If you have facial acne, chances are that other areas of your skin are also prone to this inflammatory condition.
To get rid of chest acne, much like regular facial acne, you need to keep the area clean as much as possible and apply topical treatments such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids.
But besides treating the area topically, you also need to discover what’s triggering your chest acne so that you can eliminate it and prevent future breakouts.
In this article, I will talk about potential triggers and how to eliminate them as well as give you a list of products that can help you get rid of chest acne.
5 Things That Cause Chest Acne
Below, I will list five common things that are likely to cause chest acne:
Every acne type no matter how mild and non-inflammatory starts as a clogged pore.
Our pores get clogged when there’s excess sebum being produced by the sebaceous glands which then gets stuck inside the pore and can’t travel up to the surface of the skin.
The immune system then recognizes this clog as an intruder and it sends its soldiers (white blood cells) to fight it. This results in inflammation that appears as acne on the skin.
The white stuff that leaks out when you squeeze a pimple consists of sebum, dead skin cells that haven’t shed properly due to the clog, and white blood cells.
To treat acne, you need to start by using products that’ll help clean out the gunk inside the pores.
Hormones can stimulate sebaceous activity, which means they can influence how much oil the sebaceous glands produce.
A hormone that’s known to cause chest acne due to stimulating sebaceous overactivity is the hormone dihydrotestosterone, which belongs to the male group of hormones known as androgens.
These are present in both men and women, however, when the levels are out of whack (usually something caused by eating a bad diet, a prolonged period of stress, bad digestion, etc.) they start to cause issues in the system that will eventually show on the skin.
Fabric softeners contain waxy particles that remain on your clothes after washing, however, these can irritate the skin and can potentially exacerbate body acne.
Heavy creams, body oils, and moisturizers can also contribute to clogging and more inflammation, essentially making body acne worse.
I would suggest you to stop using them all over your body because I find them to be the main cause of back acne as well as pustular and painful pimples on my legs and lower back.
It’s best to give your skin a rest from clogging ingredients and see whether the inflammation improves after several weeks.
Doing this alone will give you the best answer on what could’ve potentially caused or worsened the inflammation.
The name folliculitis is given to a group of skin conditions in which there are inflamed hair follicles.
Although facial acne and its variants are considered types of folliculitis, these two are not the same conditions.
The most prominent characteristics of folliculitis are a tender red spot, sometimes with a surface pustule and symptoms include mild to moderate itchiness.
Folliculitis may be superficial or deep. It can affect any area where there is hair growth, including the chest, back, buttocks, thighs, arms, and legs.
RELATED: How to get rid of butt acne?
How To Get Rid Of Acne On The Chest?
Getting rid of acne on the chest may sound super complicated. I’m not gonna lie, the process can last long, but the good news is that it’s not a complicated one.
All you need is a bit of patience and good care. Here are five easy ways that help you get rid of acne on the chest:
Apply warm compress
Wet a washcloth with warm but not too hot water and gently press the damp cloth over the area on your chest that’s having an acne outbreak.
Not only will this be incredibly soothing, but it will also help soften the bumpy area and prep the skin for further treatment (which is listed below).
Use gentle exfoliating acids such as glycolic, mandelic, and salicylic acid to unclog the pores by dissolving the bacteria but also soothe inflammation.
You can use these exfoliating acids in the form of cleansers and wash the affected area or you can also use them in leave-on products such as exfoliating solutions and lightweight creams.
On the other hand, avoid any type of physical exfoliation such as loofah, brushes, or abrasive scrubs as these are not helpful.
Anything abrasive can rupture the bump and cause pus and bacteria to spread and affect the surrounding area.
Avoid wearing tight clothing
Wearing tight clothing especially during the summer season can contribute to acne formation due to excess sweating and follicle inflammation from constant rubbing.
The summer season is, unfortunately, the time when acne on the body is incredibly just because of sweating.
Which is sad because it’s also the season of not having to wear heavy clothing, but you have to figure out what’s causing you an issue and maintain it properly.
This is not to say that you are not showering enough or that you aren’t clean, however, showering more frequently, especially during the summer season is recommended for people who are prone to body acne.
The chest is an exceptionally sweaty area for both men and women, and unfortunately, sweat can exacerbate the body acne issue for many people that are prone to it.
Showering at least once or even twice a day is a good way to maintain the area clean and dry. You don’t even have to use shower gels, just a quick rinse with water can significantly improve the issue.
Blot your chest
If you don’t have the chance to shower once or twice a day, you can try to keep the chest area clean and dry by using dry wipes to blot away excess sweat.
