I think you'll understand me when I say that chest acne is relentless (to say the least).
For some reason, it's extremely determined to stay on your chest.
Fortunately after 6 years of painful mornings, I finally discovered that clearing acne on chest skin isn't the hard part - the hard part is actually finding out how to do it.
Luckily for you though, I cleared myself after 6 full years of trial and error - and I'll tell you how with every detail.
First though, I want to tell you why you have acne on your chest in the first place.
You'll also be able to see why I was able to clear myself without being confused about anything (which wouldn't help much).
Here we go,
What if I Only Have Little Bumps on My Chest?
If you have little bumps on your chest, without any redness.
That means you actually don't have acne on your chest, it's actually something called Folliculitis (a yeast infection).
As you can see from this article from The Dermatologst Blog, it's very commonly mistaken for acne.
If you want to know how to clear it you can read this post.
It'll be gone in about 3-4 weeks.
Anyway let's get back on track,
What Causes Chest Pimples?
From my experience, most cases of chest are usually hormonal.
If it is, you would have individual pimples with redness surrounding each one - meaning somewhat inflamed.
As you know, hormonal acne doesn't like to leave without a long (and miserable) fight.
I've been one of it's victims for years, so I know that fight all too well.
Ironically, it only took under 2 weeks to heal - but it took me over 3 years to find something the ultimately worked.
Let's continue on,
Why Do Hormones Cause Acne on Chest?
This is an easy one.
When your hormones 'act up' for some reason (scientist still are not sure why), but your sebaceous glands start producing A LOT more sebum - here's the study to show you if you don't believe me.
If your body has a crappy immune response to infection, then you can guess what happens next.
If you guessed lots of acne on your chest, then you're right.
But why do pimples form when your body makes too much sebum?
Because even though sebum is made to protect against micro invaders - too much of it is also a breeding ground for bacteria growth.
Guess what happens when more bacteria evolve on your skin and start overpowering your skin cells?
That's when the pimples come.
A pimple is your body's way of cleaning out bacteria from inside your pores.
It's the only defense it has against the invaders (so you really can't blame your body).
If you have hormonal acne, it means your body is acting normal, but your immune defenses are failing you.
It's your T-cells (immune fighting cells) that are supposed to protect your skin cells from bacteria, even if the bacteria was able to grow from your own sebum production - it shouldn't matter.
Why Are Your Body's Immune Cells Not Doing Their Job?
Don't be alarmed by this, it's not as bad as you think.
This is really what causes chest acne.
All it means is that your immune cells are not operating at their full potential.
It's a know fact that your immune cells (also known as killer T-cells) are fueled by the nutrients in your body.
Some people are gifted with very strong immune cells, while some people have average strength.
That's all thanks to our genes though.
That DOES NOT mean that genes cause acne, because they don't (as you can also see from this article)
But your immune health IS inherited.
Which means if you got a mediocre deal with yours - then you are EXTRA exposed to conditions like acne (if you don't make it stronger).
The problem is that if your immune cells are average - then YOU are responsible for giving them the power they require (through your diet).
The problem is that 99.9% of people fail to provide their body with enough of the special types of nutrients, minerals and antioxidants it needs to fight off infections (thus preventing acne or pimples from forming).
The Major and Minor Causes of Your Pimples on Chest?
Just know this - there are 2 things that are causing your pimples on chest, or even just acne in general:
One is a major cause, and one is a minor cause (meaning it barely causes it).
The Major Cause
The main cause are immune problems due to a lack of fuel for your immune T-cells.
That is what's mostly causing your acne, and it comes from inside your body.
Any hormone related-effects should be overpowered by a strong immune defense, but usually is not for most people.
The Minor Causes Are an Outward Disturbance Like Any of the Following:
1. Chronic Sweating
Everyone has that area where they sweat more than any other place (mine are my palms and my forehead).
So consequently, I had a huge problem with acne on my forehead for a while (if you want to know how I cleared it you can ready my post)
But if you have acne on chest skin, there's a good chance that your chest is more prone to sweating that other areas of your body.
I'll tell you how to address this below.
2. Failing to Exfoliate
This one is debated by some people but in my opinion it's a huge mistake - not exfoliating your skin once everyday or so (meaning the skin on your chest).
Dr. Marnie Nussbaum even says that exfoliating a few times per week is essential to clear dirt and dead skin cells out of your pores.
You might ask why it's big deal if you have dead cells, dirt and oil build-up within your pores?
It's because bacteria cells literally feed off all 3 of those things.
So more build-up, means more bacteria, equals more pimples.
3. Humid Air + Tight Shirts
This can cause mild chest acne without question (only 1-3 pimples that show little to no inflammation).
A few pimples might not seem like anything to worry about, but they might only get worse if you don't figure out what's causing them (so you can stop it).
I mentioned below how to address this problem (but it's pretty obvious I would think)
Treatments for Acne on Chest (Moderate to Severe):
These treatments are strictly for people with mild to severe acne on their chest (except for the first one).
Like I said before - chest acne is probably hormonal, so it's going to need the strongest treatments possible to make it heal.
