Dermatologist-Approved Way to Beat Chest Acne

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

So how do you get rid of chest acne? Prevent it in the first place, and avoid potential scarring in this especially delicate area? To get the answers, we reached out to dermatologist Kristina Goldenberg, MD, of Goldenberg Dermatology in New York City to give us the lowdown on how to treat and prevent these pesky pimples.

Meet the Expert

Kristina Goldenberg, MD, is a dermatologist at Goldenberg Dermatology in New York City. She is trained in both medical and cosmetic dermatology, specializing in areas such as acne, psoriasis, botox injections, and laser surgery.

Treatment

Shower After You Sweat

We recommend this acne body wash for clean, clear skin.

"There are many ways to minimize chest acne," assures Goldenberg. "For those who exercise or play sports, I recommend showering soon after the workout is complete." So while it might be tempting to continue on with your day—running errands or meeting friends for brunch after a good sweat sesh—going unwashed, especially in already humid summer months, will wreak havoc on your skin. Even if you plan to skip washing your hair, do yourself and your skin a favor by indulging in a quick body shower. "When sweat sits on the skin for a long period of time, it clogs pores and causes acne to develop," Goldenberg explains. "Therefore, rinsing after a workout will lead to significant improvement."

Avoid a High-Glycemic Diet

We recommend this cookbook for acne-friendly eating habits.

You are what you eat, and certain foods may have a way of triggering hormonal imbalances and breakouts. Goldenberg says to remember to avoid a high-glycemic diet. Like we touched on earlier, high-glycemic foods include sugar, flour, rice, bread, many breakfast bowls of cereal, and even certain fruits (bananas, grapes, and watermelon are among them). Sugar is something you may want to try reducing in your diet anyway for good health, so cutting it from your foods as a way to combat chest acne is an added bonus.

Use an Anti-Bacterial Soap

For mild cases of chest acne, Goldenberg advises using "antibacterial soap, such as benzoyl peroxide 5 percent wash or PanOxyl wash in the shower followed by Clindamycin lotion right after." She notes that a thin layer of an oil-free moisturizer should be used on a daily basis. Yes, even those with acne need to moisturize! For moderate to severe cases, speak to your doctor about oral antibiotics or even isotretinoin.

Add Bleach to Your Bath

We recommend this body serum to restore hydration.

This method may sound intense, but Goldenberg recommends it as an at-home remedy. "Fill a bathtub with water and pour a cap of Clorox bleach," she instructs. "Sit in the water for about 20 minutes two times a week." This soak "will help kill off bacteria that may be contributing to the development of chest acne." Keep your soak from five to 10 minutes to avoid over-drying your skin, and follow with a light moisturizer to replenish hydration. Always check with your dermatologist before attempting this on your own.

Start Treatment Early and Be Consistent

We recommend these acne pads to treat breakouts.

Finally, early and consistent treatment may be the key to success (and avoidance of scars) when working to get rid of chest acne. The chest area can be prone to scarring, and "starting treatment early is key in preventing scarring," notes Goldenberg. "It is important to remember that without consistency in a skincare routine, acne will linger and the chances of scarring will rise." Set a daily reminder if you need to! If you do end up with scars as a result of chest acne, there's no need to panic. Goldenberg assures that "treatment modalities for scarring are available and include lasers, micro-needling, and chemical peels."

Start your acne treatment in the shower with this scrub, which contains 10 percent glycolic acid and 0.5 percent salicylic acid to smooth bumps while cleansing your skin. In addition to helping with acne, it also promotes glowing skin.

Use this jojoba bead-infused scrub in the shower to exfoliate, absorb excess oils, unclog pores, and retexturize your skin for a smooth, even complexion. The scrub will also reduce discoloration.

This cleansing gel can be used on your face, but we use it on our necks and chest. It's soap and sulfate-free, so you'll cleanse away makeup, bacteria, and impurities without over-drying.

This best-selling cleanser lathers into a satisfying foam and gently cleanses away makeup and impurities, which may otherwise lead to clogged pores and acne if left on your skin. It is suitable for both oily and dry complexions, helping to manage excess sebum without drying.

People are obsessed with this body wash and for good reason. The AHAs promise to slough away dead skin cells and leave your skin feeling soft and clean with every use.

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