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Acne is perhaps the most universally disliked of all skin conditions, and for good reason. Patients often complain about the irritating or painful red bumps that appear on their skin, wherever they pop up. For many patients, this includes acne on the back, neck, and chest.  Though facial acne is by far the most common concern, chest acne can create real discomfort for many of our patients, particularly when humidity and sweat clog pores on the chest in the summertime, creating undesired pimples right in time for swimsuit season.

Though chest acne can be a frustrating experience for many, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green is here to help. Dr. Michele Green is an internationally renowned expert in treating stubborn acne, and has over 25 years of experience in dermatology. In her NYC office, she offers individualized treatment options for patients with even the most severe cases of acne.

What is Chest Acne?

Chest acne is typically a variety of acne vulgaris, also known as traditional acne. Acne is caused by a build-up of sebum (or oil) production on the skin. When excess oil combines with debris, it can clog our follicles, leaving us with a swollen, irritated bump. Chest acne, just like facial acne, can appear in a variety of forms, including blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts.

When to See your Dermatologist for Chest Acne?

If you suffer from continuous chest acne, or begin to see scarring develop due to your acne breakouts on the chest, we recommend meeting with Dr. Green for an evaluation. Many times, patients try to treat their acne or acne scarring with over-the-counter treatments, and are unable to control their breakouts. When you work with Dr. Green, she’ll be able to assess your current skin condition to determine which acne treatments will be best for you, and can work with you to make sure that your active acne is controlled, and that your acne scars are safely and effectively treated.

Is Chest Acne Normal?

Acne is a common skin condition that can largely be attributed to one’s genetics. Some patients are simply more prone to blemishes than others due to their skin’s natural oil production. Additionally, pimples or zits can develop wherever a excess oil production occurs, including on the chest. Chest acne is normal and usually develops in the same way as acne on the face or elsewhere on the body.

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How to Prevent Chest Pimples and Acne Scars on your Chest

The best way to prevent chest pimples and acne scars on your chest is to engage with a daily skincare regiment that cleans, exfoliates, and treats your active acne breakouts. Gentle cleansers, non-comedogenic moisturizers, and topical acne treatments can all effectively control and prevent further acne breakouts. Additionally, simple changes in daily routine and lifestyle, like wearing more breathable fabrics and showering immediately after exercise, can radically reduce the development of acne on the chest. The best way to prevent acne scars on the chest is to avoid popping your zits and to contain your active acne breakouts through doctor-recommended skincare products. If you’re struggling with acne and acne scars on the chest, we recommend contacting Dr. Green to develop a treatment plan that will prevent further breakouts and safely treat acne scars.

Why am I getting chest acne?

If you are wondering why you have chest acne, it could be as simple as the exercise clothes you’ve been wearing, or a recent increase of stress. For many patients, minor changes in daily routine or lifestyle habits can make a world of diference in terms of the appearance of chest acne.

What are the causes of Chest Acne?

There are a variety of factors that can lead to the appearance of chest acne. A common factor is wearing tight-fitting clothing, as non-breathable fabrics can irritate the skin. Additionally, using dirty sheets or towels can clog pores and trap bacteria near the hair follicles. For this reason, it’s important to keep clothes, sheets, and towels clean to prevent acne breakouts. Also, showering at least once a day–especially after exercising–as well as maintaining a daily skincare routine, can help keep acne-causing bacteria at bay.

Which hormones causes chest acne?

For some patients, factors like diet and stress can impact hormone levels and cause the onset of adult chest acne. Diets rich in sugary, greasy, and fatty foods raise blood sugar, which can trigger hormones that boost the body’s sebum production, ultimately causing pimples to form. Increased amounts of stress can also influence breakouts in the chest area. Stress causes the production of hormones called androgens. Androgens cause enlargement and hyperactivity of sebum glands in the skin, leading to increased sebum production that can clog pores and cause pimples, nodules, cysts, whiteheads and blackheads.

Thankfully, small lifestyle adjustments can often help improve the appearance of your chest acne. Reducing your intake of processed foods, drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and managing daily stress can all help to keep your chest acne under control.

Why am I getting chest acne in my 30’s?

Most people think that acne is a part of being an awkward teenager, and don’t realize that acne in fact is a common part of adulthood for many–in fact, in a recent study, 85% of females and 15% of males struggled with adult acne.  Adult acne can be triggered by a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors. Though it’s frustrating, adult acne anywhere on the body can be successfully treated through topical treatments, a steady skincare routine, oral medications, in-office treatments, or a combination of any of the above.

What is the Best Acne Treatment for Chest Acne?

