What Causes Chest Acne And How To Get Rid Of It

Acne comes in many different forms and severities. The term acne is just a broad description of when clogged pores create bumps on the skin. They're not limited to your face, either. As long as there are oil glands, pimples can develop in that area. Once you notice acne developing, you should identify it and treat it. Depending on if it's mild, moderate, or severe, it can leave scars on your skin long after the inflamed pimples have healed.

Dermatologist Yoram Harth, M.D. told Everyday Health that there are six different types of blemishes. The mild ones are whiteheads and blackheads, which can be differentiated by if the comedones are closed or open, respectively. Acne becomes moderate when pimples appear. These are papules. They turn into pustules when they are filled with pus. Nodular and cystic acne is the most severe because they grow deep in the skin. They are large, painful, and look similar to boils. The difference between the two is nodules are hard bumps, while cysts are filled with pus.

Why do you have chest acne?

Since acne can develop on any part of the body with oil glands, it's not uncommon for it to appear on your chest. There are also hair follicles in this area that can grow pimples the same way. Acne occurs when pores are clogged by foreign matter. This can be from dead skin cells, oil, or dirt. Dr. Sarah Campbell, a board-certified dermatologist, explained to Forefront Dermatology that acne grows on faces and chests similarly. If you don't care for your skin by washing it, you're also at a higher risk of getting pimples because you're leaving bacteria on it.

The most common reason for chest acne is hormones. Teenagers suffer the most from hormonal changes as they go through puberty, but even adults can get chest acne for this reason. Stress is another reason why pimples appear. Being stressed produces androgen hormones that affect acne and inflammation, according to the Mayo Clinic Health System. However, even small things like friction from tight clothing can cause chest acne. 

How to clear your skin

How you should treat your chest acne depends on how severe it is. You can clear your skin with over-the-counter products if your acne is mild or moderate. Severe breakouts will require the help of a dermatologist because they live deeper in your skin and put you at a higher risk of infection and permanent scarring.

Dr. Arathi Rana told U.S. Dermatology Partners that the first step to clearing chest acne is washing the area with an antibacterial soap. Showering after working out is necessary to prevent acne since it cleans the sweat off the skin before it has the chance to clog the pores. Next, switch your products to non-comedogenic ones. This is especially necessary for moisturizers. Then treat the breakouts with products that have benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.

Along with regularly showering, chest flareups are preventable by exfoliating the skin every week. Doing this removes the dead skin and encourages faster cell turnover. Avoiding tight clothing over the chest also helps keep acne from growing.