Avoid using wet wipes to blot as these are notorious for their high alcohol and fragrance content which can potentially irritate the skin and exacerbate the inflammation.
Opt for dry wipes, kitchen roll, or even toilet paper is just fine.
6 Products To Treat Chest Acne
Below, you will find six products that will help you treat chest acne. I will list two cleansers, two leave-on treatments, and two products that will help fade the scars left from chest acne.
I don’t recommend using all these products together, so I encourage you to make clever choices.
Getting rid of acne will definitely take some time and being patient pays off more than rushing in and risking further skin irritations.
Additionally, once the condition has cleared from the suggested treatments, you should then start looking into treatments for the remaining scars.
Don’t try to treat everything at once as this can result in nothing but a disaster on the skin.
This is a gentle cream cleanser by CeraVe that contains a good concentration of benzoyl peroxide to help moderate and even severe acne anywhere on the face and body.
Benzoyl peroxide is a great antibacterial agent, however, it can be excessively drying and irritating for the skin so having it in lower concentrations is always a better option. It will still do the job but minimize the risk of side effects.
Still, benzoyl peroxide shouldn’t be used daily due to potential irritation, so try to use this as a treatment no more than 2-3 times a week.
La Roche Posay – Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser – $15
This is another gel cleanser that you can use to get rid of body acne. It contains salicylic acid which is a gentle exfoliating acid that cuts through the superficial skin oil and cleanses the pores from the inside out.
Although intended for acne-prone skin, I would not recommend this cleanser for facial acne because it contains menthol which is an ingredient that can not only dry out the skin but it can severely irritate it with frequent use.
You can use this cleanser on your full body or just in the areas of inflammation daily if you wish to, however, it’s best to use anything that contains exfoliating acids no more than a few times a week.
Adapalene 0.1% – Differin Gel
Adapalene is an over-the-counter retinoid that’s incredibly effective in treating both non-inflammatory acne such as blackheads and inflammatory acne such as pustules, papules, and cysts.
Although this particular brand is marketed as a facial product, it can be used in other areas where there’s acne, however, the downside of it is that the package is small.
The good thing about this though is that you will only be using a little bit to cover the pimples with a very thin layer of the product to ease the initial irritation that comes with starting retinoids.
You should start by using this no more than two times a week and very slowly (over the span of a few months) build up to more frequent usage.
Once you start using retinoids, you should expect a moderate purge and you should always protect the area with sunscreen in the morning.
Paula’s Choice – Acne Body Spray – $25
This is an incredible body treatment that contains salicylic acid as well as other antioxidants that will nourish the skin and help soothe the redness around the affected area.
It also comes in a convenient spray bottle and it can be used on any body part where you have inflammatory and even cystic acne.
Avoid spraying this product directly onto your face because you may inhale its contents.
The Ordinary – Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution – $16
This will be a great and affordable option to treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which usually appears as dark spots once acne has healed.
It’s more prominent in darker skin tones and is generally easy to treat with the right product.
Avoid combining this product with other exfoliating acids, retinoids, and benzoyl peroxide as severe irritation may occur.
Versed – Weekend Glow Brightening Solution – $18
This solution is a good option for both light skin and dark skin tones to clear acne scars.
It contains skin-lightening agents such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, kojic acid, and niacinamide to even out the skin tone and fade hyperpigmentation but it also contains azelaic acid which is an ingredient most famous for being able to improve post-inflammatory redness which is more prominent in light skin tones.
As I already mentioned above, avoid combining this product with other exfoliating acids, retinoids, and benzoyl peroxide as severe irritation may occur.
Chest Acne FAQs:
Below, I will answer a couple of the most frequently asked questions regarding chest acne:
How To Get Rid Of Chest Acne Scars?
Chest acne scars usually appear as dark, brownish, or purple spots or patches and while they usually fade on their own after some time, you can speed up the process and get rid of them by using exfoliating lotions and products that contain lightening agents such as niacinamide, hydroquinone, kojic acid, azelaic acid, etc.
How To Prevent Chest Acne?
Avoiding fabric softeners, wearing loose clothing during the summer months, blotting excess sweat, keeping the area dry, applying a warm compress to soften the skin, regular exfoliation with gentle acids, antibacterial agents such as benzoyl peroxide, and frequent showering are all efficient ways that will help you prevent butt acne.
Thanks for stopping by! My name is Simone and I am a certified skin specialist. I created this website to teach my readers how to take great care of their skin and I also like to occasionally share my honest opinions on skincare products I’ve tried. You can learn more about me here.