To effectively eliminate body acne and achieve clear, beautiful skin, Dr. Green recommends a unique combination of the best acne-fighting skincare products, in-office treatments, medications, and lifestyle modifications. During your consultation, you’ll discuss your medical history, be physically evaluated, and potentially have bloodwork done to understand the root cause of your acne. Oral antibiotics, topical medications, Accutane, or hormonal treatment such as spironolactone or birth control pills may be recommended in addition to procedures like laser treatment. If you suffer from persistent chest acne, Dr. Green can also order bloodwork to assess your hormone production and determine if levels are abnormal or contributing to your breakouts.

How to clear Back and Chest Acne through Skin Care

Having a skincare routine that caters to your specific skin concerns can help control breakouts. It’s important to think about the following products when it comes to controlling chest acne:

Use Non-Comedogenic Body Lotions

Using an oil-free, moisturizing body lotion is important skincare steps in acne treatment for the chest area. Non-comedogenic means that these moisturizers won’t clog your pores, which can be a great way to prevent the development of zits. Lotions that have restorative active ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid or lactic acid, can also be a great way to boost cell turnover and heal the skin. Over-the-counter brands like Cerave, Cetaphil, and Neutrogena are often recommended options. You can also check out MGSKINLABS Ultimately Sheer Hydrating Lotion, which is a lightweight moisturizer designed for acne-prone skin.

hyrdrating lotion MG

Acne Fighting Body Washes

If you’re considering an over-the-counter body wash or spot treatment, it’s best to find one that contains acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Ingredients like these help to unclog pores by targeting the bacteria and sebum that cause acne. MGSKINLABS offers a Pore minimizing cleanser that is an excellent wash for acne-prone skin.

Exfoliating Treatments for Chest Acne

Gently exfoliating the chest area can also help prevent acne flareups. But, be careful to avoid scrubbing the skin too vigorously, as this can worsen skin irritation. Dr. Green’s MGSKINLABS Retexturing pads are perfect for exfoliating acne-prone skin, and can help prevent breakouts by sloughing off dead skin cells, as well as controlling excess oil.

Trust your Skin Care Products

When it comes to your skin care routine, it’s important not to pick at any of your zits! Squeezing and picking at acne can cause further irritation and damage to your skin, worsening the appearance of the acne and potentially leading to scarring. Remember that acne-fighting skincare products can take around 10 weeks to show results. Be patient and don’t pop those pimples!

Look for a Li​​​​ghtweight Sunscreen

Sunscreen can help protect us against premature aging of our skin and the development of skin cancers. Using sunscreen is an important skincare step for everyone to adhere to regardless of skin tone, the weather, and the time of year. If you’re prone to chest acne and plan on spending some time in the sun, using a non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) sunscreen can help prevent breakouts, such as MGSKINLABS Hydrating Sunscreen.

Best Acne Spot Treatments

There are several acne spot treatments that are designed to help get rid of pesky pimples. Common active ingredients for spot treatments include benzoyl peroxide and retinol-A, which are able to dry out the infected area and exfoliate the skin, respectively. Treatments like Differin and Epiduo forte rely on a retinoid-like formulation, known as adapalene, which helps with cell turnover without additional skin-drying effects. Dr. Green also often recommends topical antibiotic treatments in order to control acne-causing bacteria on the surface of the skin. Additionally, MGSKINLABS offers Acne Spot Treatment that uses a benzoyl peroxide treatment to quickly and effectively eliminate acne.

Change up your laundry detergent

The materials that come into contact with our skin can have a huge impact on skin health. Irritants like fragrances and dyes can cause inflammation and acne when they’re in products we use like moisturizers or laundry detergents. Some patients, even those suffering from severe cases of cystic acne, have found relief by switching their laundry detergent to one that’s gentle and fragrance-free.

How to Get Rid of Chest Acne Scars Fast

Inflammation from moderate to severe acne can cause damage to the skin tissue, ultimately resulting in the formation of acne scars. In general, the acne that leads to scarring includes pustules, nodules, and cysts because they are more severely inflamed than whiteheads or blackheads. Your skin will try to repair itself after the breakout but, often, the wound is too large or your skin is too delicate to do so. In these severe cases, a treatment such as a laser procedure or chemical peel can be used to help heal the acne scars. When you work with Dr. Green, she can evaluate your chest acne scars and help you determine which combination of treatments would work best for your skin type and situation. Dr. Green is an international leader in dermatology and uses the most cutting-edge acne scar treatments in her private NYC practice, including Fraxel laser, eMatrix, and V-beam laser, among others.