Lets start with the first one,
1. Eat Differently
This is the slowest way, but I still do it along just because you can do it along side everything else.
Even if you're taking antibiotics, it doesn't mean you can't eat healthy and it won't make you clear faster.
The key is to eat foods with high levels of antioxidants.
I'm talking about vegetables like carrots and anything green you can get your hands on.
Fruits are just as good, the only reason I'm not as enthusiastic about them is because they do contain a TON of sugar.
I know it's good sugar because it's natural, but it can still do harm to your insides (and not to mention moods).
I encourage you to eat fruit, just be careful of how much your eat.
Berries and melon like cantaloupe are packed with exactly what you need to .
If your pimples are really bad, say covering 75% of your chest or more - then you might need an antibiotic.
I mean around 20-30 pimples, and highly inflamed.
If this is the case, then you can get prescribed an antibiotic like doxycycline (aka minocycline).
It's a relatively strong antibiotic and usually the go-to for most dermatologists, but I can tell you from my own experiences that it has BAD side effects.
The side effect I'm talking about are those little bumps I mentioned before.
It's called folliculitis, and for some reason it's a side effect of doxycycline.
The damn thing took me years to clear after exhausting HUNDREDS of dollars on more dermatologist appointments - which didn't even end up helping.
Not to mention all of the money I spent buying different over-the-counter treatments to try and do a process of elimination type thing - which didn't work either.
Finally I cleared it by cutting ALL forms of wheat out of my diet, and rubbing an ice cube on my face around 5-10 times per day (I mentioned the post I wrote earlier)
It sounds weird but it worked so I don't really care what anyone else thinks of it.
Do you know how miserable it was to stop eating bread for a Full 2 years?
If you have so many pimples on your chest that you can't even see your skin anymore (over 50-80 pimples) then you'll probably need Isotrentinoin (aka Accutane).
But I HIGHLY doubt you have that because it's extremely uncommon.
Besides, every dermatologist will try every possible option before putting you on something like that - so it would take at least 3 months before you were even able to use it.
Alright moving on from antibiotics,
3. Antioxidant Treatment (Newer) -This is How I Prevent it Also
This is what I used.
If you've ever read one of my blogs before then you've definitely heard me mention them.
This was the first thing to legit clear my chest pimples (and the acne on my face), and keep it from returning.
I used Derma's treatment (who I'm currently blogging for today), but that doesn't mean there aren't other ones.
You can look them up if you want, but I can tell you that you won't find anything stronger than Derma's.
Now let's move onto the treatments for mild pimples.
Treatments for Mild Pimples on Chest
Even if you have it worse than mild, these are basic habits that you should adopt without question.
If you only have it mildly, then these are the treatments you'll want to use.
You should be clear in about a week if you follow everything I'm about to list.
1. Wash Correctly
If you have acne, it means that your pores are being clogged by bacteria, or nutrients that promote bacterial growth.
One of the easiest ways to help out your body fight acne is to use an exfoliating wash in the shower everyday - only on the areas you are acne-prone though.
I suggest using one with 2% salicylic acid.
The reason some people don't agree with using this ingredient is because it can dry out your skin.
But that only happens if you use too much, while not using a moisturizer.
I like to use an oil-free moisturizer (spf 15), even if it's not sunny - it still helps replenish the skin.
Here is a full pros and cons list on salicylic acid so you can decide for yourself if you think it's worth a try.
I'm not saying it's going to clear it, but it will make an improvement, while helping prevent it also.
2. Manage Sweating on Your Chest
If you sweat on your chest regularly, then this tip is a must-do.
Try and keep body temperature at a lower level during the day (stay cold, in other words).
Whether it means carrying around an ice water or just wearing one less layer - the cooler the better.
4. Avoid Tight Clothes Around Your Chest Area
It's Best to Avoid Clothes That Trap the Hot Air Around Your Skin
Like I said before, if you a prone to sweating on your chest, then you must avoid wearing tight shirts.
It's also smart to wear fabrics that breath.
Don't wear shirts that are so loose that they rest against your chest though - just wear ones that aren't too tight, but not too lose.
It's because your shirt is irritating to your skin (whether it's the fabric or even laundry detergent.
Most areas of our skin have become hardy enough to have no effect from this, but for if you're prone to pimples on your chest or somewhere else on your body - then you should take action.
Now to wrap things up, I'll leave you with some important last pieces of knowledge.
Most importantly, remember that nutrients are fuel for your body.
It doesn't matter if you get them in a treatment, or through your diet (will take much longer).
All that matters is that you give yourself the strength you need to defeat infections.
If you had done that already, you wouldn't even have your pimples on chest to begin with.
It's not your fault though, because as I've said before - some people just inherit better health and immune function than others do.
Who knows, maybe if you ate like a health nut yous would still be dealing with acne - and the only way to heal yourself is through a treatment.
Or things could go the opposite way - you might choose not use a treatment, but instead change your diet.
And in 6 months, you're almost acne free entirely.
Whatever the case be, I wish you the best of luck in your journey.