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We have all heard of acne. This is a condition which we most likely hear about affecting the facial area, and causing distress and soreness to the person suffering from it. Whilst facial acne will always be the most prominent type of the condition, did you know that you can get acne on your chest also?
Around 15% of acne sufferers complain of developing chest acne, but it’s also entirely possible to only have acne on your chest, and nowhere else.
This can be a problematic issue no matter what the time of year, because in summer you will want to show off some skin and grab a tan, but in the winter time also, especially around the holiday season, you may want to wear outfits that are a little more revealing.
Either way, body acne (acne on your back or chest area) is not something you will generally feel comfortable about showing off.
Whilst it can be upsetting and annoying, the good news is that you can easily treat chest acne, and rid yourself of this problematic issue for good.
First things first however, we need to find out a little bit more about it, in order to truly understand what it is and what causes it.
What is Chest Acne?
You will know that when someone suffers from acne on their face, they have visible pimples and spots which can be anywhere from small to large, open to scarred, angry to simply just ‘there’.
Acne has a huge scale, so one minute it can lay dormant, and the next it can flare up and cause large red pustules which ooze rather unpleasant material, and cause itching and soreness.
Acne isn’t a picnic, quite frankly. When the acne calms down, it can also leave behind scars which can take a lot of treatment to fade or go away completely.
Now, whilst we all know about that facial type, the chest acne type isn’t really understood quite so well. This is because not everyone knows you can actually get acne on your chest.
Basically, your chest has a large amount of glands running through it, and these are sebaceous glands. These are the same types of glands that you have on your face, and become inflamed when an acne outbreak occurs.
These glands produce a substance called sebum, which helps to keep your skin moisturised and elastic. In the case of acne, these can glands go a little OTT with the sebum production, and the skin pores can’t cope with it.
This causes them to become clogged up and blocked with all manner of nasties, including dead skin cells and bacteria. Your pores can’t do their job basically, and this is what causes the acne symptoms to appear.
Chest acne has the appearance of pimples on the skin, and these can be either large or small, and they can be in clusters or dotted randomly across the area. How red these are depends entirely on the break out, and a few other irritant factors, such as the clothes you wear, or whether you scratch or pick at them.
This is never to be advised, because this is what causes those scars we were talking about earlier. The upsetting thing about chest acne however is that it is in quite a visible area, so it is on par with acne on the face in terms of how distressing it can be to a sufferer.
The good news? You don’t have to keep running for the cover ups and sweating when you don’t want to, there are many ways you can get rid of acne and keep it at bay afterwards. This guide is going to show you how to do that, but firstly, let’s talk about what actually causes chest acne in the first place.
The Causes of Chest Acne
The reasons why some people suffer from chest acne and others don’t are totally random. This is because it can be down to genetics, it can simply be down to your body having a moment, it can be hormones, excessive sweating, or it can be as easy as going through a spell of wearing tight fitting clothes regularly, which don’t allow your skin to breathe as well as it should.
If you’re one of the unlucky ones who was selected at random to suffer from acne, the good news is that we’re soon going to get onto talking about the treatments available and what you can do yourself.
Chest acne can affect both men and women, but some women find that they may experience a break out of chest acne around their breasts right before their period begins, and this is down to a hormonal issue and imbalance.
It can also be caused by an ill-fitting bra, which rubs around the chest area and stops the skin from getting the fresh air it needs. This can actually cause a blockage of those pores we mentioned earlier, and be a breeding ground for acne to begin. For men, shaving the chest area can be an ‘in’ for chest acne to begin developing also.
If you go to the gym and wear those tight fitting clothes, you are going to be sweating whilst you’re working out, but not allowing the perspiration to leave your body effectively. This can cause a blockage in the pores and again, acne may find its way in.
If you find that a few of your family members suffer from acne, or have done in the past, you may also find yourself at a higher risk too.
Whilst genetics aren’t a 100% factor for someone to develop acne on some part of their body, it does mean that there a predisposition in that person, and whether it actually comes to fruition or not is down to chance.
How to Get Rid of Chest Acne
Now we know all about chest acne and what causes it, let’s get onto the practical side of things and discuss how to combat it and hit it where it hurts!
