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 on your chest. Excess oil, sweat and clothing are just a few of the things that can cause breakouts to occur on this area of the body. Here, we’re breaking down seven potential causes of chest acne and explaining how to treat it.
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.
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 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.
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.
Touching Your Chest
We’ve heard it over and over again: Don’t touch your skin! Our fingertips are covered in oil and bacteria that can transfer onto the chest. If you apply any skincare products to your chest with your hands, make sure you wash them first.
Hypersecretion of Oil
When your skin is dry, whether because of wind, cool 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 hydrating products on your neck and chest when applying your morning and nighttime skincare routines.
There are certain irregularities in types of genes that can cause an increased chance in 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 skincare issue.
Your Skincare 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, look for ones with any of these keywords on the label: non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, oil-free and “won’t clog pores.”
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.
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn