- Acne is a skin condition in which pores become clogged by dead skin cells, oil and bacteria.
- Acne on the chin is often caused by hormonal fluctuations.
- It can be treated with over the counter products or prescription medication.
- Prevent occasional chin pimples by following a few simple guidelines.
Chin acne is a common occurrence in both teenagers and adults. Although acne can occur anywhere on the face, one of the most common places for pimples to appear is the chin area.
Occasional pimples on the chin can be treated with over the counter products. More severe forms of acne on the chin, especially hormonal acne, is most effectively treated with prescription medication.
Causes of Acne on the Chin
Hormonal acne is caused by raised levels of androgens. Androgens are male hormones such as testosterone that increase the production of sebum, your skin’s natural oil.
Hormonal acne can occur in both genders during puberty and can continue to be an issue for adult women when androgen levels increase in the days leading up to your menstrual cycle.
Acne on the chin can also be caused by diet, genetics and poor skin care practices.
For men who shave, chin pimples may in fact be ingrown hairs. An ingrown hair is a hair that grows back into the skin causing a painful red bump resembling a pimple.
What does acne on the chin mean?
Adult acne and specifically chin acne are associated with hormonal imbalance, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong with you. Hormones naturally fluctuate over the course of the month and are also affected by starting, stopping or changing birth control.
However, if your acne is accompanied by other symptoms such as weight gain and an irregular period, it may be a sign of a hormonal disorder called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
How to Get Rid of Chin Acne and Pimples
Chin pimples caused by oily skin or poor hygiene can often be addressed with drugstore products. These products contain active ingredients to reduce sebum production and inflammation and kill acne-causing bacteria.
If you suspect your acne is hormonal, the most effective treatments may be hormonal therapies instead of topical treatments.
Benzoyl peroxide ointment
Benzoyl peroxide kills acne-causing bacteria by releasing oxygen inside clogged pores. Because of its mechanism of action, it does not cause bacterial resistance—a problem with other medications such as oral antibiotics that kill bacteria in the body to treat acne.
Available in concentrations from 2-10% as a cream or lotion, benzoyl peroxide can be easily applied to a pimple on the chin as a spot treatment.
Benzoyl peroxide is most effective when used in tandem with another product such as salicylic acid that can also dry out pimples.
Salicylic acid cleanser
Salicylic acid reduces both inflammation and sebum production in your skin. It’s commonly found as an active ingredient in facial cleansers but is also available in higher concentrations as a spot treatment in the form of a gel or cream.
Adapalene is a retinoid, a derivative of vitamin A, available over the counter at a low concentration (0.1%) and by prescription from a dermatologist in concentrations up to 0.3%. It is available as a cream, lotion and gel and is often used in tandem with other acne treatments to increase their efficacy and penetration.
Adapalene prevents the formation of microcomedones, the precursors to all types of blemishes, and helps reduce inflammation in active lesions.
Although adapalene works slowly compared to other topical retinoids, it is associated with fewer of the side effects commonly associated with topical retinoids such as redness and peeling
Isotretinoin is a retinoid only available by prescription. It is used to treat severe cystic acne and nodular acne. Isotretinoin is taken orally to decrease excess oil production and is not recommended for long-term use.
Birth control pills
An alternative treatment for hormonal acne is spironolactone, an androgen suppressant. It can be an option for women with hormonal acne who do not wish to take birth control.
Home Remedies to Clear Chin Acne
Some natural remedies treat acne in similar ways to drugstore products, though are not necessarily as effective or fast-acting. These remedies help dry out your skin and calm inflammation.
Tea tree oil
Preventing Chin Breakouts
If your breakouts are not hormonal, you may be able to prevent pimples on your chin by developing good skin care habits.
Establish an anti-acne skin care routine: wash your face twice a day with a mild cleanser and follow up with an oil-free moisturizer.
Only use non-comedogenic (not pore-clogging) skin care products and makeup and avoid touching your chin with your fingers, as your fingers can transfer oils and bacteria to your face.
Change pillow cases frequently; bacteria and dead skin cells on your pillowcase can cause acne to flare up.
For some people, pimples on the chin are an occasional nuisance. For others, they may be a sign of hormonal imbalance and may appear concurrently with other symptoms.
Treat mild forms of acne on the chin with over the counter products containing active ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or adapalene.
More severe acne—especially chronic breakouts due to hormones—can be treated with prescription medication such as isotretinoin, spironolactone or combined oral contraceptives.
Natural remedies can help clear up acne and prevent further breakouts, although they are not always as effective as commercial products. Consider using tea tree oil, witch hazel and clay masks to dry out excess sebum and help stop your chin acne from recurring.
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