face or elsewhere on the body.
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What Causes Chest Acne
Acne, on any part of the body, occurs when the pores of the skin become clogged by oil, dead skin cells, and other foreign matter. Within the clogged pore, bacteria also accumulate, causing painful, inflamed pimples to develop. Acne breakouts may be made up of many different types of pimples, including blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, pustules, and nodules. Changes in hormone levels related to puberty increase the risk for acne breakouts, so acne is common among teenagers. However, people may also develop acne later in life. Acne appears most often on the face, but breakouts can also occur on the chest and any parts of the body where there are oil glands.
Chest acne is typically caused by changes in hormones, overproduction of sebum oil, poor skin cell turnover, and other factors that lead to acne on the face.
In addition to these common causes of acne, the following factors may contribute to chest acne breakouts:
When To See A Dermatologist
It can take time to see results from treatment. If treatment works, you may start to see results in six to eight weeks. Complete clearing can take three or four months.
If you dont see any difference in six to eight weeks, you may need a dermatologists help. With a dermatologists help, virtually every type of acne can be successfully treated.
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ReferencesBikowski J. A review of the safety and efficacy of benzoyl peroxide emollient foam in the management of truncal acne vulgaris. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010 3:26-9.
Brand B, Gilbert R, et al. Cumulative irritancy comparison of adapalene gel 0.1% versus other retinoid products when applied in combination with topical antimicrobial agents. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 49:S227-32.
Del Rosso JQ. Management of truncal acne vulgaris: current perspectives on treatment. Cutis. 2006 May 77:285-9.
Eichenfield LF, Andrew C. Krakowski AC, et al. Evidence-Based Recommendations for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pediatric Acne. Pediatrics. 2013 131 Suppl 3:S163-86.
Leyden JJ, Del Rosso JQ. The effect of benzoyl peroxide 9.8% emollient foam on reduction of Propionibacterium acnes on the back using a short contact therapy approach. J Drugs Dermatol. 2012 11:830-3.
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Eliminate Pressure On Your Back
Anything that results in increased sweating and friction on your back, such as backpacks, sports gear, and back braces, can cause back acne, which is often referred to as acne mechanica, says Dr. Shah.
Shah recommends choosing a backpack thats lightweight and fits properly to minimize friction and irritation.
If you wear sports equipment that puts pressure on your back, dont wear the item for longer than you need to, or wear a clean cotton T-shirt underneath to reduce prolonged pressure and friction.
How To Get Rid Of Chest Acne Using Facial Acne Treatments
Your chest acne probably wont respond to the acne treatment products you use on your face because the skin on your face is so much more delicate than that on your chest. Chest acne typically needs products that can get through thicker skin to cleanse the whole pore, meaning it has to be stronger than something you would use on your face. However, you want to be cautious of jumping to something much stronger right away.
A good rule of thumb is to use your facial treatments on your chest for 6 weeks.
Then if theres no improvement, check the active ingredient concentration on each of your products, and purchase other face washes or serums that have a slightly higher concentration. Repeat the 6 week trial and continue upping the active ingredient if you still dont see results.
If you find yourself using products with a 5% concentration and your acne still isnt improving, you might want to speak with a dermatologist to develop a plan for how to get rid of chest acne.
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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.
Sports And Exercise Can Impact Your Approach Toward How To Get Rid Of Chest Acne
Sports can sometimes lead to sports-induced acne, or acne mechanica, on the chest. This is typically caused by friction and the trapping of heat and sweat beneath sportswear/equipment that is too tight, like football pads, sports bras, or simply tight uniforms. Tight sportswear can rub against the skin, causing irritation, and when skin is irritated, it tends to produce more natural oils, or sebum. This sebum can clog pores all on its own, but when you are exercising or playing sports, the heat and sweat contribute to the excess sebum to create more acne.
To improve chest acne caused by sports or exercise, wear more loosely fit clothing if possible. Sometimes, though, uniforms cannot be adjusted, and sports bras need to be tight to be effective. In those cases, make sure you wash the sportswear after each use to prevent the buildup of acne-causing bacteria, and shower right after physical activity. It can also help to use a loufa or exfoliating body wash on the affected areas, but make sure you also use an anti-inflammatory agent afterwards, like aloe vera.
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How Do You Treat Back And Chest Acne
If youre experiencing severe body acne with deep, painful cysts, its best to partner with a dermatologist so you can develop a unique plan for ongoing care. That being said, for mild to moderate body acne, some of the basic treatments used to treat acne on the face can be used for the back and chest. Heres how to get rid of body acne for good:
1. Use an acne cleanser
While any gentle soap or body wash can help remove dirt and oils, there are specific products geared toward fighting body acne breakouts. Dr. Thompson suggests starting with products that include benzoyl peroxide.
Normally, I favor milder benzoyl peroxide washes as stronger washes can cause more dryness and skin irritation for the face. Fortunately, the trunk tends to be less sensitive with treatment, Dr. Thompson said.
2. Try a topical retinoid
Whether a prescription agent or over-the-count adapalene gel, this is another great option for treating body acne. Products like Differin gel and Retin-A play a crucial role in the treatment of acne by regulating skin cell turnover and reducing inflammation deep in the skin to not only clear but prevent future pimples.
3. Remember sun protection
4. Develop good workout habits
Its great to put in the time for workouts, but dont hang out too long in your sweaty clothes. Make sure you shower and change clothes right after working outor doing anything that gets you sweaty.
5. Resist the urge to pop, pick or scrub acne
6. Modify your diet
How To Get Rid Of Chest Acne Caused By Shaving Your Face
Some people are surprised that they can get chest acne from shaving just their face, but when shaving cream drips down the neck all the way to the chest, it can cause skin irritation due to the hair trimmings, facial bacteria, and chemicals in the shaving cream. The irritation can cause skin to produce more sebum, which can clog pores and lead to acne, and the facial bacteria that causes acne can travel down to the chest and cause acne there as well.
One way to avoid getting chest acne after shaving is to use a shaving cream that has as few chemicals in it as possible. No fragrances, no moisturizers, you just need something to protect your skin from the razor. All of those additives can irritate the skin of your chest and cause more acne. In addition to using the plainest shaving cream you can find, it helps if you rinse your chest right after shaving, when you rinse your neck.
An alternative option would be to buy a shaving gel instead of cream and shave in the shower. The gel is generally better for sensitive skin and doesnt contain the pore-clogging chemicals typically present in shaving creams. Shaving in the shower also ensures that the hair trimmings are thoroughly washed away instead of getting stuck in your chest pores.
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