The treatment of chest acne is basically a mixture of self-care techniques, and the possible addition of products, to speed up and help the process along. Good skin care is the best starting point, so hygiene is vital. Of course, we’re sure you know that already, but a few extra tips might be all you need to help you on your way. There might be some things you’re doing which could contribute to your chest acne problem, and you may be totally unaware of it. This is often the case with many skin problems, so education and awareness is key in prevention and cure.
- Develop a Daily Skin Care Routine
Whether you have a breakout at that moment or not, make it a habit to wash your chest area twice per day, once in the morning and again at night. Use a gentle exfoliating skincare product, to exfoliate and cleanse the area, and avoid blockages in your pores. We’ll cover some of those products in our next section. If you can install this regime into your day religiously, you will drastically cut down the chances of a breakout occurring.
- Wear Breathable Fabrics When Working Out
Tight clothes and perspiration are a breeding ground for acne, so when you are exercising, make sure you wear breathable fabrics, and loose fitting if at all possible. Fabrics like polyester are a big no no, as they are synthetic and can cause you to sweat even more; also avoid those ‘sweat suits’ we hear so much about, because they do nothing but trap sweat close to your skin, whilst also causing rubbing and irritation. Women should also steer clear of cotton bras.
After you have finished your workout, jump in the shower to get the sweat off your skin.
- What Shampoo do You Use?
You might think this is ridiculous, because we’re not talking about scalp acne here, but when you wash your hair, do the suds remain only on your head? Of course not, they run down your body! There are certain shampoos that contain ingredients that are known to increase the chances of you developing acne, by blocking your pores. It might be a good idea to switch your shampoo and see if you notice a difference.
- Think About Changing Your Detergent Too
If you use a detergent that is fragranced, it may be drying out your skin. The problem is, when your skin is dry, it is encouraged to produce more sebum, to give extra hydration. This sebum can sometimes be too much, and as we know, it begins the pore clogging cycle once more. Switch your detergent to a non-fragranced type and see if you notice a change too.
- Watch Out When Shaving Your Chest
Guys, if you shave your chest, you may notice that you have breakouts soon afterwards. This is because when the hair follicle grows back, it can cause small red bumps, which are a form of acne. You can prevent this by being extra careful and always use a new razor whenever you shave your chest.
Five of The Best Chest Acne Treatments to Try
We mentioned products earlier, which help you rid yourself of this chest acne problem.
Products which contain salicylic acid are ideal, because not only is this naturally occurring with the body anyway, but it can help exfoliate and unblock those skin cells, and wash out the bacteria which is causing the break out in the first place.
The other plus point of products such as these is that they exfoliate gently, meaning you don’t have to scrub away at your chest and cause further redness and irritation – it’s all done very naturally and very gently.
There are many acne treatment products on the market, and some are certainly better than others. Try these five out for size, and see if you notice an improvement in your symptoms.
#5 Tree Activ Acne Eliminating Body Spray
This product is ideal for all types of acne, so whether you’re experiencing acne just on your chest it’s great, but if it’s spreading to your back perhaps, you can use it for that too. You basically spray it on and it does its magic, containing a mixture of aloe, witch hazel, salicylic acid, mint, menthol, and tree oil.
#4 Vi-Tae Organic Acne Treatment Soap
If you’re not a fan of sprays or lotions, and you simply prefer to do your bathing thing in the most traditional of ways, this organic soap is ideal for you. It also contains a huge 85% of organic products, which is the most a bar of soap actually can contain.
#3 pHisoderm Anti-Blemish Body Wash
Another body wash product that gently exfoliates and cleanses, but this one is ideal for anyone who’s skin pH is a little too alkaline. When this happens, you become much more prone to blemishes and breakouts, which could turn towards acne. This product basically works to put your pH back to where it should be.
#2 Murad Acne Body Wash
This is an award winner, so that gives you peace of mind from the get-go. Basically this product gently exfoliates your skin, to get rid of dead skin cells and unclog pores, whilst washing away and cleaning the area afterwards. Double whammy!
#1 Panoxyl Max Strength Acne Foaming Wash
This is a strong product, so if you have tried everything else and nothing has worked for you, this is perhaps a good option to try. This foaming wash contains the highest amount of Benzoyl Peroxide you can get in an over the counter product, without heading to see your doctor for a prescription.
Chest acne is not something you should live with if it causes you distress, and there are many ways you can combat it, and then keep it at bay.
Many of the natural methods work wonderfully well on their own, but when you use a product specifically aimed at helping sufferers of acne also, you get a much better chance of beating the condition.