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Chest acne is an extremely common skin condition that can affect patients of any gender well into adult life. A form of traditional acne, known as acne vulgaris, chest acne plagues millions of Americans every year. Characterized by blemishes that are swollen, red, inflamed, and/or painful, chest acne can be a nuisance to deal with and can make many patients self-conscious. There are a variety of different risk factors for developing chest acne, including biological factors that are difficult to manage, such as hormonal fluctuations due to puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, or stress, and lifestyle habits, such as the types of skincare products you use, the frequency with which you shower, and exposure to the sun. Luckily, when seeking to manage current outbreaks and prevent future acne and scarring, there are many treatment options available at Dr. Michele Green’s New York City dermatology office.

For some patients, treatment and prevention can be as easy as making minor lifestyle changes, such as switching laundry detergents, staying hydrated, and limiting sugar and carbohydrate intake. The use of proper skin care products is also essential and Dr. Green can recommend lotions, creams, moisturizers, and sunscreens from her propriety MGSKINLABs that will keep your skin clean, clear, and hydrated. There are also many options for acne treatment products that can help to clear up current outbreaks, such as topical ointments containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. If your acne outbreaks have led to acne scarring, Dr. Green’s office has many options to eliminate the appearance of acne scars from laser treatment, to HydraFacial, to chemical peels. When navigating all of the treatment options, board-certified, experienced dermatologist, Dr. Green, is an expert in acne treatments and acne scar removal.

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 acne scars, and has over 25 years of experience in dermatology. Dr. Green is consistently voted as one of the best doctors in New York Magazine, Castle Connolly, Super Doctors, and the New York Times. In her NYC office, she offers personalized treatment options for patients with even the most severe cases of acne. From choosing the correct skin care, over-the counter treatments, prescription medications, and in office lasers and light therapies, Dr. Green is here to help.

Acne, or acne vulgaris, is a very common condition characterized by blemishes on the skin, which can occur anywhere in the body that has oil glands, including the face, stomach, back, and chest. Chest acne is acne vulgaris that occurs on the chest when there is a build-up of sebum (or oil) on the skin. When excess oil combines with debris, such as dead skin cells, it can clog the hair 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. Acne is a condition that affects millions Americans each year and can continue beyond teenage pubescent years.

What are the different types of acne? 

Chest acne can take several different forms, including non-inflammatory comedones such as blackheads and whiteheads, inflammatory acne such as papules, and pustules, and cystic acne. Non-inflammatory comedones are blemishes on the skin that can be closed (whiteheads) or open (blackheads). The closed comedones, or whiteheads, are clogged pores in which the debris is not exposed to the surface of the skin. The swollen blemishes often appear white at the top of the raised bump. Open comedones, on the other hand, are clogged pores in which the material clogging the pore is open to the surface of the skin, leading to oxidation of the debris, which makes the acne appear black. Inflammatory acne occurs when the debris clogging the pores include bacteria. The bacteria can cause further inflammation, which can lead to papules, red, irritated bumps that form when bacteria clogs the pores, and pustules, red, irritated bumps that contain pus. Cystic acne is another type of acne that can occur, which is characterized by cysts that form under the skin when bacteria is caught in the clogged pores. Cystic acne occurs deep within the skin and can be very painful and lead to scarring.

If you are suffering from red bumps along your chest that are not responding to traditional acne treatment, it may be that you are dealing with folliculitis. Folliculitis is a condition in which yeast or fungus causes inflammation of the hair follicles. Folliculitis can be treated but does not respond to regular acne treatment.  Similarly, rosacea, a condition characterized by small bumps and redness, can also affect the chest area but will not respond to acne medication. It is best to consult Dr. Green for a treatment plan if you suspect you are suffering from folliculitis or rosacea so you can receive proper treatment for the condition.

Is Chest Acne Normal?

Acne is a very common skin condition that affects up to 50 million Americans each year. And for many, acne blemishes can appear well beyond teenage years. According to researchers published in the American Academy of dermatology, more than 50% of women in their 20s suffer from acne, and adult acne affects 35.2%, 26.3%, and 15.3% of women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s respectively. Chest acne can appear for a variety of reasons. For some, the appearance of acne is largely attributed to genetics. Some patients have naturally oily skin and are therefore simply more prone to blemishes than others due to their skin’s natural oil production. Pimples or zits can develop wherever an excess oil production occurs, including on the chest. For some patients, lifestyle choices can affect whether or not acne may develop. For example, tight clothing paired with excessive sweating, dyed or scented soaps and laundry detergents, infrequent showers, dehydration, and increased sun exposure can all be risk factors for the development of acne.  Chest acne is normal and usually develops in the same way as acne on the face or elsewhere on the body.

What are the causes of Chest Acne?

Any type of acne, including chest acne, is caused when clogging of the pilosebaceous units in an area of the body occurs. The pilosebaceous unit includes the hair shaft, hair follicle, and the sebaceous gland, or the gland responsible for the production of the oil called sebum on the skin. These pores on the skin can become clogged when there is a high amount of sebum being produced by the body, which can occur for a variety of reasons, including fluctuations of the hormones called androgens, and to compensate for dry skin. The excess oil can clog the pores along with bacteria, dead skin, and other debris on the skin, which leads to acne’s characteristic swelling and redness. Acne can also become inflamed when bacteria are trapped in the pilosebaceous unit, leading to inflammatory acne, which, when left untreated, can pose a greater risk for scarring following the breakout.

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What are the risk factors for developing chest acne?

