Let’s face it: acne anywhere on your body can be frustrating. Certain skin types are more prone to breakouts, and especially when exposed to bacteria, oil, sweat, and inflammation. Then, with the hotter months approaching, sweat, humidity, and sunscreen formulations can clog pores and worsen the problem. Body acne in particular can be difficult to treat (anyone else struggling with back acne?), but this is especially true of the chest area. The skin there is thinner than other parts of the body, meaning traditional in-office and topical treatments can be too harsh.
So how to get rid of acne on the chest? And more importantly, how can you prevent it from coming back? For answers, we asked dermatologists Kenneth Mark, MD, Paul Jarrod Frank, MD, Luigi L. Polla, MD, and Dendy Engelman, MD. Keep reading for everything you need to know about how to treat this tough area.
What causes acne on the chest?
In short: chest acne, also known as folliculitis, is a condition caused when pores become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and other debris. These clogged pores lead to inflammation and the formation of whiteheads, nodules, and cysts. Reason why you are suffering from it in this area can be the cause of many things, including genetics, hormones and your lifestyle in general.
“Chest acne can be aggravated by lifestyle habits such as consuming short-chain sugars in fast food or sugary drinks, acute or chronic stress, sun exposure,” says Dr. Polla. too much weather, too much exercise, and using too heavy a moisturizer. .
Wearing tight or tight clothing for too long after sweating after a workout or just being outside in the hot sun can also create breakouts on your chest. When you don’t shower right after, sweat can cause bacteria to build up on your skin, leading to breakouts. (Think of it like you would with a mask-ne – the material that traps moisture in the area.) “Dermatitis, the result of irritation from the friction of clothing, makes the skin vulnerable and susceptible to damage. external factors such as sweat and dirt; this can lead to Dr. Engelman said.
Types of acne on chest
“Chest acne can range in severity, from mild lesions like whiteheads or blackheads to more severe lesions like cysts, pimples, nodules, and cysts,” says Dr. Polla. papules”. More severe chest acne with deep lesions such as cysts and inflammatory nodules can leave deep scars and hypertrophic or hypertrophic scars. “The [toughest] type [to treat] cystic acne because this is the type of acne that has the biggest damage, is the most annoying, and has the highest risk of scarring,” says Dr.
In general, there are five main types of chest acne:
- Apules: superficial inflammatory lesions on the skin.
- Pustules: commonly known as boils, these inflammatory lesions are filled with pus and are often white or yellow (these are the pimples we try to “pop” out).
- Cyst: A lesion that forms when a pore bursts beneath the skin, causing inflammation to spill over into surrounding tissues. Then, cysts form around it to stop the inflammation from spreading. These inflammatory lesions – often formed by extreme stress and an underlying hormonal imbalance – can persist for a long time and cause scarring.
- Open comedones: clogged hair follicles open (exposed to air) and turn black, also known as blackheads.
- Closed blackheads: clogged pores, closed and white or yellowish in color, also known as whiteheads.
How to treat chest acne?
When chest acne isn’t severe, making small lifestyle changes can help reduce breakouts: shower after exercise, wear breathable clothing, and use a topical cream. You may like to run errands or eat after sweating, which could be the root cause of chest acne. When sweat remains on the skin for a long time, it will clog pores and cause acne to develop. Therefore, rinsing off after a workout will lead to significant improvements.
“To deep clean pores and prevent congestion, use a cleanser that contains salicylic acid and make sure to wash it thoroughly at least once per day,” says Dr. Engelman. Salicylic acids will both treat existing acne and be more effective at preventing breakouts because they exfoliate, clear, and promote cell turnover. With tight clothing, friction when rubbing against the chest can cause skin irritation, prone to clogging and acne.
Although topical products can reduce inflammation and bacteria, Dr. Mark says they come with a caveat. “The problem with any topical product, even when prescribed, is how to effectively cover a large surface area. The point is to try and treat each lesion topically. gels; therefore, I prefer washes that can be used in the shower and rinsed off. off after a few minutes.”
Then consider the food you are eating. Fill your plate with more vegetables, fruits and omega-3 fatty acids. “A low-sugar diet is key,” says Dr. Polla. “Avoid spicy foods, beer and most alcohol.”
And most importantly, no matter what you do, do not arbitrarily squeeze or squeeze pimples on your chest. “The skin on the chest is significantly thinner than the skin on the face, and not treating chest acne, especially cystic acne, can lead to scarring and should be evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist for oral therapy.” “, said Dr. Frank. The scabs and scars can take months to heal.
How to prevent chest acne?
Even if you have acne under control, it’s still important to prevent it. Knowing that all acne starts with a clogged pore, it’s important to clean that area to remove sebum and dead skin cells. “By removing the oily layer, one can reduce the plugs in the pores,” says Dr. Polla. “This will allow efficient drainage of sebum and bacteria, preventing them from entering the hair follicle and causing more inflammation.”
Exfoliating once or twice a week with a gentle exfoliator will remove dead skin cells that can create a buildup that clogs pores, leading to breakouts. Then, if you’ve just exercised and aren’t near the shower, bring a change of clothes and wipe your breasts with a clean washcloth.
Polla also recommends avoiding acne-causing skin care products (the ingredients that clog pores) because they can cause blackheads, as well as acne-causing ingredients (which produce or increase acne breakouts). acne), which can cause pustules. Many body lotions and shower gels are filled with perfume that may smell good but can actually irritate or clog pores. As always, when in doubt, see a dermatologist for a more in-depth treatment.