The following are some of the most common causes of chest acne:
- hormonal fluctuations
- sugary foods
- working out
- laundry detergents with dyes or perfumes
- dry skin and sun exposure
- oily moisturizers
- makeup and perfumes
1. Hormonal fluctuations
Though often typical in teens and young adults, hormones can also play a role in older women developing acne on or near their breasts during their period. The changing hormones and friction from the breast swelling may cause an acne breakout.
2. Sugary foods
Sugary foods trigger quick spikes in blood sugar, which may lead to an acne breakout on the chest and other body parts prone to acne. A person who’s acne is triggered by sugary foods should reduce the amount of sugar they consume.
Not drinking enough fluid adversely affects every part of a person’s health including their skin. When a person is dehydrated, their skin is more likely to become dry and flaky. The dryness signals the skin to increase oil production in an attempt to rehydrate it.
The flakes can get stuck in overly oily pores, making this a recipe for more acne. A person can stave off chest acne from dehydration by getting enough water each day and increasing fluid intake after illness, exercise, or when in extreme heat.
4. Working Out
While exercise typically helps a person stay healthy, working out can lead to chest acne in some people. Friction from skin rubbing up against clothes combined with sweat can cause a person to develop acne on their chest.
To help prevent this, a person should wear loose-fitting shirts and shower off shortly after a workout. If showering right away is not an option, a person should use a wipe with an acne medication.
5. Laundry detergents with dyes or perfumes
Wearing clean clothes can typically help prevent acne because they help prevent dirt and other contaminants from getting stuck in the pores. Some people may find that certain laundry detergents, particularly ones with dyes and perfumes, cause an acne breakout. A person who traces their outbreaks to laundry detergent should look for dye and perfume-free detergent.
6. Dry skin and sun exposure
It is a common misconception that sun helps clear acne. In reality, sun exposure can make acne worse, including acne on the chest. Sun exposure can lead to dehydration and dry out already dry skin, causing acne to form.
In these cases, acne forms because the body starts to produce more oil to help rehydrate the skin. A person with chest acne may want to consider non-pore clogging moisturizers and limiting direct sun exposure.
7. Oily moisturizers
Moisturizers can be very helpful in combatting dry, cracked skin. For some people, using an oil-based moisturizer or body lotion can cause breakouts on their chest.
Oil-based moisturizers block pores and trap dirt and bacteria, causing acne to form. If dry skin is a problem, a person should talk to their dermatologist or another medical professional about moisturizers that won’t clog the pores or look for noncomedogenic or oil-free moisturizers.
8. Makeup and perfumes
Similar to scented laundry detergent, perfume may irritate the skin causing acne to form. Makeup may cause a similar reaction as well as potentially clogging the pores. A person who finds that makeup or perfume causes breakouts should avoid applying either to their chest to avoid breakouts.