Why this happens
Although acne treatments are usually discussed for areas like the nose and chin, acne doesn’t just develop on the face. If you’re more prone to acne from risk factors such as hormones or oily skin, you may develop blemishes anywhere on your body — including your chest.
Acne develops when your pores get clogged. Pores exist around your entire body, and your chest is no exception. If you have acne-prone skin, you might see the following types of acné on your chest:
Though chest acne isn’t always as visible as pimples on your face, it can be quite a nuisance. Here are eight ways you can fight chest acne before pimples develop or help clear a breakout after pimples have formed.
- Shower regularly
If you don’t shower daily, you may develop chest acne more easily. Regular showers help remove elements that block your pores. This includes:
- dead skin cells
- oil (sebum)
To reduce your chances of chest acne, make sure you hit the shower every day. This includes colder and drier months when you may think you don’t need a shower. Use lukewarm (not hot) water for the best results. You can also consider a final rinse in cold water to help close your pores.
- Use an acne-fighting body wash
Body washes containing salicylic acid are especially helpful for chest acne. Salicylic acid is an ingredient that treats acne by drying it out.
- Exfoliate once a week
Your skin goes through a process of cell turnover, where dead skin cells emerge to the surface (epidermis) to make way for new skin cells. But dead skin cells don’t always shed on their own. They can end up staying in your pores and clogging them, leading to acne.
This is where exfoliating can help. The process helps to remove dead skin cells so they don’t clog pores and form acne. You’ll also reveal noticeably smoother skin. The key, though, is to exfoliate no more than once a week — doing this more often will irritate preexisting blemishes.
- Use a non-comedogenic body lotion
In layman’s terms, “non-comedogenic” simply means non-pore-clogging. This is important when choosing products that stay on your skin all day or night, such as body lotion.
When applied to your chest, non-comedogenic body lotion can help hydrate the skin without causing acne. Some lotions even contain small amounts of salicylic acid to get rid of preexisting breakouts. You may also want to avoid fragrances that can irritate your skin.
- Try spot treatments
Spot treatments can help chest acne breakouts by shrinking pimples and healing the underlying inflammation.
Over-the-counter (OTC) spot treatments abound, and most of these contain either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Of these two ingredients, salicylic acid is preferable because benzoyl peroxide is a notorious for bleaching clothing. There’s a risk of toxicity when salicylic acid is applied to large areas, so make sure you limit it to spot treatments when using it in the chest area.
You can also consider some of the following home and natural remedies. Before applying any remedy on your chest, try a patch test to make sure it doesn’t cause any negative reaction. Choose a small spot on your arm and wait 24 hours to see if any rash or irritation develops.