7 Common Causes of Chest Acne and How to Treat It
Pimples can pop up pretty much anywhere on the skin, from your scalp to your butt, and even your chest. Excess oil, sweat and clothing, are all things that can cause breakouts to occur on your chest. Ahead, find out how to prevent and treat chest acne.
Chest Acne Cause #1: Excessive Sweating
One of the most common reasons for chest acne is sweat that’s been lingering on the skin for prolonged periods of time, whether it be due to exercise or heat. When sweat mixes with existing dirt, toxins and oil on the skin’s surface, it can clog the pores, resulting in chest acne. It’s recommended to shower or, at the very least, rinse off within ten minutes of exercise or excessive sweating.
Chest Acne Cause #2: A Reaction to Synthetic Materials or Fabrics
Ill-fitting clothing or clothing made of irritating materials can lead to acne, especially if the skin is particularly sensitive. Acne mechanica it is the result of materials or objects touching your skin and causing a breakout. The skin condition can also be aggravated by moisture, so if you’re sweating while wearing clothing that doesn’t breathe, you’ll be more prone to breakouts. Similarly, your chest acne could be the result of an allergic reaction to a new detergent or cleaning product used on your clothing or sheets. When in doubt, consult a dermatologist.
Chest Acne Cause #3: Hormonal Changes
Any major hormonal changes (think: puberty, periods and pregnancy) or fluctuations in the body can send our oil-producing sebaceous glands into overdrive. This can clog pores and potentially lead to chest pimples. If you’re noticing changes in your hormones, talk to a doctor.
Chest Acne Cause #4: Touching Your Chest
We’ve heard it over and over again: Don’t touch your skin! Our fingertips are covered in oil and bacteria which can transfer onto our chest if we touch it too often. If you apply any skin-care products to your chest with your hands, make sure you wash them first. Always check the formulas of any products you use on your skin to ensure they are free of irritating ingredients.
Chest Acne Cause #5: Hypersecretion of Oil
When your skin is dry, whether due to whipping winds, cooler temperatures or prolonged sun exposure, it can cause your skin to produce excess oil in order to compensate for the loss of moisture. When excess oil mixes with dead skin cells, bacteria, dirt and debris, it can cause acne. That’s why it’s important not to forget to apply products on your neck and chest when applying your morning and nighttime skin-care routines.
Chest Acne Cause #6: Genetics
In 2017, dermatologists from the University Hospital of Zurich and the Division of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at King’s College conducted a global study that sought to shed some light on the link between genes and acne. They found that there were certain irregularities in types of genes that could cause increased chances of getting acne. If your parents have a history of struggling with acne, whether on the chest or elsewhere, you may be more likely to experience the same skin-care problem.
Chest Acne Cause #7: Your Skin-Care and Makeup Products
The same way your skin can react to certain fabrics or detergents, beauty products can also cause breakouts. Depending on their ingredients, some products have a higher likelihood of clogging pores and causing breakouts than others. When shopping for new body lotions, moisturizers or concealers, check the label for any one of these keywords: non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, oil-free and “won’t clog pores.”
Triggers That May Worsen Your Chest Acne
Now that you’re aware of the factors that can cause chest acne, here are some of the factors that can make existing body blemishes worse.
Do you ever notice pimples popping up in times of high stress? That’s not a coincidence. According to New York-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, “Stress can promote inflammation and lead to a variety of different skin conditions including acne.” What’s more, “stress can lead to an increase in hormone levels that cause oil glands to rev up production of pore-clogging sebum, which can cause breakouts.” If you notice your skin is acting up as a result of stress, Dr. Zeichner suggests using products formulated with a BHA like salicylic acid. “Beta hydroxy acids help exfoliate dead cells from the surface of the skin as well as remove excess oil, which can help prevent breakouts.”
How Reduce the Appearance of Chest Acne
Eager to eliminate your chest acne? Board-certified dermatologist Lisa Ginn, MD, likes to use topical products formulated with sulfur to address acne, in addition to other acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. We recommend the CeraVe Salicylic Acid Body Wash for Rough and Bumpy Skin.