My body’s favorite place for acne is definitely my cheeks, but I’d be lying if I were to say it was the only place those pimply little buddies made an appearance. Every now and again, I’ll look down at my chest during a shower or workout, and lo and behold, a little crop of zits has come to say hello right between my boobs. While it’s perfectly normal to find acne all over the body (bacne, for example, or buttne), my first instinct is always to figure out how to get rid of it — fast. Not surprisingly, the acne on your chest is probably caused by the same kinds of things that cause the acne on your face.
Still, when it comes to pimples on your chest, there are some factors at play that you simply may not be paying much attention to. Rest assured, there are plenty of solutions out there to help treat the acne on your chest. The first step, though, is to figure out what the hell is actually causing those red little monsters to show up in the first place. Here are eight things that could be causing the acne on your chest that you may not have previously considered.
1. That Damn Sun Again
Yep, acne can definitely be a result of sun exposure. You’re in the sun, your chest gets dry, and as a result, your glands start to produce more oil.
Dermatologist and Curology founder Dr. David Lortscher tells Elite Daily,
These sebaceous glands are more prominent on our chests and backs, which can explain the prevalence of body acne in these areas.
Bigger glands means more oil, which means more acne. It’s as simple as that.
2. You’re Prone To Sweating A Lot
If you tend to overheat and sweat a lot — especially in the summer months, when your sweat glands are working overtime and there’s more bacteria on the body as a result — it can make matters worse as far as chest acne goes.
Keeping that area all washed up and clean is your best bet to steer clear of the pimples.
3. Your Workout Habits
Dr. Lortscher tells Elite Daily that bacteria is a major factor, especially the kind that thrives in those sopping wet workout clothes you’re too lazy to take off after the gym:
The microorganisms (bacteria) that live on our bodies and environment contribute to the inflammatory component of acne.
They love the oily environment, and our immune system works hard to fight against them, triggering inflammation, [which you see in your acne bumps].
They also love a warm, moist environment, such as the one found on a sweaty chest or back.
Make sure you use a clean sports bra when you exercise to avoid these types of bacteria, and shower ASAP when you’re all done with your workout.
4. Those Lotions You Love To Lather On
Sunscreens and lotions can clog the sh*t out of your pores, so if you’re having trouble with chest acne, consider the types of moisturizer and sunblock you’re using, especially in the summer months.
Dr. Lortscher says skincare products and even fabric choices can play a major role, too.
Consult with a dermatologist or skin care professional about the type of skin you have (oily, dry, a combination of both, etc.), and from there, check out what the best products are for your skin.
5. Your Perfume
If you, like me, spray your perfume on your chest below your neck, that could definitely be a cause of chestne.
Acne is often caused by skin irritation, and you might just be more sensitive to certain products you use than you think.
6. The Cover-Up You Use To Mask The Zits
The thing is, covering up your pimples with foundation or concealer might just exacerbate the problem.
Try to treat the zits and keep the area clean instead. And if you really want to add on a little makeup, make sure to wash it off thoroughly at the end of the day.
7. Scented Laundry Products
Curse you, weird ingredients I don’t understand.
Fragrances in detergents can irritate skin, and most dryer sheets leave a residue that can clog pores, especially if you have sensitive skin as it is. If this turns out to be a factor for you, be mindful of the kinds of products you wash your garments in, and keep track of what seems to irritate your skin and what doesn’t.
Dr. Lortscher explains,
Try limiting your dairy consumption in order to see if it may be a triggering factor in your acne.
Dairy and high glycemic-index foods (foods loaded with sugars and starches that are digested quickly, sending insulin levels sky high and triggering more oil production in the sebaceous glands) may contribute to acne in certain people.
So What Can You Do About Your Chest Acne?
Nah, you don’t have to freak about it. Overall, being mindful of the products you use, and keeping yourself, your clothes, and your sheets clean as a whistle is the way to go.
As far as the products go, Dr. Lortscher has a few recommendations. He suggests using a Noble Formula soap with pyrithione zinc (the non-vegan version is advised, as the vegan bar has cocoa butter, which can trigger breakouts in some people), as well as any body wash with salicylic acid, or a wash with benzoyl peroxide.
As always, consult with a skincare professional if you’re struggling to find what works best for you. Trust me, you’ll eventually find a solution that your body loves, and your chest acne problems will be a thing of the past.