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Trying to Get Rid of Chest Acne? Here Are 6 Possible Causes and 5 Ways to Finally Get Rid of It

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Acne is an unwelcome party guest on pretty much any part of the body. It’s also something that nearly everyone has had to deal with at some point in their lives. Chest acne is just one common occurrence of acne.

Acne can form on the face, check, back, chest, arms, you name it.

Chest acne might appear as blackheads, whiteheads, or cystic acne. It might ruin your ideas of going on a run shirtless or it might kill your low-cut busty dress dreams.

In this article, we outline why chest acne might happen, and how to get rid of the pesky acne once and for all.

6 common reasons why chest acne might pop up.

Chest acne is similar to facial acne, as it can be caused by many many different things.

#1 If your breakouts are new, check your laundry detergent

If chest acne has recently popped up out of nowhere, it’s worth looking into the type of laundry detergent you are using. It’s possible you are having a reaction to a chemical in your detergent. Sometimes, dyes and perfumes in detergents can be very irritating to the skin.

To find out if your detergent is the culprit, switch to a detergent that is listed as “hypoallergenic” and give this switch a few weeks to see a change in the state of the breakout.

#2 Exercise might be the cause

Excessive sweating and friction in tight-fitting workout clothing? That could cause some unwanted body acne.

Try working out in looser clothes to avoid clothing friction. If you’re a woman, try working out with some of your chest exposed rather than in high neck athletic shirts. (We know, that’s a tall order for some, but it just might relieve your chest acne issues.)Make sure to shower more frequently when working out.

#3 Body lotions might be the issue

Body lotions or oils might be clogging your pores, causing a breakout. We often slather ourselves down with moisturizing lotions right after a shower, to keep our skin smooth and hydrated.

But, its possible you are using a comedogenic lotion. Comedogenic means “pore-blocking”. While this “pore-blocking” can increase hydration by trapping moisture, it can also clog your pores resulting in infection (an acne breakout).

Check the label of your body lotion, if it does not state “non-comedogenic” then it’s likely a comedogenic product.

To test if this is the cause, try using jojoba oil as your moisturizer. It is a non-comedogenic hydrating oil. Or, search online for a “non-comedogenic lotion or body oil”.

Give this new product a few weeks to begin helping with your breakout. (While you start this switch, begin an acne body wash, we’ll talk about that later.)

#4 Perfume

Often, when we put on cologne or perfume, we aim the spray at our chests. A lot of perfumes are alcohol-based and have synthetic fragrances. While this is not irritating for all people (or all perfumes), your current perfume might be the culprit to your chest acne.

Try taking a break from any perfume, colognes, or aftershaves, or at least keep the application away from your chest area.

#5 Hormonal fluctuations

Any hormonal changes can really affect your skin. While we might think hormonal acne is only for the pubescent, hormonal acne is very common, especially among women. It’s estimated that half of women ages 20 to 29 have acne.

Acne can be caused by hormonal changes due to menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and hormone-related illnesses. Hormonal changes also can exacerbate problems with oil production, skin inflammation, and the production of acne-causing bacteria.

If you believe your hormones might be shifting, you might consider seeing your primary care doctor to try to pinpoint what is fluctuating. Some hormonal changes are totally normal while others can be extreme, unwarranted, or a sign of something else going on.

If you deal with hormonal spots during PMS or menstruation, it might be worth kicking your skin routine up a notch during the PMS and menstruation week of your cycle.

#6 Diet and hydration

Our diet and level of hydration have a direct effect on our skin. What we put into our bodies can sometimes be reflected on our skin as well as our waist size.

Dehydration has been linked to causing acne. When you are dehydrated your skin is more likely to become dry and flakey. This can cause the body to react with producing more sebum, and the dead flakey skin cells can get trapped and clog and infect your pores.

Try eating a cleaner diet, reducing sugars, and increasing your water intake to help keep your skin clearer overall.

5 ways to get rid of chest acne

Try a benzoyl peroxide-based body wash

Start the fight against chest acne by adding an acne-fighting body wash to your shower routine. Try one with benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide has been proven to help reduce acne by fighting bacteria and reducing skin inflammation.

Use an anti-acne body wash on your chest, back, and anywhere you see acne.

Do not use this on delicate areas as this could potentially be irritating to sensitive skin.

Give this product 4-6 weeks to reduce the appearance of acne. Unfortunately, there is no overnight fix. Stay as consistent as possible.

Exfoliate once a week

Exfoliation is very important for the health of our skin. It is also an important aspect of keeping angry clogged pores at bay.

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. This can be done with a physical exfoliation or a chemical exfoliation.

Make sure to gently exfoliate your chest once to twice a week.

But, do not over-exfoliate, as this can actually have an adverse effect. Be gentle, and do not do this every day.

Don’t pick or pop your pimples

We know it’s tempting to start squeezing your pimples in an effort to get them over with faster, but this can backfire. When you squeeze a pimple, you cause some real trauma to the skin. Likely, you did not speed up the healing process and you might cause scarring or hyperpigmentation.

Try your best to not pop your pimples. When you are chest acne-free, with no hyperpigmentation scars, you’ll be happy you did not pick or pop your acne.

Spot treat

Try spot treating just like you would on a facial pimple. Use benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid spot treatments. A benefit of chest acne over facial acne is you can sport your spot treatment under your clothes and no one will see your little mound of acne-fighting treatment.

Sunscreen to protect PIH

Some breakouts, no matter where they occur on the body, might result in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) marks. These marks are flat discolorations where the pimple used to be before it healed. To ensure these little spots don’t become permanent or darker, make sure to use SPF 30 or higher to protect from the sun.

Bottom line

Chest acne can occur for many reasons. If you are dealing with a new case of chest acne take a good hard look at detergents, perfumes, lotions, and clothing friction. You might need to increase your vegetable intake and decrease sugar. Maybe a bit of hydration is all you need to help keep everything more clear.

In any case, these tips of getting rid of chest acne can serve you well in getting rid of any chest acne breakouts.

If your acne is persistent, speak with your doctor about possible causes and further treatments.

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