What is a Chest Acne?
Chest acne is a type of acne vulgaris, as the name denotes, it appears in the chest area. It is characterize by areas of the skin with blackheads and whiteheads (comedones), papules, pustules and nodules. Acne affects not just the chest but to skin with dense sebaceous follicles including the face and the back. It can manifests as inflammatory on non-inflammatory forms. The lesions of chest acne, like any other acne in the body are caused by changes in pilosebaceous units that consist of hair follicle and its associated sebaceous gland.
What are the causes of chest acne?
When the follicles are blocked chest acne can develop. It commences with the process called hyperkeratinization. A plug of keratin, sebum (microcomedo) and dead skin is formed in the sebaceous glands. Increase in sebum production is influenced with increased androgen. A microcomedo may develop into open comedone (blackhead) or closed comedone (milia). What causes the inflammation is the P. Acnes bacteria. When inflammation reaches deep in the dermis, unsightly scarring and hyperpigmentation occur.
The following are the factors that can increase the chances of a person to develop chest acne:
Menstrual period is often linked to the development of chest acne. It is at these times that several hormones are found in high level such as androgen, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and insulin-like growth factor 1. These hormones increase sebum production, thus contributes to plugging of pores.
Susceptibility to acne can be inherited. It is associated with an earlier occurrence of acne and scarring.
Stress contributes to acne flare.
As mentioned earlier, P. Acnes can cause inflammatory types of acne .
A high glycemic load diet and cows milk have been found to cause acne.
Tight Fitted Clothing
It is said to be one of the main reasons for the development of acne in the chest region. Tight fitted clothing traps the sweat between the fabric and the skin, which leads to clogging of pores thereby resulting to acne.
What are the possible treatment for acne in the chest?
Chest acne is hard to treat because of the thicker skin in the area, as compared to face. However with the right regimen, it can be cured. There are different ways to get rid of chest acne forever. It includes normalizing shedding into the pore to prevent blockage, killing P.Acnes, anti-inflammatory effects and hormonal manipulation. These can be achieved by the following ways:
Benzoyl peroxide is the first-line treatment for mild to moderate acne. It is oftentimes combined with substance that exfoliates to increase shedding of skin preventing clogging of pores and killing bacteria causing the infection.
To deal with chest acne flare ups, doctors often prescribe antibiotics. It includes erythromycin, clindamycin, tetracyclines and minocycline that can destroy the bacteria P.Acnes. On the other hand, use of oral antibiotics must be regulated as developing resistance of P.Acnes worldwide has been observed, as a consequence oral antibiotics are becoming less effective.
If acne flare coincides with menstrual cycle or during teenage years, hormonal treatment is warranted.
Topical and Oral Retinoids
Retinoids help avert hyperkeratinization by influencing the cell creation and death life-cycle of cells in the follicular lining. A daily intake of oral retinoids over a period of 4-6 months can cause long-term resolution or reduction to acne by reducing the discharge of oils from the glands. It is shown to be very effective in treating severe chest acne.
How to prevent acne development in the chest
Chest acne can be prevented by following some effective tips below:
1.Gently scrub the chest area with exfoliating scrub just enough to get rid of dead cells, but not too much to irritate the skin
2.Wash your body with mild soap after profuse sweating
3.Avoid wearing dirty and tight clothing
4.Use bath soap that has exfoliating properties
5.Avoid using heavy creams and lotions
6.Wash bed-covers regularly
There are several regimens and preventive measures available to eradicate chest acne. If you are experiencing this commonly encountered disease, do not hesitate to consult a dermatologist.