There are many different factors that can put patients at risk for developing chest acne, some of which are genetic or biological, but many potential risk factors are lifestyle choices that can easily be adjusted to prevent future outbreaks. A list of potential risk factors are as follows:

Hormones – Hormone fluctuations can wreak havoc on many systems in the body, including the skin. When there are changes in the androgen hormones, fluctuations can trigger the oil glands to produce more sebum. This excess sebum production can lead to clogging of the pores and an increased risk for the development of acne. Hormone fluctuations can occur in many situations throughout life, including during puberty, in the days before menstruation, and during pregnancy.

Stress – Stress can also lead to fluctuations of the androgen hormones, which trigger the increased production of oil, leading to oily skin and a greater risk of developing acne.

Diet – Studies have started to show that high consumption of certain food groups can trigger acne outbreaks, including high-sugar and high-carbohydrate diets. Consuming high amounts of sugar can lead to spikes in blood sugar, which can trigger spikes in acne in areas of the body prone to outbreaks, including the chest.

Sun exposure – Many people believe that exposure to the sun can help with acne, but in fact, it is the other way around. Spending a lot of time in the sun, especially when dehydrated, can dry out your skin. When you are experiencing dry skin, the body will compensate by increasing production of sebum on the skin, which can then lead to clogged pores. Further, the dead, dry skin can make pore clogging even worse, leading to acne outbreaks.

Dehydration – When you are dehydrated, the skin can become dry and flaky. When this occurs, the body compensates by triggering the production of oil to rehydrate the skin. However, the excess oil production mixed with the dry skin can lead to clogged pores and acne outbreaks.

Laundry Detergent – It is very important to keep you clothing clean to help prevent outbreaks of acne. However, if you are experiencing outbreaks of chest acne even when your clothing is clean, it is possible that the dyed or scented laundry detergent you are using is causing irritation to your skin. In this case, it is best to seek out detergent labeled “hypoallergenic”

Certain medications – Certain prescription medications, including corticosteroids, testosterone, and lithium, can cause an increase in acne outbreaks. If this is the case, consult with your doctor to see if it is safe to try a different medication or treatment plan. If you are seeking acne treatment from Dr. Green, be sure to disclose the medications you are taking during your consultation appointment.

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.

How to Prevent Chest Pimples and Acne Scars on your Chest

The best way to prevent chest pimples and acne scars on your chest may be to implement a few simple lifestyle changes in order to promote clean, clear, and hydrated skin. Dr. Green recommends 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.

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How to get rid of chest acne

When patients ask, what to do for chest acne, the answer is that there are many possible solutions. The first step is to consult with expert, board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Green. When you have your initial appointment with Dr. Green, she can examine the affected area and help to determine the treatment plan that will best meet your needs, which can include different skincare products, spot treatment, or lifestyle changes to improve skin look and texture.

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.

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.

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!

Why is it important to Exfoliate your skin for chest acne?

Skin cell turnover is a natural process in which dead skin cells come to the surface of the skin to be shed and replaced by new skin cells. Frequently, however, dead skin cells get trapped on the surface of the skin by sebum and can clog the pores. That is where exfoliation is very important to remove the dead skin cells before they can clog the pores. As such, G=gently exfoliating the chest area can also help prevent acne flare-ups. 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.

Which lotions are best for chest acne?

Lotion is very important to make sure that your skin stays hydrated but the wrong kind of lotion can increase the risk for acne outbreaks. Oily moisturizers can clog the pores and trap debris and bacteria inside. That is why Dr. Green recommends a non-comedogenic body lotion. This type of moisturizer works to hydrate the skin without clogging the pores. Some moisturizing lotions can even contain a small amount of salicylic acid, which can help to reduce already existing acne outbreaks. It is also best to avoid lotions that are scented because they can cause further irritation to your skin.

Sunscreen formulations and chest acne 

A high amount of sun exposure can also be a risk factor in the development of chest acne. Sun exposure can dry out the skin, which causes the body to produce more oil to compensate. In order to avoid this, it is important to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen to protect and hydrate the skin. Sunscreen can also 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.

How to treat acne on the chest 

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.

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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 cover chest acne 

If you are suffering from chest acne, there are many treatment solutions to eliminate the outbreak. In the meantime, many patients want to cover up the outbreak. If you would like to cover the chest acne outbreak with clothing while it subsides, avoid tight-fitting clothing. Instead, it is best to opt for loose-fitting, cotton clothing that will not trap sweat.

What helps with chest acne prevention? 

There are many simple lifestyle changes that can help with chest acne prevention. Acne can be triggered by high-sugar and/or high-carbohydrate diets, and, as such, limiting your sugar and carb intake can help to reduce the likelihood of developing acne. Dry skin can also be a factor in causing acne outbreaks as flaky skin can clog the pores. For that reason, finding a non-comedogenic moisturizer that will keep your skin hydrated without further clogging the pores can greatly help in reducing the possibility of acne outbreaks. Making sure that your clothing is clean and breathable and that you shower directly after a workout can also keep chest acne at bay and avoiding laundry detergents that may irritate the skin.

How to get rid of chest acne overnight 

Unfortunately, there are no treatment options that will eliminate chest acne overnight. However, there are a wide variety of treatments that will help to eliminate acne quickly, including topical acne spot treatments, and lifestyle changes that can help to prevent future outbreaks.

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 difference in terms of the appearance of chest acne.

Is chest acne hormonal?

There are many potential risk factors for developing chest acne, one of which being fluctuations in the androgen hormones. Hormonal changes can cause the body to produce more sebum, which can, in turn, lead to clogged pores and an increased risk in acne outbreaks.

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 do I have 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.

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.

VBeam Laser Treatment for acne and acne scars

The VBeam 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.

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.

HydraFacial 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.

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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 renowned 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 the office of Dr. Michele Green online or call our New York City office at 212-535-3088 to develop your custom chest acne treatment plan today.

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