Chest acne occurs when hair follicles on the chest become blocked by dead skin and excess sebum, an oil produced by the body to keep the skin moisturized. When bacteria enter these blockages they can become infected, resulting in red, swollen, and sometimes painful pimples and cysts. Treating your chest acne should be a multistep process. First, you should cleanse your skin properly to prevent or lessen future breakouts. In addition, you should combat current breakouts with an over-the-counter or prescription treatment.
The hair follicles on the chest can become blocked and infected fairly easily. Men’s chests are commonly covered by hair, while women’s are usually clothed in tightly fitting bras. In addition, many people sweat in the chest region when exercising. All of these factors make the chest a hotspot for clogged hair follicles and bacteria that can sometimes erupt into chest acne.
To prevent or reduce the occurrence of future chest acne breakouts, you should take care to cleanse the skin thoroughly and regularly. While taking your daily shower, try applying a gentle soap or cleanser to a clean washcloth and then working it over your chest using light pressure. This routine should both exfoliate dead skin cells and remove acne-causing bacteria. You should cleanse your chest shortly after workouts or other activities that cause you to sweat. As dirty clothes can harbor bacteria, you should also be sure that all garments worn over the chest are clean.
Next, you should fight existing chest acne with a treatment regime. The best type of treatment product for you depends on the severity of your acne. Light cases often respond well to over-the-counter lotions, creams, and gels that contain active ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. These products should be applied to the chest area after it has been cleansed. They work to eliminate bacteria and dry out excess sebum.
If after four to eight weeks your chest acne shows no sign of responding to an over-the-counter treatment, you may need to seek the help of a dermatologist. She may prescribe an ointment or a combination of ointments similar to those sold over the counter but containing higher doses of active ingredient. Should your breakouts persist, your dermatologist may then prescribe an oral antibiotic, which is often intended for use in combination with a topical cream. While this combination is often highly effective in treating chest acne, note that it can take up to four months for results to become visible.