V-Beam Laser Treatment for acne and acne scars

The V-Beam laser is used to treat redness and erythematous patches from acne and the resulting inflammation. V-beam laser treatment is able to treat acne scars that are often more noticeable because of the redness that accompanies them. This redness appears as a result of broken capillaries that are left behind after acne lesions have healed. The laser works by releasing a burst of light at a wavelength of 595 nanometers to target the red pigment in blood vessels. Once the laser treatment has begun, the light energy that is beamed out gets converted into heat in the skin. In the epidermis of the skin, the energy is captivated by chromophores, an atom or group of atoms responsible for color. As a result of the chromophores absorbing this energy, the Vbeam laser does not interact with other parts of the skin and successfully treats redness associated with acne scars.

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Fraxel Laser Treatment for acne scars

The Fraxel Dual laser skin resurfacing is a technique can also be used to correct uneven skin tone and texture. This laser can be used to reduce the appearance of acne scars on the face, neck, chest, back (also known as Bacne), arms and legs. To treat acne scars, energy from the fractional laser technology is targeted in the dermis of the skin to boost new collagen production. The skin is tightened as a result of collagen formation and the overall appearance of acne scars and hyperpigmentation is diminished with almost no downtime.

Chemical Peels to treat chest acne

An excellent option for patients dealing with active acne or acne scars are glycolic acid or light trichloroacetic acid (TCA) chemical peels. Superficial chemical peels can help to unclog pores and clear away dead skin cells, which in turn reduces active breakouts. Additionally, by peeling away the top layer of the epidermis, new healthy skin is exposed, which can lighten spots of pigmentation and improve the appearance of scarring.

HydraFacials to exfoliate and treat chest acne

The HydraFacial is a medical-grade facial that uses an innovative three-step process to cleanse, exfoliate, and rejuvenate the skin. The HydraFacial uses HydraFacial MD Active-4 cleanser to both clean and hydrate the skin, a vortex suction device to clear out clogged pores and exfoliate the skin, and unique skin care serums that infuse antioxidants, peptides, and hyaluronic acid to restore a radiant complexion. The HydraFacial can also be combined with blue LED light therapy in order to better treat active acne lesions and acne scars.

hydrafacial machine

The eMatrix Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

The eMatrix Laser is ideal for treatment of acne scars on the face, chest, and back, for all skin types. The eMatrix Sublative Rejuvenation uses fractionated bi-polar frequency to penetrate beneath the skin’s surface to maximize the amount of collagen and elastin produced. Stimulating the skin’s production of collagen and elastin improves textural irregularities and treats acne scars. The eMatrix laser can treat textural issues on skin of any tone and type, making it a powerful tool to combat against stubborn acne scars. Using this laser treatment helps patients with acne scars achieve smoother, brighter, tighter, more beautiful, younger-looking skin. Since sublative rejuvenation has only 48 hours of downtime, this laser treatment can be scheduled with ease.

The eMatrix Laser is also unique because it effectively treats patients with any skin type or skin tone, meaning that it’s an essentially “color-blind” laser treatment. As certain lasers can work less effectively with darker skin tones, leading to hyperpigmentation or other pigment issues, the eMatrix is a go-to option for Dr. Green when it comes to safely and effectively treating her patients.

How to get rid of Chest Acne using Home Remedies

There are a few different natural oils and products that can be useful in treating chest acne. For example, tea tree oil and other essential oils can be useful in combating acne breakouts and acne scars in varying areas of the body due to their antibacterial properties. Additionally, apple cider vinegar, oral zinc supplements, green tea, and clay masks are commonly used as homeopathic remedies for acne and acne scars. However, it’s best to test any of these products on a patch of skin first to make sure that your skin does not have an adverse reaction that could further irritate any active acne lesions.

The appearance of acne can be minimized by always remembering to wash your face and body after exercising or sweating. A daily skincare regimen combined with a strict hygiene routine can do wonders in reducing the appearance of acne. Also, it’s crucial not to squeeze or pick at any acne, as this can worsen inflammation and cause scars. Stress reduction, good nutrition, and adequate amounts of sleep can help your body best regulate hormones that can affect development of acne.

If you are having difficulty preventing or controlling persistent chest acne, there are solutions that can help. Dr. Michele Green has over two decades of experience in treating acne and preventing acne scars before they occur. An internationally renown specialist in acne scars, Dr. Green will determine the best combination of treatments to give you beautiful, clear skin.

To schedule a consultation, please contact Dr. Green online or call our New York City office at  212-535-3088 to develop your custom chest acne treatment plan with Dr. Green.

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