You wake up one morning and there it is, acne on your chin, a red spot that you will have to deal with. And like most people, you have probably already dealt with acne and have used a topical treatment, maybe some antibiotics, but the truth is most people concentrate on treatment, rather than prevention. So let’s look at the reasons for their outbreak and what is the best course of action when you get one.
Chin acne show up in what is known as the U – zone of your face (cheeks, chin, and jawline), and unlike the ones breaking out in the T – zone (nose and forehead), they can break out for different reasons and sometimes require different treatment. While the T – zone is usually oily because of the higher concentration of sebaceous glands in that area, the U – zone is usually dry. Chin acne are a common type of acne and are different compared to ones breaking out in other places since they tend to be in the form of either solid bumps not filled with pus or whiteheads, and on some occasions, they can become cysts. Since chin skin is tighter, this makes inflammation more painful and there is a higher chance of scarring.
While they are different to acne on other parts of our face, many of the factors that cause them are similar. We are all aware of the general causes, so here we will leave out some less important general factors and focus on the ones that are more specific to chin acne and most likely to cause them:
- Tight pores – tighter skin means tighter pores and while a lot of companies boast about their products making the skin tighter, that is not necessarily a good thing when it comes to your chin. Too tight and bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells may become trapped, which will, in turn, cause acne.
- Constant touching – we touch our chin more than any other part of our face, while thinking, when we rest our head on our hand, when reading. This transmits bacteria which can cause acne.
- Ingrown hair – while ingrown hair is a more common occurrence amongst men, it can happen to women too. Dead skin cells and tight skin can trap hair follicles and cause them to grow inwards instead of outward. This can cause pimples since the immune system reacts to it and attacks it. In rare cases, it can lead to the development of a more serious condition called acne keloidalis nuchae.
- Hormones – the general culprit when it comes to acne in general. Fluctuations in androgen hormones have been closely linked to acne outbreak. Periods, menopause or other medical conditions ca
- Sleep patterns and stress – surprising but true, not getting enough sleep can cause our cortisol levels to spike and increase sugar levels in our body, which will then affect our hormones, and cause acne. The phrase “Get your beauty sleep” makes so much more sense now, right? Also, stress, in general, has been pointed out to cause acne. The specific reason is still unknown because research has been inconclusive.
- Razor burns – boys, you all know what I’m talking about. Those red spots around the hair stems of your beard you get after shaving are not something you should ignore. It means that the skin is irritated either by the shaving foam/gel you are using, or your razor is not sharp enough and instead of cutting the whole hair it folds it and causes it to pierce the skin and irritate it.
- Lip balm – chapped and cracked lips can be embarrassing, but so can acne. Most lip balms come with fragrances, and cosmetic products containing fragrances have been related to acne outbreak. These can irritate the skin around your lips and cause acne, so consider switching to a fragrance-free one.
- Sports, sports equipment and musical instruments – there is a specific type of acne which can break out in different parts of our body, called acne mechanica. Unlike other acne, this one is caused by friction. The friction causes irritation which can damage and inflame the skin and cause swelling, clogging pores and cause acne. Sports helmets with chin guards, sweat, playing instruments like the violin and others which come in contact with your chin and lips.
There are many ways that you can go about to treat chin acne. From home remedies to soothe the pain and the itching, over-the-counter anti-acne products for most cases to prescription based medicine for more stubborn ones, you are free to choose your treatment. Enlisting the help of a dermatologist might help you in picking the right one for you. Here is what we recommend:
- Ice – Ice can help in temporary reducing the size, pain, redness, and itching. Just put a few ice cubes in a cotton cloth and gently press on the affected chin area until the redness and itching decrease. This will also make it a bit numb, hence the relief.
- Honey and cinnamon mask – both of these are great antioxidants and may help in fighting chin acne. Here is a simple recipe for a mask:
- Mix 2 tablespoons of honey with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon to form a paste
- After cleansing your face, apply the paste on your face and leave it on for maximum 15 minutes
- Wash it all off and dry out your face with a cotton cloth
- Green tea – containing high levels of antioxidants, it is no wonder this drink is closely associated with good health.
- Put some green tea in boiling water and leave it like that for 3-4 minutes
- Let it cool down
- Dip a cotton pad in it and apply on the acne
- Leave it on for a bit, let it dry, then rinse your face with water and dry it with a cotton cloth
Over-The-Counter And Prescribed Medication
- Anti-acne creams and gels – they are the usual go-to for most people. They are effective in removing acne in a few days or weeks. Consider ones that contain retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and antibiotics.
- Oral antibiotics – some antibiotics are prescribed for treating chin acne. Most common are the ones containing tetracyclines, cotrimoxazole and trimethoprim. As these are available in pills and elixirs, ask your physician which will be better for you as they are used to treat different stages of acne.
- Isotretinoin – the last resort for most, isotretinoin is a potent substance. A form of vitamin A that is taken orally, it represents the best option for people struggling with severe acne. This treatment takes a bit longer, usually lasting from 3 to 6 months, but it has a great success rate and a low relapse percentage.
- Changing your diet can help you, as there are many foods like junk food, dairy, processed food and ones rich in processed carbohydrates that you might want to avoid, up on veggies and fruits.
- Exfoliation is also a good treatment, keeping your skin clear and fresh is considered by many to be key in long-term prevention of breakouts.
- Exercise can help with the regulation of your hormones and also help you sweat out all the toxins.
- Hygiene is very important. And this does not just mean washing your face regularly and cleansing. You should also watch on the things that come in contact with your face like pillows, your phone, scarfs. Make sure you change your pillowcases often. Wipe your phone clean with antibacterial wipes or dip some cotton cloth in a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol and use that to clean your phone. Make sure you wash your scarfs often.
- Laser therapy might be something you would like to try out as a proven method in reducing the acne-causing bacteria on your face.
What NOT To Do
- Don’t pop your acne as this can help spread bacteria and also leave a scar on your face.
- Don’t change treatment very often. Your skin needs time to get used to the treatment you have first decided to go with. Stick to it for a month or two, and if that doesn’t work, set an appointment with a dermatologist to find out what the issue is, and what you should do next.
- Avoid using harsh cleansers and scrubbing as these can irritate your skin further.
Treating acne and sticking to certain regimes and routines can be exhausting, but keep in mind that sticking to just cleansing or just diet or just medication will most likely not do much to improve your skin condition and remove acne. A healthy lifestyle consisting of good hygiene, diet, exercise coupled with some topical medicaments or home remedies is something that can do wonders not just for your facial skin, but also for your general health. While there are some types of acne that can be treated only with certain medication like antibiotics or prescribed topicals, you should still try to give it your best to implement healthy habits in your everyday life.