Acne can appear on many different areas of the body including the chest. This is particularly distressing for women who want to wear low cut tops in the summer months. This guide will help you understand why you get chest acne and list some treatment and prevention options.
Acne On Your Chest? Heres How To Get Rid Of It
An Acne breakout on your chest may not concern you as much as it does when spots appear on your face or forehead.
If you want to wear a low cut top through the hot summer months the presence of red, angry pimples on your chest can really effect your self confidence.
With many acne treatments being prepared for use on your face, nose and chin and maybe your back, the fact is that if you are prone to acne caused by hormones (1) or excessively oily skin, there is every possibility that you could see it appearing on your chest too.
Acne breakouts on the chest can take the form of:
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Here are 7 Ways That Can Help You Stop Breakouts Of Chest Acne And Treat Them When They Appear.
1. Get In The Shower Daily
Showering daily is essential in the fight against chest acne, Regular showers help to remove the dirt, bacteria, oil and bacteria that block and inflame your pores.
This should be done daily, not just in the hotter months, and also its been shown that best results are achieved when the shower is warm, but not HOT.
Also its better to finish off with cold water (Brrrr!) to close down the pores after the shower.
2. Choose A Good Acne Fighting Body Wash
Chest acne responds really well to products containing salicylic acid. Its a really effective ingredient found in some of the better ace treatments that helps to clear chest acne.
2. Use A Non-Comedogenic Body Lotion After Showering
This is absolutely crucial when selecting a skin product ( like a lotion) that is going to remain on the skin throughout the day.
‘Non Comedogenic’ generally means that the product does not block the pores.
When used on your chest, a non-comedogenic body lotion works to provide the skin with much needed hydration without doing anything that could cause acne breakouts.
You can get some lotions that contain salicylic acid that will help towards clearing any breakouts on your chest.
Just an additional point – if you are prone to chest acne, avoid any fragrances that could irritate your skin.
4. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate
Your skin follows a regular cycle of skin cell birth, death and rejuvenation. When the skin cells die, they are naturally forced towards the skins surface to make way for the new cells.
They are not however, always shed naturally, and in cases of chest acne breakouts can be caused by these dead skin cells sitting in and blocking the pores trapping dirt and the natural oil sebum, and allowing for the development of the acne causing bacteria.
Exfoliating once a week can help alleviate this problem, it removes the dead skin cells so thy cannot cause any clogging.
Your skin will also feel smoother too.
Remember though, don’t exfoliate more than once a week as if it’s done too much it can irritate the skin and even cause blemishes.
5. Use Spot Treatments
Spot treatments are a great way of treating isolated breakouts on your chest. They are usually effective at reducing inflammation, calming red irritated skin and shrinking spots and pimples.
There are some great over the counter spot treatments out there.
Many contain either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide which are both very effective at treating chest acne.
Out of the two we would recommend salicylic acid as benzoyl peroxide can be a bit too harsh on some skin, it can also bleach your clothing.
Too much salicylic acid can however be toxic to the skin, so use both with caution and limit it to just the affected areas.
If you have never used either product before, it’s recommended that you put a small amount on your skin on one small area as a patch test and leave for 24 hrs just to check for any adverse reactions before proceeding with any treatment.
There are some more natural treatments that you can use at home, here are 4 that you could try:
Tea Tree Oil
Widely used in many skin treatments, it has been shown in studies (2) that when applied at 5% strength it can actually be more effective that benzoyl peroxide.
You do have to be patient however with this and other natural products as they do tend to work slower than stronger chemical based treatments.
There is a wealth of products out there containing tea tree oil. They can be found in various forms including wipes, topical oils and gels.
You can also use it sparingly in its natural form.
Charcoal Or Mud
Masks made containing mud or charcoal can work really well when applied to the chest to clear spots and pimples.
They work by drawing out the impurities in the pores.
An added benefit is that they can help leave your skin feeling soft and smooth too.
Honey and Cinnamon
We all love them in our foods, but they are both also very good at helping to fight chest acne breakouts.
Honey in its raw state (Manuka honey is great) is good at fighting bacterial and Cinnamon has some recognised antimicrobial properties.
When used together they can reduce both the bacteria and inflammation that combine to cause acne breakouts.
To make you own remedy at home, mix a couple of tablespoons of honey with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to form a paste.
Apply to the affected area and leave for 30 minutes before rinsing off (you can also use this as an overnight spot treatment).
Change Your Laundry Detergent
Keeping clothes clean is a must when tackling chest acne.
The problem is that some detergent used when you wash your clothes can actually aggravate an acne breakout.
Avoid any products high in fragrances, dyes or in fact anything that could irritate your skin and cause a breakout.
6. Avoid Tight Clothes Or Those That Do Not Breathe
It’s well documented that clothes that do not allow your skin to breathe or are too tight can can irritate the skin by making the wearers sweat and trap dirt and bacteria in the pores.
Nylon, Wool and material like spandex look great but are the main culprits.
Choose clothes made from breathable fabrics or even better, simple cotton.
7. Drink Plenty Of Water
What ever you do from the outside, you also need to take care of your skin from within.
That means that you have to avoid any foods that can trigger breakouts, and instead try and fill your diet with foods that can help reduce breakouts and drink plenty of water to keep your skin fully hydrated, and looking plump.
Not only that it helps to flush out any toxins that can cause skin irritation.
Also, aim to drink 8 glasses of water per day and avoid high sugar drinks such as sodas.
Remember This When Treating Chest Acne
Most acne treatments can take around 8-10 weeks to get to work, this is because the skin follows a natural renewal cycle.
So if you don’t see your spots clear up quickly, do not panic, it’s quite natural for treatments to take a while to work.
Naturally, if you have been using products for 3 months or so and are still experiencing serious skin problems it might be time to consult a skin specialist.
Dermatologists can help advice on other treatments for chest acne.
They might prescribe antibiotics or even the birth control pill for women with persistent chest acne